Glassware Essentials for Your Favorite Fall Cocktails, According to Jennifer Croll

The writer and cocktail book author shares her go-to fall drinks to sip this season and the glassware to pair them with.

Design by Chineme Elobuike for Thrillist
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Fall’s arrival opens the door (kitchen?) to recipes with ingredients that are equal parts refreshing and cozy. Not only does this apply to food, but it also translates to what you’re drinking. Beyond apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes, there’s an extensive list of delicious cocktails to celebrate the special moments this season brings. In order to unleash the expert home bartender that exists within you, though, you not only need to hone your cocktail-making skills, but you’ll also want to have the right glasses on hand to serve them properly.

To help you pair your recipes with the right drinking vessels, we reached out to Jennifer Croll, writer and author of cocktail recipe books like Art Boozel and Free the Tipple, to chat about her favorite fall cocktails, the best glasses to serve them in, and her Yayoi Kusama-inspired recipe from her latest book.

Thrillist: What does your glassware collection look like?
Croll: Because I make a lot of cocktails at home for the books I write, I have a varied collection that I’ve picked up from all over the place. Some of them are glasses from specialty cocktail equipment shops, some people have given me as gifts, some are from sidewalk sales. You can get some interesting vintage stuff that way.

What’s your go-to fall cocktail and what glass do you use for it?
My go-to cocktail, regardless of season, is a mezcal margarita on the rocks—bright and refreshing for the summer, but that smoky mezcal can transcend the seasons. You’ll want it in a rocks glass, on a nice big clear cube of ice. For something with a warmer flavor profile you could try a mezcal sour with a bit of amaro.

Can you share a set of glassware that you splurged on or would splurge on? Why do you think it’s worth the investment?
I haven’t really splurged per se, since you can get a lot of nice cocktail glassware pretty affordably. I like the Potion House collection that Cocktail Emporium has created—a person could create a really well-rounded and pretty collection of glassware just with that.

What type of glassware would you use for creamy cocktails and why?
Not all creamy cocktails are created equal, and the glassware you choose is going to depend more on the specific cocktail than on the cream. If you want a White Russian on the rocks, it’ll be best in a rocks glass. A dessert drink like a Brandy Alexander (which you can find in Free the Tipple, dedicated to Mary Tyler Moore) is served straight-up and best in a coupe or a cocktail glass. You’ll serve a Ramos Gin Fizz in a highball glass so the foam can get nice and tall.

For warm cocktails, which glassware would you recommend and why?
For me, a drink like a hot toddy is something to take on a cool fall or winter walk with a friend, and if you’re venturing into the great outdoors for a walktail, there’s no reason to be a snob about glassware: use an insulated mug. I really like the Carter Everywhere mug from Fellow.

If you were going to gift someone a set of glassware, what would you choose and why?
Tom Dixon has a really cool set of copper-accented glassware inspired by scientific equipment which would be perfect for a stylish pal keen to start experimenting with cocktails.

Design by Chineme Elobuike for Thrillist

Can you share a fall cocktail recipe you’re looking forward to indulging in this season?
The drink I’ve dedicated to Yayoi Kusama in my book Art Boozel includes everyone’s love/hate fall flavor, pumpkin, in a stylish little sour. I’m looking forward to it as a dessert drink to cap off Thanksgiving dinner.

THE YAYOI KUSAMA

  • 45 ml gin
  • 30 ml pumpkin purée
  • 30 ml fresh lime juice
  • 15 ml ginger liqueur
  • 15 ml agave syrup
  • 1 dash Fee Brothers grapefruit bitters
  • 1 Cape gooseberry, for garnish

Step 1: Combine the gin, pumpkin purée, lime juice, ginger liqueur, syrup, and bitters in a shaker filled with ice and shake until chilled.

Step 2: Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.

Step 3: Garnish with a Cape gooseberry.

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