6 Comforting Fall Beverages (Plus Recipes!)

Rejoice, it’s fall! That time of year where boots, layers, scarves and sweaters come out to play! While the temperature drops, the colors heat up; we see the Boston Common turn from crisp green into a polychrome wonderland of golden yellow and ruby red leaves. Don’t let the chill of the breeze drag down your mood. Check out these 6 comforting recipes for the ultimate fall beverage. These recipes all utilize seasonal ingredients, so make sure to make these limited edition treats before snowfall. Bundle up, grab a friend, and sip on one of these beverages while doing some people-judging – er, I mean, watching – at the park!

Spicy Chai Latte (from The Sweet Life)
Photo from The Sweet Life.

2 servings

  • 2 cups water
  • 3 black tea bags
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1/4 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/8 tsp black peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger root, coarsely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups non-dairy milk (soy also works)

Combine the water, tea bags, and spices in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for an additional 5 minutes.Remove lid and add sugar and milk. Return to heat until the milk begins to lightly simmer. Immediately remove from heat. Pour chai mixture through a strainer into a french press. Cover with top/filter and pump up and down a few times until the desired amount of froth builds up. Okay without french press. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy!

Tree-Trimming Cider Punch (from Bon Appétit)

  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 2 large apples (such as Granny Smith or Rome Beauty), peeled, left whole
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Ground nutmeg

Pour apple cider into large pot. Insert 6 cloves into each apple. Add apples and cinnamon sticks to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and barely simmer over very low heat 1 hour to allow flavors to blend. Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over low heat before continuing. Ladle hot cider punch into mugs. Sprinkle with nutmeg and serve.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate (from A Beautiful Mess)

Photo from A Beautiful Mess.

2 large servings

  • 16 ounces milk or cream
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate
  • 4 ounces chocolate caramel (such as Hershey’s),
  • Pinch or two of sea salt

In a sauce pan or small pot heat half (8 ounces) of the milk and 4 ounces chopped dark chocolate and salt until melted. Continue heating and whisk in the remaining milk and 4 ounces chopped chocolate caramel. Continue whisking until the entire mixture is warmed through and smooth in texture. Serve with a little whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Hot Cranberry Citrus Drink (from Recipe 4 Living)

  • 1 12 oz. pkg. fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2 1/2 quarts of water
  • 2 C. orange juice
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 C. pineapple juice
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)

In a large saucepan, bring cranberries and water to a boil. Reduce heat and summer for 5 minutes or until the berries pop. Stir in the orange juice, sugar, pineapple juice, lemon juice and cinnamon sticks. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 25-30 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth and discard pulp and cinnamon. Garnish with orange sliver. Serve warm.

Warm Cacao with Cinnamon


  • 1 C Almond Milk (see below for DIY Almond Milk)
  • 1-2 T Cacao (to taste)
  • 1 T Agave (or more to taste)
  • Sprinkle of Cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a blender or with an immersion blender. The blender will thicken it nicely. Warm to 116. You can do this in the vitamix or VERY carefully on the stove. If you use the stove, you need to stop heating before it gets to temp as it will continue to heat even after the heat source is removed. You can use a candy thermometer to check temp.

Almond Milk

  • 1 C Almonds, soaked at least 6 hours
  • 4 C filtered water
  • 2 dates
  • 1 vanilla bean

Drain almonds from soaking water. Add to Vitamix (or high-performance blender) with 4 C of the filtered water, dates and vanilla bean. Process for 2 minutes. Strain through nutmilk bag. You can save the remaining pulp, dehydrate it and use it as flour for other recipes.

And finally, what’s a post on the changing of seasons without a mention of, get ready for it… Pumpkin spice! Fed up with seeing the same sign saying the same thing outside every café you walk past? Don’t roll your eyes just yet – here’s a fast and simple recipe for you to make your own syrupy, spicy goodness at home. This will not only save you money, but also give you more choice on the sweetness level.

Pumpkin Spice Latte (from The Kitchn)

Photo from Kathryn Hill.

1 to 2 servings

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin OR 1 teaspoon Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup (your choice)
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish
1 to 2 shots espresso, about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee
Whipped cream, to garnish

In a saucepan whisk together milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don’t have a blender, don’t worry about it — just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk. Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top. Top with whipped cream, if desired, and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.

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