7 Cozy Drinks for Fall

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Written by our Enjoy Illinois Magazine partner, Dotdash Meredith.

As the weather cools, it's time to indulge in a wide array of classic (and trendy) fall drinks. From pumpkin spice to apple cider, there's so many to choose from. That's why we put together a list of the most popular fall drinks and the top drink spots in Illinois to find them - so you can find your favorite autumnal drink for those cozy fall nights. 

Apple Cider

Did you know? The state’s official fruit is the GoldRush apple, with its sweet-tart taste and long shelf life. Here’s another interesting tidbit: It takes about 36 apples to produce one gallon of cider. During harvest season, most orchards offer U-pick apples, fun and games, and fresh goodies like doughnuts and cider. Taste the fruity goodness at one of these area orchards.

Jonamac Orchard’s Cider House, Malta*

The cider house is home to the cider pressing operation and tasting room, where patrons can sip apple wine, hard cider and beer. 

Rendleman Orchards, Alto Pass*

Celebrating their 150th anniversary, the fifth-generation family farm sells apple cider daily and cider slushies on weekends (until sold out for the day).

Edgewood Orchards, Quincy

Since 1930, the Zellerman family has owned and operated the farm that produces 17,000 gallons of its signature cider annually.

Curtis Orchard, Champaign

This 80-acre farm provides entertainment for the whole family and award-winning cider that must be tasted to be believed.

Coffee and Espresso Drinks

The world’s largest Starbucks sits in the heart of Illinois’ largest city. Visitors to Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago can ride the curved escalator to the second floor, which offers a view of the roasting and brewing operation. Each of the four floors offers a different experience; head to the third floor and discover experiential flavors, plus coffee and espresso flights. Plus, it's one of the few Starbucks locations that also offers alcoholic coffee drinks to boot. 

Custom Cup, Springfield*

Honey adds a touch of sweetness to the Bee Keeper and Garden Gnome lattes.

Crown Brew Coffee Company, Marion*

Soar to new heights with a sweet signature beverage like Rocket Man, made with condensed and oat milk, honey, and cinnamon.

Rockford Roasting Company, Rockford*

A dash of cayenne pepper makes the Spicy Mocha a hot hit.

Endiro Coffee, Aurora*

Using a blowtorch is the key to creating their Creme Brue-Latte. 

Hot Chocolate

In the 20th century, Chicago became the candy capital of the United States. It’s here where famous candy bars like Snickers and 3 Musketeers were made. Warm up in the Windy City with a mug of chocolatey goodness.

Mindy’s Bakery, Wicker Park

Indulge in a decadent treat—hot chocolate ganache tops The Grand Au Lait hot chocolate.

XO Marshmallow, Lincoln Park

Homemade marshmallows top five flavors of hot chocolate, including S’mores and Salted Caramel.

Katherine Anne Confections, Logan Square*

Choose from more than a dozen hot chocolates, including five vegan blends.

Illinois Wine

With more than 150 wineries and tasting rooms dotting the state, Illinois vintners welcome guests to sample their creations. Follow one of the state’s eight wine trails, including the Heart of Illinois Wine Trail (new in 2023), or set out on your own. Salut! 

Mackinaw Valley Vineyard and Winery, Mackinaw*

Sample three wines for $1 from this Heart of Illinois Wine Trail’s extensive list of red, white and blush wines before heading out to the deck or patio.

Alto Vineyards, Alto Pass*

Sip among the vines at Southern Illinois’ oldest winery on the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, which winds through a national forest.

Baxter’s Vineyards and Winery, Nauvoo

The state’s oldest winery, Baxter's, dates to 1857 and sits on the Mississippi Valley Wine Trail.

Galena Cellars Vineyard, Galena*

Acres of rolling farmland hosting 22 different specialty grapes, 60,000 gallons of wine per year, 40 wine varieties, three tasting rooms.

Manhattans

More than 100 years ago, Peoria was considered the Whiskey Capital of the World because of its 73 area distilleries. Distillers flocked to the area because of its abundant supply of grains, spring water and reliable transportation. Today, the state has just over 40 distilleries, and luckily, most offer tours and tasting rooms. Put a cherry on top and sample the classic whiskey drink at one of these distilleries.

Black Band Distillery, Peoria*

The distillery houses a farm-to-table restaurant known for its seasonal menu and four kinds of Manhattans: Classic, Perfect, Black and Ginger. 

KOVAL, Ravenswood, Chicago*

Chicago’s first distillery to open since the mid-1800s, Koval creates a Barrel-Aged Manhattan and offers whiskey flights in their tasting room. 

Whiskey Acres Distilling Company, DeKalb*

Corn grown on the fifth-generation farm helps create their Manhattan made with Straight Rye Whiskey that’s aged at least three years.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Illinois knows pumpkins and holds its own when it comes to pumpkin world records: the most grown and the Pumpkin Capital, which is in Morton (10 miles southeast of Peoria). Here, the town’s Nestlé/Libby’s plant packs 85 percent of the world’s canned pumpkins. Kick off the PSL season at one of these destinations.

Eli’s Coffee Shop, Morton

The fall menu shines with fruity flavors like the traditional Pumpkin Spice Latte. Indulge even more with local honey, cinnamon and a dollop of whipped cream for the Pumpkin Pie Miel.

Velvet Robot Coffee Lab, Rockford

This diverse coffee shop goes all out for pumpkins during the spooky season with pumpkin cold-brew beverages like the pumpkin mocha, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cold foam and for adults only, the drunken pumpkin.

Tea

In 1890, one of America’s first tearooms opened at Marshall Field and Company, a department store in downtown Chicago. Today, afternoon tea traditions continue in Chicago—mostly in tearooms and upscale hotels. Allow at least 90 minutes to sip, relax and indulge in the pastries, cookies, tarts and small sandwiches, but some establishments reserve two to three hours. Book a teatime today!

The Allis, Soho House Chicago, West Loop

The afternoon tea service (Fridays and Saturdays) takes it up a notch with champagne, house-made goodies and savory apps. 

Russian Tea Time, The Loop

The all-day menu includes scones, tea sandwiches and mini sweets in addition to a pot of tea; elevate the service with a bottle of champagne.

American Girl Doll Store, Magnificent Mile 

Children can choose a pot of tea or pink lemonade, and adults sip champagne while everyone munches on sweet treats like chocolate mousse and savory sandwiches.

 

*An Illinois Made business, which celebrates small businesses whose uniquely Illinoisan style and creativity set our locally made goods apart.
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