Today, StyleBlueprint welcomes the voices of Kelly & Meg of the Peachtree Roadies, the local gal pals committed to balancing fitness pursuits with playful partying. Toast along with them as they sip the latest and greatest fall cocktails available throughout Atlanta’s eclectic, incredible foodie scene. Ladies?

Everything the light touches is pumpkin spice’s kingdom, and while we hate to be haters we are … well … over it. Turns out you can have too much of a good thing (not counting Beyoncé, of course), and we are prepared to lead the anti-pumpkin spice revolution one cocktail at a time. What can we say, we love a good cause! Our noble mission uncovered five must-try fall cocktails (sans pumpkin) in Atlanta. But don’t take our word for it – we let the drink designers speak for themselves. Do us a favor and let us — and your fellow StyleBlueprint readers — know what drinks we need to add to the list. Happy hour awaits! Pumpkin spice need not apply!

The sap rises to the occasion for this Better Half fall cocktail of rum, lemon and smoked maple.

The sap rises to the occasion for this Better Half fall cocktail of rum, lemon and smoked maple.

PROPRIETOR: BETTER HALF

Cocktail: Spanish rum, lemon, smoked maple cocktail

Spanish rum from the Canary Islands, lemon juice seeped with Madagascar vanilla and smoked maple

All fall cocktails are not created equal, and we experienced this firsthand at Better Half. Using a smoking gun, cocktail master Zach Meloy showed us the art of hand-smoking maple to create his take on a Lynchburg Lemonade recipe. The smoked maple, lemonade concoction is served batch-style at the restaurant, reminiscent of serving punch at a dinner party. While you won’t see the smoking routine done behind the bar, this cocktail is the perfect nod to the end of summer.

“I’m always trying to connect with others through food and drink and this cocktail is all about smoky warmth and celebrating the end of summer.” –Zach Meloy, Chef and Owner, Better Half

“I’m always trying to connect with others through food and drink, and this cocktail is all about smoky warmth and celebrating the end of summer.” –Zach Meloy, chef and owner, Better Half

PROPRIETOR: ECCO

Cocktail: La Emilia Mela

Autumnal-infused Highwest silver oat whiskey, Saba, cognac and a cameo by the green fairy (absinthe) 

The standout for this cocktail is the house-infused white whiskey. We aren’t huge drinkers of the brown stuff, but white whiskey? Well, that’s another story! The beverage manager at Ecco infuses the whiskey with fresh juice from locally sourced apples, cinnamon sticks and allspice. The Saba (a syrup made from freshly squeezed grape juice) and velvety cognac add complexity to the drink, while a couple of spritzes of absinthe add a little mirth. Served in a martini glass and garnished with a dehydrated apple slice, and you’ve just stepped into fall, my friends.

“When I started brainstorming for our fall cocktail menu, I was inspired to create a drink that would be perfect for prepping a Thanksgiving Feast. The La Emilia Mela is just that – fall in a glass.” -- Andrea Mastalski, Beverage Manager, Ecco

“When I started brainstorming for our fall cocktail menu, I was inspired to create a drink that would be perfect for prepping a Thanksgiving feast. The La Emilia Mela is just that: fall in a glass.” — Andrea Mastalski, beverage manager, Ecco

PROPRIETOR: LUSCA

Cocktail: Trubador

Tequila, campari, punt e mes and lime juice

For us, fall signals getting back to the earth … the green grass fades away and showers of leaves fall from above. In that spirit, we found the perfect earthy, fall cocktail over at Lusca, reminding us that tequila is not just for margaritas and bachelorette party shots. The punt e mes (an Italian vermouth) is one of the more bitter vermouths on the market, which pairs particularly well with the earthy notes in tequila to create balance in the cocktail. The Trubador sips smoothly, and the dark flavor builds with each taste.

The Trubador sips smoothly and the dark flavor builds with each taste.

The Trubador sips smoothly, and the dark flavor builds with each taste.

“The Trubador pairs well with the braised octopus (a house specialty) and celebrates the last of nights spent on the patio with friends.” – Stuart White, General Manager, Lusca

“The Trubador pairs well with the braised octopus (a house specialty) and celebrates the last of nights spent on the patio with friends.” – Stuart White, general manager, Lusca

PROPRIETOR: ORPHEUS BREWING

Cocktail: Sykophantes

Earthy and full of dark, fruit flavor from hundreds of pounds of figs and dark candy syrup, but with a sourness that cuts the gentle sweetness

When we think of the perfect fall beer, our minds go straight to pumpkin. The gentlemen at Orpheus Brewing are making us re-think our fall beers with their latest autumnal brew, Sykophantes. In ancient Greece, “showing the fig” was a vulgar hand gesture. Ironically, Sykophantes means “one who shows the fig,” a very fitting name for a fall beer made from dried, organic, black mission figs. This beer may be part of their current sour rotation, but the sweet candy syrup and fruity figs add a sweetness that will make this your everyday fall beer favorite.

“Sykophantes pairs perfectly with rich, spiced foods like a Moroccan tagine or Hungarian goulash on a cool fall night.” –Jason Pellett, Founder and Brewmaster, Orpheus Brewing

“Sykophantes pairs perfectly with rich, spiced foods, like a Moroccan tagine or Hungarian goulash, on a cool fall night.” –Jason Pellett, founder and brewmaster, Orpheus Brewing

PROPRIETOR: SEVEN LAMPS

Cocktail: Rosemary’s Daughter

Rosemary-infused vodka, spiced apple syrup, lemon, angostura (aromatic bitter bark from South American trees) with a splash of black pepper on top

Have you ever noticed that no matter what time of year it is, everyone likes a margarita? The same holds true in this Seven Lamps apple treat, named after a seriously disturbing case of Mia Farrow’s baby being offered as human sacrifice. Balanced by the earthy rosemary backdrop that complements the honeyed bite, this cocktail is perfect for an evening patio date, complete with plaid-blanket scarf. Luckily, the angostura adds a unique bite to keep it from being overly sweet or girly, so it’s perfect for you and your date.

This Seven Lamps cocktail, Rosemary's Daughter, is scary good.

This Seven Lamps cocktail, Rosemary’s Daughter, is scary-good.

Well, now we’re significantly thirsty … or at least parched. That clock “fell back,” and shorter days mean longer cocktail hours, right? We give our hearty thanks to the Peachtree Roadies for tackling this assignment. The research must have been brutal! 

The Peachtree Roadies, Kelly O'Neill and Meg Daws.

Peachtree Roadies‘ Kelly O’Neill and Meg Daws.

Peachtree Roadies is a blog focused on the lives of two friends, Kelly O’Neill and Meg Daws, living off the beaten Peachtree path in Atlanta. They share experiences trying (and often failing) at getting fit,walking the line of socially-acceptable afternoon drinking, obsessing over their two street rat dogs and documenting their numerous Pinterest fails. Meg and Kelly believe in the power of travel, a good mimosa and a great group of friends.

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