These alternatives go way beyond the pumpkin spice latte.
Reality check: the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte is not the only drink that signals fall. Especially not in San Francisco, where the bartenders are just as obsessed with seasonal, local ingredients in their cocktails as chefs are with their food. These seven autumnal cocktails demonstrate the ethos perfectly—so grab a stool, and take in the flavors of fall in an entirely new way.
The name “Cosmic Autumn Rebellion” says it all—it’s seasonal, elevated, and bold. The team at 15 Romolo start with delicata squash puree, which gives this Halloween-inspired cocktail a nostalgic pumpkin-esque flavor. It’s spiked with brandy and sherry, then punched up with lemon juice and fall spices.
Long known for its authentic, regional Italian cuisine, it’s no surprise that A16 Rockridge brought a decidedly Mediterranean note to The Solstizio. Featuring house-made persimmon and ginger syrup, lemon juice and Jardesca (a new California aperitif), it’s topped of with prosecco and a garnish of candied persimmon.
Bon Marche Bar & Brasserie
Discreet Charm: This sweet and crisp fall cocktail is made to pair with Bon Marche’s equally seasonal food menu. It’s a mix of aged rhum agricole, pear liqueur, sesame-infused honey, lemon, and sparkling pear cider served with a sage garnish.
Inside the iconic One Kearny building, crowds fill the expansive digs at Hakkasan for its signature dishes and innovative cocktails. Just in time for autumn, the Rhubarb Remedy is as intoxicating as it is medicinal: a blend of rhubarb tea liqueur, raspberries, chamomile, honey, lemon, and Fever-Tree ginger beer.
The bar team at Perbacco, a mainstay in the Financial District, has created a few new fall cocktails including the Melograno, made with housemade pomegranate cordial, sloe gin, and lime juice. Pair it with the Raviora—a stuffed pasta filled with pear and mascarpone, chrysanthemum, white pomegranate and pear balsamico.
Plum Bar + Restaurant
Daniel Patterson’s Oakland restaurant serves liquid fall with the Papa Pyrus, made with bourbon, cognac, green walnut liqueur, pear liqueur, and pear shrub that’s made in-house. Alternatively, you can opt for Plum Bar’s Nurseryman, a blend of green apple and cardamom infused vodka, gin botanical-infused vermouth, and apple-infused ice.
Tony’s Pizza Napoletana
At the venerable Tony’s Pizza Napoletana in North Beach, the Irish Hello blends pumpkin seed-infused Irish whiskey with fresh green apple juice, lemon, and a popcorn garnish for a sweet and sour balance. The final product imparts a nutty caramel apple flavor.