There’s lots to love about fall. Walking outside to the crisp, cool air; the changing leaves of orange, red and yellow; and of course, our favorite cool weather drinks are now back in season. Mulled wines and ciders, hot toddy’s and anything with the words “pumpkin spice” attached to it. I’m warming up just thinking about them! Of course, coffee, wine, cider and whiskey are some of the most common drinks that come to mind, and there are plenty of places in Virginia that serve up their own homemade concoctions. Check out some of these spots that are going to do the trick.
Artfully Chocolate in Alexandria isn’t just a place to grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Part art gallery, part chocolatier and part cocoa bar, this place is an experience. Artfully Chocolate opened in 2007 as the area’s first cocoa bar, where it has become a haven for the hot cocoa connoisseur. They’ve named their hot drinks after various divas and starlets, adding an interesting twist to your visit. Some of their most popular include “The Lucy” (after Lucille Ball), which infuses chipotle pepper with semi-sweet chocolate. Others include the Marilyn Monroe: made with creamy white chocolate and a twist of mint; finished with whipped cream and crumbled Oreo cookies. Or there’s the classic Doris Day: a blend of semi-sweet and milk chocolate, topped with marshmallows. The kids may not have a clue who Rita Hayworth or Grace Kelly is, but they will soon after! You just may have to show your age a little…
Elliot’s Fair Grounds News & Coffee is Norfolk’s oldest independent coffee shop. Serving up 10 organic and fair trade brews to choose from, the coffee shop offers a relaxing environment to savor the sips of the season, including their specialty drinks and teas. Enjoy a crisp, cool evening at Elliot’s, enjoying an open mic night and any of their delicious drinks. It’s specialty may be doughnuts and other tasty treats, but
Blackbird Bakery in Bristol also serves up some delicious, exclusive blends straight from Dark Hollow Micro Roasters in Sugar Grove. The bakery offers four different blends, including a decaffeinated one for those who don’t need the extra kick. Blackbird’s coffees are organic and fair-trade, and offers all-natural, hormone free creamers and alternative milks. Enjoy the wifi and free refills, and spend a few hours enjoying the bakery’s toasty atmosphere.
Mill Mountain Coffee & Tea opened its doors in Roanoke, more than 20 years ago and has since opened four additional stores in SW Roanoke, Salem, Daleville and Richmond. Mill Mountain offers more than two-dozen coffees of origin and mixes their own flavor coffee oils to create brews like vanilla bean and seasonal favorites, such as pumpkin spice and more than a dozen other flavors. You’re sure to find something you’ll love! In addition to their sensational coffees, Mill Mountain has five different variations of tea, with several different flavors under each type; such as jasmine green tea, chai yerba mate and more than a dozen flavored teas. Enjoy Mill Mountain at any of their locations and make sure you grab a bag to brew at home. All of its coffees are brewed locally and can be shipped worldwide.
Wisteria Farm & Vineyard in Stanley will be getting into the season soon– serving up warm mulled wine by the fire every weekend from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
Restaurant Eve has been nationally recognized for their mulled wine recipe, which comes infused with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. Their twist? Pour in a touch of warm brandy to warm the soul.
White Oak Mountain Meadery in Chatham produces the perfect mead wine for a cool night– its Cinnamon Cyser. This concoction is half cider, half honey, then aged with cinnamon. Warm it up and you’ve got yourself a cool-weather drink.
The Boathouse at Rocketts Landing in Richmond features five signature autumn cocktails, including the famous Hot Toddy, mixed with Maker’s 46, local honey, green tea and lemon. Their Cinnamon Apple Caramel will put some hair on your chest, mixed up with Fireball, Apple Pucker, pear puree, cranberry juice, caramel swirl and rim. Their other cool weather creations? The Spiced Cranberry and Kentucky Cider, made with their house-made cider syrup.
L’Auberge Provencale Bed & Breakfast, tucked away in the Shenandoah Valley, has been internationally recognized as one of the 7 Irresistible Country Retreats in the World. Its restaurant, La Table Provencale, bodes just as well. The French restaurant serves up some of Virginia’s best wines, as well as various liquors.
Copper Fox Distillery‘s Wasmunds single malt whiskey is one of the most popular. Retire from a day outside and sip on the spirit– it’ll definitely warm the bones!
Catoctin Creek Distilling Company in Purcellville will serve up a slew of concoctions from their own homemade whiskey. How about the Nutella Whiskey Dream? Its name didn’t come from nothin’! Listen to this: hot milk, Catoctin Creek Roundstone rye, Nutella and freshly whipped cream spiked with Frangelico liqueur. Drink up!
There’s more than 300 wineries, cideries, distilleries and breweries throughout Virginia. And not to mention the hundreds and hundreds of coffee houses, serving up your favorite brews and hot cocoa! Make a day of it and spend some time sipping next to an open fire. Or how about on a front porch, basking in the sun and taking in the cool air? Take advantage of this time of year and enjoy the tastes of the season. Before you know it, they’ll be gone!