As much as we tried to fight it, fall is officially here as of September 23rd. Along with flip-flops and swimsuits, it’s time to say goodbye to summer drinks. If you’re like us and aren’t quite ready to let it go, ease into fall with a few beverages that combine the sweet taste of summer fruit with the spirit of autumn and—what else? —alcohol.

If beer is your beverage of choice and you still think it’s too soon for pumpkin, Stone Brewing Co. will be releasing a new Smoked Porter in the next two weeks, nationwide. What makes this porter stand out from the average autumn seasonal beer is the combination of dark chocolate and orange peel flavors. If you like citrus and chocolate—this is the beverage for you. With the tang of orange we enjoy so much in summer ales, and the rich hints of chocolate, it’s the perfect drink to bridge the gap between summer days on the beach and autumn nights by the fire.

For the cocktail lovers—especially those who are looking to end National Bourbon Heritage Month with a bang—there’s the Smoke & Char. The name reminds us of summer cookouts and cozy winter fires and the mix of sweet peaches and maple bourbon is a great way to raise one last toast to summer. This recipe takes a little extra work, but it also gives you an excuse to fire up the grill one more time.

Smoke & Char (1 serving)

  • 2 oz Knob Creek Smoked Maple
  • ½ oz fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ oz demerara syrup (or simple syrup)
  • 2 slices of charred peaches
  • 4 large basil leaves

Char peach slices on the grill until grill marks appear. Muddle peach slices with basil leaves in a cocktail shaker. Then, add bourbon, lemon juice, and syrup. Shake with ice and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice and enjoy.