Forget about that pumpkin-based beverage that must not be named: there are much better ways to get your seasonal drank on. Especially since—in case you’ve missed all those photos of your friends blissfully frolicking amidst the U-Pick orchards upstate—fall is actually all about apples, making it an especially opportune time to indulge in the following fruit-forward sips.
Apple Cider from Brooklyn Cider House: It will be a while still before Bushwick’s very own Basque-style cider house, restaurant and tasting room officially opens its doors. But until then, you can procure a glass at local spots like Covenhoven or The Sampler, and a bottle at suppliers such as Prospect Heights Beer Works, Hops & Hocks, the Flatbush Food Co-Op or Greenwood Grape & Still. Made from sustainably grown, crushed and fermented fruit sourced from the company’s very own New Paltz orchard, varieties include the easy drinking “Kinda Dry,” the traditional Bone Dry” (made with a higher concentration of heirloom and bitter cider apples, and aged for 10-12 months), the “Still Bone Dry” (possessing zero carbonation or sugar) and the “Half Sour,” with hints of wildflowers, honey and pickled pear.
Apple Wine from Cliffton Dry: Just don’t call it cider. The Cliffton crew regularly stresses that their light and bubbly libation undergoes the same processes as sparkling wine, it’s just made with Finger Lakes-grown apples instead of grapes. Triple fermented in order to remove all of the residual sugars, it’s as crisp, citrusy and dry as the region’s heralded Gewurtzaminers and Rieslings, except you’ll reliably find it sold in nifty four-packs at Union Market, and poured at Brooklyn restaurants like Atlantic Chip Shop, Moku Moku, James and El Almacen.
Switchel from Twin Suns: Montana Trail House definitely helped usher in Brooklyn’s revived obsession with switchel, an invigorating American heritage beverage, traditionally served to parched farmers during harvest time. But they’re aiming to overtake kombucha at their goods and sundries spot, Twin Suns, which serves as a mini production facility and bottling site for their branded MTH concentrate, comprised of ginger, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar.
244 Himrod St., Bushwick
Cocktails from Clover Club: The evening menu at this seminal Smith Street haunt may still be riddled with tiki tipples and various frozen concoctions, but they’ve made multiple concessions to autumn on their new brunch lineup, try the “Doc’s & Stormy” featuring apple brandy, cinnamon and pumpkin cider, and the “Harvest Punch” with cognac, mulled cider and aged and dark rums.
210 Smith St., Cobble Hill
Apple Pie Float from Butter & Scotch: America’s favorite dessert gets all boozed up at this dessert speakeasy, smashed into a glass with unfiltered Downeast Cider, Brovo Amaro #1 and vanilla ice cream.
818 Franklin Ave., Crown Heights