Autumn has arrived, and so, too, have the flavors of the season, popping up on menus at bars, breweries, and cafes across the city. From cocktails featuring Honeycrisp apple juice ice cubes to beers brewed with pumpkin puree (and dark chocolate) to extra-creamy lattes inspired by pumpkin pie, here are six must-try drinks to check out this fall.
A sip of this brandy drink will transport you from a vintage lounge chair to an apple orchard. The staff at the cozy Center City cocktail bar juice sweet-tart Honeycrisp apples, then freeze the juice in jumbo-sized ice cube trays. Two cubes each are shaken up with Laird’s Applejack, house-made apple bitter, and honey simple syrup to make this slushy, slightly tangy cocktail, served up in a coupe glass.
2006 Chestnut St., $13, 215-665-0456, 1tpl.com
It wouldn’t be fall without pumpkin beer. Evil Genius takes its porter version to the next level by adding dark chocolate post-fermentation, which gives the beer a sweet aroma. For this beer, the brewers at the Kensington hangout add real pumpkin puree to the mash and classic pie spices like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg to the boil. And at 7.8% ABV, this one promises to help warm you up during a crisp evening in the brewery’s beer garden.
1727 N. Front St., $7 per pint, $10.99 per six-pack, 215-425-6820, evilgeniusbeer.com
Whether you want a cold jolt of seasonally spiced caffeine or a warming pumpkin treat, Herman’s Coffee has you covered. Option one features a double shot of espresso poured over Fever Tree tonic that’s mixed with cranberry bitters and a rosemary-infused simple syrup. The iced-down refresher is finished with a sprig of rosemary. For a house-made take on a mainstream fall treat, go for option two: the pumpkin pie-inspired latte, spiked with spiced syrup made from fresh pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and allspice. A splash of sweetened condensed milk is poured in just before the steamed milk, adding extra creaminess to this decadent cup. Freshly grated nutmeg tops it all off.
1313 S. Third St., $4.50 for latte, $5 for tonic, hermanscoffee.com
Start fending off the flu early with this fall-inspired take on a classic Penicillin. It features all of the standard homeopathic cold remedies — lemon juice, honey, ginger — along with fresh beet juice, which lends an earthy note to the botanical, Bluecoat-gin-based drink. A dash of smoky house-made cardamom bitters round out the citrusy, savory, ruby-red cocktail. Philadelphia Distilling bartenders pour it over a large, hand-carved piece of clear ice and garnish it with a piece of candied ginger.
25 E. Allen St., $13, 215-671-0346, philadelphiadistilling.com
This Center City newcomer’s seasonal spritz combines two fall fruits — apple and pear — in this bubbly beverage. Its base is Grey Goose’s pear-flavored vodka, shaken with pear puree, lemon, and a bar-spoonful of apple butter with hints of cinnamon and clove. The drink is strained and served over ice in a wine glass, topped with Blume’s special sparkling cider, made with Asian pears and apples sourced from Adams County.
1500 Locust St., 267-761-5582, $14, blumephilly.com
Far from a cloying latte, this booze-forward pumpkin drink has a subtle saltiness, with herbal and nutty notes from barrel-aged Flora Gin, chicory root vodka, and two droppers’ worth of a saline solution made with toasted pumpkin seeds. Close to an ounce of pumpkin butter vermouth is added, too, lending a light sweetness and velvety texture to the shaken cocktail. A dash of peppery bay leaf bitters finishes it off, as does an actual bay leaf garnish. Follow it up with Art in the Age’s Park Ranger, a smoky take on an Old Fashioned, featuring a house-made simple syrup infused with foraged spruce tree tips.
116 N. Third St., $14, 215-922-2600, artintheage.com