Labor Day is in the rearview, but let’s be real: We still have a lot of hot weather to endure before fall sets in, with its crisp air and crunchy leaves and flannel shirts and cozy nights on the couch under a blanket your grandma crocheted. Basically, it’s going to be at least a month before we’re in the mood for hot bevs with warm fall flavors. In the meantime, we’ll be reaching for these refreshing (but still distinctly fall-like) beverages to bridge the gap between summer and fall.
- Dr. Brown’s Draft Style Root Beer
Root beer’s warm, earthy flavors—vanilla, nutmeg, sarsparilla root, etc.—are pure fall, but an ice cold bottle of this carbonated bev is still refreshing as all get out. It’s something you can sip in the hot summer sun just as well as during your annual pilgrimage to the local apple orchard. And Dr. Brown’s root beer is the way to go. According to Spored editor-in-chief Justine Sterling, it has “an added layer of spice and intrigue” that makes it better than pretty much every other root beer on the market. “There’s this celery seed earthiness that just keeps you coming back sip after sip.” Pour a can of this over a scoop of vanilla ice cream when that last heatwave of the year strikes.
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- Great Value Lemon & Ginger Tea
Citrus and ginger are a perfect combination of summery flavors. When it’s squarely summertime and I’m chilling by the pool in the beating hot sun, I’m probably going to reach for a chilled can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale Lemonade (our favorite Canada Dry offering) to get my citrus-ginger fix. But when the weather just starts to cool down enough that tea seems like the perfect early morning or late night beverage, Great Value Lemon & Ginger tea really hits the spot. “This is a tea that is gingery enough for a ginger lover and mild enough for people who can’t handle a ton of spice,” according to Sporked senior writer Jordan Myrick. It can also be served hot or iced, which makes it a totally ideal drink to bridge the gap between the heat of summer and and the crispness of fall.
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- Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider
I’m kind of a cider snob. If I’m having hot apple cider, I want it to be served to me in a little styrofoam cup at the nearest apple orchard. But, if it’s still to sweaty out for hot cider and a heap of hot, oily apple cider doughnuts, Martinelli’s sparkling cider is just the thing. It has a big, rich apple flavor, but the fizz makes it highly refreshing. Plus, you can drink it out of a champagne flute when you’re feeling fancy on a random, hot October evening. (If you live in Southern California like we do, I’m sorry to say you have a lot of hot October evenings in your future.)
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- ACE Pineapple Craft Cider
Hard apple cider just screams corn maze to me—it adds an extra layer of fun and chaos to finding your way because, let’s be honest, most corn mazes aren’t that hard to navigate for the average adult. But if you’re a little tipsy…different story! This ACE Pineapple hard cider is corn maze ready. It’s distinctly fall-like, but it has big, tropical, summertime flavors that are insanely refreshing on a hot day at the pumpkin patch. We’ve all spent a way-too-hot day at the pumpkin patch, right?
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- Bud Light Seltzer Cranberry
The pumpkin spice latte is to fall what hard seltzer is to summer—there I said it. A big ol’ beverage truth bomb. Anyway, once Labor Day has passed us by, it’s still hard seltzer weather, but it’s also the perfect time to start easing into fall flavors. Bud Light’s cranberry flavored-seltzer is the perfect drink for these in-between times. Justine noted that the cranberry flavor is a little muted, but if you zsush it up with a splash of Ocean Spray cranberry juice cocktail (aka the best cranberry juice), you’re basically a scarecrow.
Read the full ranking of the best Bud Light seltzer flavors