Next to the brilliant colors of changing leaves, my favorite part of fall is the return of apples to the trees and apple drinks to store shelves. There’s something about the crisp, sweet yet tart taste of apples that somehow combines the chill of fall with the beauty of the season. Plus, when the apple flavors are mixed with the warmth of cinnamon or caramel, it almost provides a comforting blanket as the heat of summer fades and the cool breezes return.
My fall often includes a cup of Starbucks’ Caramel Apple Spice (even though it’s available year round). It’s like a warm cup of transition in my hands — sweet and soothing with nods to the summer sun, the fall fruits, and the impending winter chill.
Other new apple-themed drinks also are hitting the shelves just in time for fall. Dunkin’ Donuts brought back hot and iced apple cider to its seasonal autumn menu to complement its other seasonal coffee, doughnut and pastry options. Similarly, Caribou Coffee brought back its Wild Caramel Apple drink for the season. The hot coffee beverage offers a twist on the brand’s traditional white caramel mocha by adding caramel apple syrup. In the alcohol beverage category, MillerCoors subsidiary Tenth and Blake’s Blue Moon brand released its Caramel Apple Spiced Ale, a blend of apple juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and caramel malts, as part of its autumn sampler pack. Although designed for year-round consumption, Anheuser-Busch, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, also added to the apple-themed drinks this year with a new line of hard cider, Michelob Ultra Light Cider, which is naturally sweetened, gluten free and contains 120 calories in each serving.
During this time of apple harvest, it’s nice to know that the apple does fall a little bit farther from the tree — and right into my drink.