Fall drinks that aren't a Pumpkin Spice Latte
Hot apple cider
Nothing says fall like apples. During the cooler months, it’s easy to find gallons of apple cider, often produced locally from Ontario-grown apples. This sweet nectar makes the perfect base for hot apple cider, a staple drink for Canadian autumns. Spice up your cider with whole cloves and cinnamon sticks and add maple syrup to balance the tartness of the cider. Once heated in a pot for about ten minutes, this cozy drink is sure to keep you warm even on the coldest nights. For a boozy twist on this classic, consider adding spiced rum.
This European tradition is a holiday staple, but can also be enjoyed all throughout the winter season. Mulled wine is made by heating dry red wine with brandy, along with seasonal spices like cloves, cinnamon and star anise. Most recipes also call for sliced fruit like oranges and apples. If you like your wine a little sweeter, you can also add sugar, honey or maple syrup. A pot of mulled wine is a crowd-pleaser at any holiday party and is surprisingly cheap and easy to perfect.
Homemade cranberry juice
At a Thanksgiving dinner, one condiment you can always expect to find is cranberry sauce. Cranberries reach their peak of colour and flavour in the autumn months, making them ripe for harvesting between September through till about mid-November. That means fall is the perfect time to try your hand at making your own homemade cranberry juice. Simply boil fresh cranberries in a pot until they pop (about ten minutes) and strain the liquid through a fine strainer. Add sugar, lemon juice and orange, and boil once more until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool, refrigerate and enjoy!
“Try any one of these seasonal beverages this fall and winter, and enjoy the flavours of the season without breaking the bank.”
Pumpkin pie smoothies
Pumpkin Spice Lattes (PSLs) are notoriously high in sugar and also contain milk ingredients, meaning vegans and people with lactose intolerance are unable to enjoy this seasonal staple. Luckily, there is a way to get the exact flavours of a PSL without any of the guilt. Simply blend frozen banana, yogurt of choice, pumpkin puree, milk of choice, a handful of pecans and pumpkin pie spice. The natural sweetness of the bananas keep this low in added sugar, while the pecans add creaminess and a nutty flavour that will no doubt remind you of your favourite fall dessert.
Of course, no PSL is complete without its main ingredient: espresso. If you love seasonal coffee but are looking for an alternative to the PSL, spiced coffee might be the drink for you. You’ll need a standard percolating coffee maker to make this recipe. Simply brew your coffee as usual but add ground cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves to the coffee grounds. As your coffee brews, the flavour of the spices will marry with the grounds, creating a perfectly spiced pot of coffee that you can then add sugar, cream or your favourite milk of choice to. This is a simple, delicious way to spice up your morning coffee throughout the colder months.
Try any one of these seasonal beverages this fall and winter, and enjoy the flavours of the season without breaking the bank.