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Flavor your fall with these drinks
Gainesville coffee shops, bars stepping up for the season
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Midland Station Coffee Co.'s campfire latte, pictured on Wednesday, is a mix of mocha chocolate and toasted marshmallow flavoring for a distinctly autumnal cup of coffee. - photo by Nick Bowman

Seasons have changed and so should your beverages, so here’s a list of drinks to keep you warm on cold nights — or at least make you think you’re warm.

But first things first: Don’t get stuck in the Starbucks rut with an order as long as your arm — hold the venti half-caff skinny dirty dry pumpkin spiced latte with almond milk, please.

Instead, look around for some local options. Gainesville, Hall County and North Georgia are full of coffee shops, restaurants, breweries, distilleries and other businesses that are pumping out a range of fall treats.

Inman Perk on Washington Street is selling hot apple cider this season, and if you have to have your pumpkin spice kick, they have something a little different: a pumpkin spice hot chai tea.

Midland Station Coffee Co. is serving up a campfire latte, a combination of mocha chocolate and toasted marshmallow flavors on top of the standard steamed milk and espresso. It’s been one of the company’s best-sellers this fall.

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If you’re looking to go way, way north for your fall cup of joe, White Birch Provisions in Clayton has what could be the best (there is no avoiding it) pumpkin spiced latte in North Georgia — no surprise for what is becoming a famously epicurean town in the region.

The cafe makes their own pumpkin spice using a pumpkin puree and spices. Syrup doesn’t enter into the equation, and barista Lisa Prickett said that means the latte doesn’t end up being overly sweet.

“Our customers say it’s like having pumpkin pie in a cup,” Prickett said.

If you’re looking for something a little colder, we’ve got that covered too.

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Water drips from the edge of a pumpkin mule on Wednesday at Recess Southern Gastro Pub. Sometimes warming up during the cool fall season isn't about temperature, and Recess and other restaurants downtown have come up with their fall favorites on beverage menus this year. - photo by Nick Bowman

Southern Recess Gastro Pub is slinging pumpkin mules behind the bar this fall. Sporting an orange wedge on the lip of the classic copper cup, a pumpkin mule includes Crop Organic pumpkin vodka, orange liqueur and ginger beer.

The mule and the harvest martini -- a similar drink based on pumpkin vodka, vanilla whiskey and Bailey’s -- are part of the restaurant’s effort to freshen up their bar offerings, said bartender and manager Erica de Juan.

Over at Left Nut Brewing Co., Pap Datta and his crew have come up with a couple of small-batch seasonal beers: Rosemary’s Baby and No Pumpkins Were Harmed.

Rosemary’s Baby, named for the famous horror flick, is a rosemary-infused IPA, and the pumpkin beer is an ale brewed with pumpkin spices. They’re both the creations of Rick Foote, who heads up the recipe crafting at the brewery.

Normally an IPA and pilsner man, Downtown Drafts co-owner Nick Hoecker said he starts dipping into the porters, stouts and strong Belgian beers around this time of year. His menu at the growler bar is updating to reflect that, and this weekend the bar is offering a couple of specials, both of them dark pumpkin beers from Cherry Street Brewing and Southern Tier Brewing Co.
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Downtown Drafts Halloween decorations hang on the bar on Wednesday. The growler bar is jumping into the holiday with both feet and will have two types of pumpkin beer specials beginning Friday, with Halloween events over the weekend. - photo by Nick Bowman
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