Make no mistake: Fall is synonymous with all-things pumpkin (and pumpkin spice). But the PSL is not the only way to get your fall fix, as these alternative but still seasonal fall drink recipes prove.
Now that we’ve entered October, we’re searching our closets for flannels and beanies and breaking out our Dutch ovens and baking sheets in an effort to make ourselves cozy—but Starbucks was way ahead of us, having released the seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte (and its newer pal Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew) in August this year.
It’s now actually a good time to indulge, but some of us still aren’t warming up to it.
The Popularity of Pumpkin Spice
We’re not saying we don’t like pumpkin spice—it’s great, if deceptively named. The emblematic autumn vegetable that is actually a fruit (don’t even get us started on pumpkin vs squash) is delicious and provides us with fabulous health benefits, but many pumpkin spice products don’t actually feature the namesake star ingredient at all—rather, just a blend of warm spices that steal the spotlight (not that we’re complaining).
Still, sometimes the pervasiveness of pumpkin spice (et tu, Kraft mac and cheese?) leaves us wanting something else.
Pumpkin Spice Alternatives
If you feel the same but are still in search of a drink to celebrate fall, don’t despair—there are plenty of non-pumpkin spice options to delight your taste buds (and some even get the boozy treatment).
If you’ve already maxed out your credit card with morning PSL orders (or just maxed out your tolerance for pumpkin spice for the moment), have a look at the following options. There are also adorable glasses and mugs to accompany your findings, so jump right in!
This is your 21+ answer to the cider your mom bought during apple picking excursions. The combination of honey, cinnamon, and scotch makes it the perfect drink to enjoy by fireplace. Serve it in this Snow White-inspired poisoned apple mug if you’re feeling nostalgic for your childhood autumn activities. Get our Smoky, Hot Apple Cider with Scotch recipe.
Poisoned Apple Mug, $39.97 from Amazon
Scotch-spiked cider calls for a particularly wicked mug.
Is there anything more satisfying this time of year than hot chocolate? Add Nutella, hazelnut liqueur, and a few tablespoons of brandy, and you’ll really start craving the cold-weather treat. These marshmallows-shaped mugs couldn’t be appropriate for the occasion. Get our Tipsy Hazelnut Hot Chocolate recipe.
Marshmallow-Shaped Hot Chocolate Mugs, $21.49 from Amazon
These mugs come in a set of of four so make sure to share them with some drinking buddies.
Pairing the Fernet Apple Hot Toddy with a warm blanket and good book is not required, but highly recommended. The honey-rum blend is a new way to spice up your apple treats. When the drink gets hot, use this knit mug cozy to amp up the snuggle factor. Get our Fernet Apple Hot Toddy recipe.
Nandy's Nook Handmade Mug Sleeve, $12.95 from Amazon
Keep your toddy hot with this knit mug sleeve.
Everyone’s quick to think that apples are the only fall fruit that make for a fun treat. However, this concoction offers a sweet and fizzy option for those who might have had one too many glasses of apple cider. The punch plays into the cozy vibe, yet is slightly more refreshing, as it’s served over ice. Find a punch bowl set so that everyone at your holiday dinner can enjoy a sip of the treat. Get our Spiced Brandy Pear Punch recipe.
Punch Bowl Set, $22.50 from Amazon
This punch bowl is ideal for spiking. Eight glasses and a ladle are also included.
This time of the year would not be complete without a good cup of tea. The nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar flavors scream “fall,” and the drink itself is akin to a light chai. This burgundy-colored mini teapot is a perfect way to enjoy the beverage. Get our Spiced Somalian Tea recipe.
Burgundy Ceramic Teapot, $13.49 from Amazon
Spill the tea in the old-fashioned sense.
These quintessential seasonal fruits join forces to provide a refreshing drink with hints of light brown sugar. Though this is a non-alcoholic option, those 21+ can enjoy the treat with a dash of rum. It’ll go perfectly with these red-rimmed glasses. Get our Cranberry-Apple Shrub recipe.
Related Reading: The Ultimate Guide to Shrubs
Hand Blown Mexican Glasses, 6 for $77.90 from Amazon
Yes, you do want shurbs, preferably served in these chic glasses.
Fall Leaves Highball Glasses, 4 for $27.95 from Amazon
An Autumn Chiller belongs in these seasonally-specific glasses.
Kids always leave oatmeal cookies for Santa, so enjoying one of fall’s favorite desserts in milkshake form is a must for everyone in the family. Buy some glasses that’ll enhance the old-school ice cream shop feel right from your own home. Get our Oatmeal Cookie Milkshake recipe.
Anchor Hocking Vintage Soda Shop Glasses, 12 for, $25.48 from Amazon
Vincent Vega would approve of this classic milkshake glass.
OK, OK, we caved. There’s no sense rounding up fall drinks without at least one type of pumpkin-related option. This is a different and welcomed take on the PSL that will please all fall flavor fans, even if you don’t want cinnamon and nutmeg anywhere near your coffee. Get our Pumpkin Spice Milkshake recipe and pop in a reusable straw.
Basic Witch Tumbler, $18.99 from Etsy
Take it outside with this tumbler that says it all.
And look, sometimes a PSL is exactly what’s in order. But making it yourself results in a drink much better than what you’re used to. Using pumpkin puree, a fresh DIY pumpkin spice blend, and maple syrup makes our Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe cheaper, tastier, and healthier than the original. If you think you don’t like this basic drink, try our from-scratch version and you just might change your tune. If not, well, you have plenty of other options!