The leaves are turning red and gold and the woolly jumpers have been brought down from the loft. That can only mean one thing…it’s time to pick yourself up a pumpkin latte and get that apple pie out of the oven, because it’s autumn again!
Autumn might not be everyone’s favourite time of year, but there are a lot of ways to make it one of the best seasons in the calendar. It’s not warm – but you can get cosy. It’s not summer – but it’s almost time to get excited for Christmas. There’s a lot to look back on over the past year, but there’s still a lot to look forward to. It’s easy to blink and miss this special season, so make the most of it this year with some of our recipes and tips to help make your pre-winter months some of the best you’ve ever had.
If you’re dreading the colder months, sometimes the best way to embrace autumn is to give summer a proper sendoff. And what better way to do that than to invite family and friends over for one last party?
Check the weather forecast and roll out the barbecue for one final round of burgers and bangers. Get the garden games out, and pour some refreshing cocktails. (See below for some great autumnal drinks recipes.) Don’t forget to give that BBQ a good clean before it goes back in the garage again.
If you’re feeling productive, now’s the perfect time to give your garden some much-needed TLC. Prune those trees and hedges, mow the lawn one last time and plant an array of brightly-coloured bulbs ready for next spring. See, autumn’s not so bad!
Change-up your drinks cabinet with a few autumn-themed specialities perfect for crisp days and chilly evenings.
Sloe Gin Sipper
The warming taste of sloe gin is perfect on a cool evening. Paired with spicy ginger, it’s divine.
30ml sloe gin
50ml orange juice
Fiery ginger beer
Add the sloe gin to a chunky tumbler, over a couple of ice cubes. Pour in the orange juice and top up with ginger beer. Shake in some bitters and stir. Add a twist of orange peel, if you like.
Sugar and bubbles – perfect for an autumn brunch.
25ml creme de cassis
Dash violet liqueur
To a champagne flute, add 25ml creme de cassis and your hibiscus flower. Top up with prosecco straight from the wine cooler, then add your dash of violet liqueur.
Too cold for fizz and cocktails? Treat yourself to an early festive treat – mulled cider is for life, not just for Christmas.
2 litres cider – try scrumpy styles, like Old Rosie
3-4 star anise
¼ tsp dried nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod , halved, or dash of vanilla essence
50ml orange juice
4–5 tablespoons sugar – try demerara or golden caster
Add your cider to a pan, and warm through on the hob. Add all other ingredients and raise to a boil before turning it straight back down to a low simmer. You don’t want to heat it up for too long, or you’ll evaporate all the alcohol out of it. Pour into mugs or serving glasses, and add a tot of apple brandy if you like. We won’t tell.
Autumn is the season for huddling under blankets, reading a good book and getting stuck into a new box set. Don’t wait until halloween to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Start now and you’ll soon become a convert to this changeable time of year.
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Until next time…