Brunch is a great reason to share a meal with friends and family—but it's also a great excuse to have a cocktail in the morning with no sense of guilt. These autumn-appropriate cocktails evoke October with spiced pumpkin and cider as well as sweet maple, ginger, and tea. The recipes have all been written (and tested) to serve a crowd, so invite your loved ones over for bacon and a beverage.
Brunch drinks are best when they're not complicated—especially if you haven't even started sipping coffee yet. This easy cocktail brings together the classic combination of pumpkin and ginger: start with a flavorful pumpkin ale and top off with a spicy-sweet ginger beer. It goes down almost a little too easily.
Sparkling Apple Tea
This non-alcoholic sparkling punch has complex flavor from sparkling apple cider and black tea steeped with cinnamon sticks—after tasting, your friends might be surprised to learn that it's alcohol-free. The tannins in the tea work with a little bit of fresh lemon to counter the sweetness of the cider. Serve it in Champagne flutes if you want to get extra-fancy.
Bourbon Maple Cider
In this boozy brunch option, bourbon and applejack are mixed with maple syrup and hard cider to make a sweet sipping cocktail that is slightly effervescent. (If you're looking for flavorful artisanal cider recommendations, check out our cider column.) The bright tartness of apples and the rich maple combine with oaky bourbon to create a flavor profile that would work just as well baked into a pie.
Blood (Orange) Punch
Although October has two official holidays, Halloween is the most fun (sorry Columbus Day). This big bowl of Blood Punch is perfect if you are planning a spooky-themed brunch. Blood orange juice, rum, and Campari offer a blast of flavor in this citrusy Halloween punch, and soda and lemon juice and soda water round them out and keep things fizzy.