BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details
 
Menu
Blog
Beyond reviews, our team aims to provide you with useful, compelling, and fun how-to guides, gift ideas, and deep dives into trendy products consumers like you love. Here are our latest articles.
October 6, 2022  |  Food & Drink

Best fall beverages, including homemade pumpkin spice lattes

Fall is known for some of the year’s most popular holidays, cooler temperatures and beautiful foliage. Still, for some, it’s all about the drinks that seem to taste best during the season — many incorporate pumpkin, spices and other flavors that make it feel like autumn has arrived. Whether you love coffee, tea or something else, there is likely a fall beverage for you. 

Fall drinks are often served warm with cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin flavors. You can even add a pinch of cinnamon to hot chocolate.

In this video

BestReviews’ own Branson Stowell talks with Gary Gelfand and shares some of his favorite fall drink recipes, including a seasonal favorite: pumpkin spice coffee.

Pumpkin spice coffee

“Pumpkin spice latte is kind of the seminal drink when you think of fall,” Stowell said. However, they’re often high in calories and sugar. Luckily, there are healthier ways to enjoy a warm pumpkin spice beverage. 

To make a healthy alternative to the pumpkin spice latte, you’ll start by making coffee or espresso. The Aeropress is a great choice when making coffee for your pumpkin spice beverage, as it only takes around a minute to brew a cup. This device is easy to use, doesn’t require electricity and gives your coffee an excellent flavor and aroma. 

Many Aeropress coffee makers are made from durable, lightweight plastic, making them easy to take on the go. They usually only cost around $30-$50, and some include a small tote bag.

You’ll also need to heat 2 cups of milk in a saucepan with half a cup of pumpkin puree, half a tablespoon of vanilla, maple syrup or another sweetener and two pinches of pumpkin pie spices. Froth or whisk the mixture on the stovetop until it reduces. This should take around five minutes. 

Fill your cup around a third of the way full with coffee and top it off with the milk mixture. You can add more of the mixture to your cup to enhance the pumpkin flavor. The remaining pumpkin spice blend can be stored in your fridge and used later. When reusing your pumpkin spice mix, it is often best to warm it up on the stove.

Chai tea

Chai is an excellent tea for the fall season. This drink is a mixture of black tea and various spices. According to the National Institutes of Health, the black tea used in chai may help prevent cardiovascular disease. It can be made in large batches or using a concentrate. 

“The very first and most important ingredient is the product, which is the tea infuser here. I like these ones that can hang off the edge of a pot,” Stowell said. Use a pestle and mortar to grind up some cardamom pods. Steeping a spice mixture of cardamom, peppercorns, cloves and nutmeg will enhance your chai’s flavor. Still, if you’re looking for something quick, you may want to try a pre-made chai mix like those made by Blue Lotus.

Chai tea can also be combined with milk and mixed with a milk frother to make a chai latte with a creamy texture. These lattes are popular at Starbucks, but you can save time and money making them at home.

Apple cider bourbon

This drink is ideal for parties and tailgating events. It can be made in large batches or as individual cocktails. There are a variety of spices that mix well with bourbon to give it a fall flavor. 

To make apple cider bourbon, you’ll want to mix two parts bourbon, one part apple cider and one part sweet red vermouth over ice. Add a squirt of lemon juice and a dash of bitters, mix the drink and then pour it into a cocktail glass. “You can add a rosemary sprig or a little apple slice to garnish,” Stowell said. 

When choosing bourbon for your drink, it’s best to use one aged for at least four years. Generally, the bourbon’s flavor becomes more robust the longer it ages. Still, you can save money buying a newer bourbon, and the cocktail will still have a great fall flavor.

Shop this segment

All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Sauce Pan with Lid

Available in six sizes, this saucepan can be used on gas, electric, ceramic and induction cooktops. The stainless steel and aluminum core work together to provide even heat distribution. 

Sold by Amazon

Apace Living Loose Leaf Tea Infuser Set of 2

Offered in silver, gold and rose gold, this set includes a drip tray for each tea infuser and a scoop. The medium size is best for a single serving of tea, while the large size serves multiple people.

Sold by Amazon

Imusa USA Granite Molcajete Spice Grinder

This spice grinder is both a functional tool and a great serving dish. The 6-inch diameter is perfect for grinding up spices, and the nonporous granite won’t absorb any oils.

Sold by Amazon

Blue Lotus Chai

This tea includes cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices. It contains no sweeteners, gluten or additives. Many are impressed with its bold flavor and aroma.

Sold by Amazon

PowerLix Milk Frother 

This frother is small but powerful. It comes with a lightweight stand that makes it easy to store on your countertop. It runs on AA batteries and is available in 21 colors.

Sold by Amazon

AeroPress Original Coffee And Espresso Maker

This lightweight coffee maker can brew up to 3 cups of coffee in around a minute. It can be used in your home kitchen or taken on the go. Its operation is straightforward, and it’s surprisingly easy to clean.

Sold by Amazon


Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals. 

Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.