Beyond Pumpkin Spice: International Autumnal Beverages From Around the World3 min read
Did you know that Starbucks’ most popular seasonal beverage, the pumpkin spice latte (or PSL for those in the know) has been around since 2003? With more pumpkin spice-flavored foods and beverages added each year, the endless press of the PSL does not seem to be going away.
But as we approach the twentieth year of PSL popularity, you might find the drink a little bit … tired. OR you might still love the PSL, but want to add more fall drinks to your repertoire. Either way, we’ve found some fall beverages from other countries that could also give you a similar pick-me-up. Seek these out while on your travels this month, or look for a recipe to make your own version at home.
Maple Latte (Canada)
In Canada, you can find maple beverages of every type—the maple spout, maple hot toddies and maple old fashioned, to name a few. But if you are looking for a fall drink with a caffeine boost, you can’t go wrong with a maple latte.
Maple lattes can be found in many coffee shops in the U.S. or can be made fairly easily if you have the key ingredients: your preferred milk and maple-flavored syrup. But to get a more authentic flavor, we recommend combining espresso and foamed milk with 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup from Canada.
The key to a good autumnal drink is the spicing, and horchata is perfectly spiced for fall. It’s a name for many drinks that feature water-soaked rice flavored with cinnamon, almonds, tiger nuts or a little sugar. A drink that has evolved into many recipes in different Latin American countries, horchata can also include coconut milk or cardamom.
As a cold drink with fall flavor, horchata is a great option for the warmer days of early fall. In fact, National Horchata Day, a U.S.-based day meant to raise awareness of the beverage, is held on September 24th.
Mulled Cider (UK)
While Americans typically associate apple cider with fall, in Britain, mulled cider drinking begins in the fall and carries on through the winter. With a history that dates back to the Middle Ages, the cider is slowly warmed with spices like cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, star anise and vanilla.
Because mulled cider recipes are varied, they can be made or ordered in many ways. Mulled cider is often thought of as a lower-alcohol alternative to its winter companion, mulled wine.
Qishr is a subtle, sweet hot drink that includes ginger, sugar and cardamom. Traditionally, qishr is made from the coffee bean shell or husk, rather than ground beans. This produces a less intense, less caffeinated flavor—closer to that of tea, where an infusion of ginger provides the kick instead.
In Western cultures, qishr is often made with traditional coffee grounds and is known as ginger coffee or spiced ginger coffee. Most recipes you’ll find online will include coffee, but aim to recreate the zesty, sweet flavor profile of qishr.
Sweet Potato Latte (South Korea)
Also known as a Goguma latte, this is a common drink in South Korea. Similar to a pumpkin spice latte, a sweet potato latte has a pumpkin-like taste, but without the spice. The flavor is described as a bit earthier than a PSL.
Don’t be fooled by the word latte, either. A typical sweet potato latte does not contain coffee. Made from cooked sweet potato, milk and a bit of sugar, the drink can be enjoyed at any time of day, even at bedtime! Find a recipe online or search for it in your local Koreatown.