Pumpkin spice may be the (un)official flavor of fall but that doesn’t mean it has to be the only flavor of fall, right?
I love a good PSL as much as the next basic witch, but it seems like once the first leaf hits the ground, we become obsessed. It’s pumpkin this and spice that. Sometimes I need something different.
Or maybe you’re one of those crazy people (like my husband) who doesn’t like pumpkin flavoring and won’t touch a PSL. You should get to enjoy the season with a mug full of deliciousness too!
Pumpkin gets all the glory, but there are plenty of fall drinks without pumpkin that still give you the same warm cozy feeling. If you’re looking to branch out and spice things up (pun fully intended), give these other fall drinks a try.
1. Salted Caramel Mocha
Really, salted caramel anything is delicious. It was one of my favorite drinks from Starbucks before they rudely discontinued toffee nut syrup. Plenty of other coffee shops feature this flavor, though. Try it as a mocha, as a white mocha, or without the espresso for a salted caramel hot chocolate.
2. Chai Latte
There is nothing in the world that sounds cozier than curling up with a blanket and a mug of tea. If I could hibernate, that’s how I’d do it – specifically with a mug of chai latte. I love the warmth of chai spices and frothed milk makes it nice and creamy. For a kick, add a shot of espresso (a.k.a a dirty chai) and some vanilla.
3. Sweet Potato Latte
This one sounds a little weird, I’ll admit, but bear with me. Sweet potato lattes are pretty common in South Korea and they’re worth a try. The flavor is similar to pumpkin spice but it doesn’t have the spice aspect. It tastes a bit more earthy, but in a good way! It’s sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.
It may be a rarity in the United States, but if you’re in Korea this fall, try one and let me know if you like it!
As surprising as it may sound, horchata dates all the way back to before the 16th century in North Africa. The refreshing drink made its way to Spain where it was popularized as a mix of Chufa, or tiger nut, grains, and spices. As Spanish conquistadors traveled to the Americas, they brought with them the delicious beverage.
Eventually the recipe adapted to the America’s climate and agriculture and became the Mexican rice based version that is popular today. It’s refreshing cold on summer days, but it’s equally delicious as a hot beverage for fall.
Many cafes incorporate the flavors and spices into lattes, chai, and even hot chocolate. It’s a warm, spicy, dairy-free treat that you’ll love.
5. Mulled Wine
Mulled wine goes by many names. You may know it as Glühwein from a German market, or Vin Chaud from the cafes of France. Whatever you call it, it’s an essential fall drink.
It is believed that the tradition of mulled wine traces back to when wine was not particularly good and needed the addition of spices and sugar to make it more palatable. Now, it’s a great way to stay warm on a cold fall evening. Mulled wine is usually made with red wine, heated and steeped with spices like cloves and allspice. Often, brandy or cognac is added for some extra flavor (and kick.) It’s one of my all time favorites.
6. Spiced Cider
If you want fall drinks without pumpkin, the logical next step is apple cider. I’m a big fan of a good spiced cider. Similar to mulled wine, spiced cider is made by heating apple cider and letting it steep with additional spices like cinnamon or nutmeg.
You may not find this at a ton of cafes, but spots like local farmers markets or apple orchards may have it on hand. If nothing else, you can get cold apple cider and make your own!
7. Maple Latte
It may sound simple, but don’t underestimate maple. The flavor is so versatile that it’s quickly become a fall staple. Many cafes will have maple lattes, with some adding other flavors to create things like maple bourbon or maple sea salt.
It’s delicious hot or iced and has the perfect nutty/sweet/spiced flavor to scream fall.
8. Mexican Hot Chocolate
For fall drinks without pumpkin and coffee, look no further than a traditional Mexican hot chocolate. If you’ve never had one, you’re missing out. Hot chocolate gets an upgrade with spices like cayenne so there’s some heat to it and I don’t just mean the temperature.
Spicy chocolate sounds a little odd at first but the two blend perfectly. It makes the chocolate richer and more satisfying. Look for this or a version of it at your local coffee shop.
In my humble opinion, few drinks surpass a good butterscotch latte. It could be because I’m a major Harry Potter nerd wishing I could drink butterbeer, but whatever the reason I have to have at least one each fall.
It might not be the most common flavor at cafes, but some places definitely have it so check around your favorite spots. If you’re hitting up Starbucks, ask for a latte with 2 pumps caramel, 2 pumps toffee nut, and 1 pump cinnamon dolce with caramel drizzle. It’s not exactly butterscotch but it’s pretty close.
It may feel like pumpkin spice everywhere in the fall but there are plenty of fall drinks without pumpkin for you to love. Let me know your favorite!
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