Fall Cocktails to Highlight Michigan Seasons

By: Michael Fossbakk | October 26, 2020

Fall flavors go along with cooling temperatures and autumn’s changing leaves perfectly in that they all put you in a mood to wear warm sweaters, get together outside with friends and responsibly share a seasonal beverage from your favorite Metro Detroit bartenders. 

Joe Muer Seafood in Bloomfield Hills honors the shift from summer into fall by giving its staff leeway to change its regular cocktail menu, adding drinks that celebrate Michigan’s changing seasons, said General Manager Terry Martin. 

When it comes to classic cocktails, few do it better than Joe Muer. The restaurant stands out among the area’s premier seafood restaurants offering a tradition of dining and service that began in 1929. The restaurant offers classic, fresh fish and creative seafood specialties in addition to delicious cocktails as well as beer and wines for any event.

Joe Muer Seafood recently introduced a new cocktail in celebration of fall. The drink, Autumn Sunshine, is made with Knob Creek bourbon and Grand Marnier along with a splash of maple syrup, orange juice and lemon juice. 

“We wanted a cocktail that represented the season, and part of the fun is letting our bartenders own it and we get to taste what they come up with,” Martin said. “We want to offer our tried-and-true drink menu but also sprinkle in new ones.”

Lead bartender Bill Wood said one of the best things about his job at Joe Muer Seafood is experimenting with the many bourbons offered in the bar area of the restaurant. Bourbon is especially popular right now, Wood said, so he and his fellow bartenders wanted to try it out in a new drink. 

As a result, Autumn Sunshine became “a sweet way to drink bourbon like an Old Fashioned,” Wood said. “It also creates that color of autumn leaves and gives you that maple syrup flavor that mixes well with bourbon. They really balance one another.”

Mootz - Harvest Apple Cider Margarita

Harvest Apple Cider Margarita. Photo courtesy of Mootz Pizzeria + Bar.

Here are some other Metro Detroit bars and restaurants with themed drinks that use apple cider or maple syrup as their star ingredients for you to try. 

Mootz Pizzeria + Bar

Known as Detroit’s only authentic New York pizzeria, Mootz Pizzeria + Bar has made itself a community staple with their pies and extensive beer, wine and cocktail offerings. Mootz has recently rolled out a special menu for fall, which includes delicious appetizers, entrees and a cocktail perfect for the season. It is the Harvest Apple Cider Margarita, which features Espolon tequila reposado, Cointreau, fresh apple cider, maple syrup and lime juice served in a cinnamon-sugar and lightly salted rimmed glass.

The Skip

Innovation, when it comes to drinks, is standard at this alleyway favorite. The Skip’s fall menu has plenty of interesting holiday-themed cocktail recipes to try, including the Maker’s Mark Frozen Cider, which has Maker’s Mark whiskey, lemon and a simple apple cider. Another is the Spiced Maple Old Fashioned, which has whiskey, spiced maple, Angostura bitters, a dash of Jack’s fire and a cinnamon sugar donut. 

Castalia at Sfumato

The cocktails to-go list at this unique location are especially good around the holidays, adding rich new flavors to the already stellar menu. Check out the Castalia Cordial, which is ideally suited for cider featuring a house-made syrup. Its ingredients include whisky, caramelized sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Pair it with an order of Gravitas Candied Nuts made with maple and you’ll have a fine cocktail hour indeed. 

Sugar House

If you like your cocktails strong and with tons of attitude, then this Detroit hot spot is ideal for a visit. Check out the fun array of drink specials and to-go cocktails at Sugar House, but pay special attention to the Blackfoot Old Fashioned. This ready-to-drink cocktail that serves four (yes, four people, ideally) contains Rittenhouse Rye, maple syrup and blackfoot bitters.

Remember to drink responsibly and plan ahead with a designated driver or take advantage of one of these local designated driving services.