7 Fall-Themed Drinks That Aren’t a Pumpkin Spice Latte

7 Fall Themed Drinks That Arent PSL

Don’t get me wrong here; I love pumpkin pie spice as much as the next guy in line at Starbucks, but, after a solid 5+ years of pumpkin-flavored mania, I’m just not that excited to see PSL make its annual resurgence on the first of September anymore. I crave new flavors or, better yet, healthier versions of familiar fall standbys that I can feel good about drinking every day until egg nog, gingerbread, and cookie-everything for that matter pushes pumpkin to the back burner.

For all of you die-hard PSL devotees, we got you. This DIY version is way healthier than ones you spend $4+ on in coffee shops. But, I implore you to add some spice to your fall beverage lineup with one of these other options.

COFFEE

Dirty Masala Chai

7 Fall-Themed Drinks That Aren't PSL

You may be familiar with the homogenized version of a chai tea latte: heavy on the sweet, light on the spice, and topped with plenty of frothed milk. We prefer to brew closer to the drink’s masala chai (“spiced tea”) roots, which emphasizes spices, such as black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, fennel, and ginger, and black tea steeped in milk. A teaspoon of honey mellows the spices without hiding them, and a combo of water and almond (or coconut) milk add a bit of creaminess without a ton of extra calories. Pay attention, though, because this is where it gets good. Bring the thunder to that cup of delicate chai by dumping in a shot (or two) of espresso. Doing so makes Monday morning bearable.

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Dirty Masala Chai

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1 serving

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk (or unsweetened coconut milk)
  • 2 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or 1 dash ground cinnamon)
  • 1 dash ground cardamom
  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 dash ground fennel
  • 1 bag chai tea
  • 1 shot espresso coffee , brewed
  • 1 tsp . raw honey

Instructions

  1. Heat water and almond milk in small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Just before water mixture boils, add ginger, cinnamon stick, cardamom, pepper, and fennel. Remove from heat once mixture comes to a boil.
  3. Add tea bag; allow to steep for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove tea bag, cinnamon stick, and ginger.
  5. Pour into a mug. Add espresso and honey; mix well.
  6. Serve immediately.

7 Fall Themed Drinks That Arent PSL

Salted Caramel Cold-Brew Coffee

7 Fall-Themed Drinks That Aren't PSL

Do you really need convincing with this one? It’s a version of salted caramel that you can drink in the morning. Get into it, people. If you’re not a coffee person, that’s OK; we’ve got caramel love for you, too. Just replace the coffee in the recipe below with one cup of tea (cooled) made from any apple-flavored tea of your choice. Caramel apple, anybody? Mind. Blown.

Salted Caramel Cold-Brew Coffee

(Makes 1 serving)

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None

Ingredients:
1 cup cold brewed coffee, cold
1 tsp. pure caramel extract
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
1 pinch sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
1 cup ice

Preparation:
1. Place coffee, extracts, maple syrup, almond milk, salt, and ice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth.
2. Serve immediately.

7 Fall Themed Drinks That Arent PSL

Candy Cane Cocoa Latte

7 Fall-Themed Drinks That Aren't PSL

OK, this one could be borderline Christmas time for some, but I’m not here to argue semantics. I’m here to present you with tasty beverages you won’t regret sipping, and this one most definitely falls into this category.

Depending on the milk you get, a tall/regular latte will cost you more than 200 calories (calculated with nonfat milk, people) and, if you like it flavored, those pumps of syrup can add 40 grams of sugar or more to that drink (nutrition data for a Starbucks tall peppermint mocha latte). We’re wading into cheat/treat territory now, so let this info sink in if you down one of these puppies every day. Don’t worry; you can have your latte and drink it, too — every day if you want — if you skip the overpriced coffee shop and make our version at home.

Candy Cane Cocoa Latte

(Makes 1 serving)

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: 5 min.

Ingredients:
½ cup low-fat (1%) milk
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. raw honey (optional)
1 cup black coffee, brewed (or 1 shot espresso)
¼ tsp. pure peppermint extract
1 fresh mint leaf (for garnish; optional)

Preparation:
1. Bring milk, cocoa powder, and honey (if desired) to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking to blend.
2. Remove from heat once mixture comes to a boil. Whisk vigorously until frothy.
3. Pour coffee into a large mug. Top with milk mixture and extract; mix to blend. Garnish with mint leaf if desired.
4. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 112
Total Fat: 2 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 5 mg
Sodium: 76 mg
Carbohydrates: 16 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sugars: 3 g
Protein: 7 g

P90X/P90X2 Portions
½ Dairy
½ Single Serving Snack

P90X3 Portions
1 Carb
½ Protein

Body Beast Portions
½ Starch
½ Protein Liquid

Portion Fix Containers
1 Yellow
½ tsp.

 

TEA

Lower-Sugar Apple Cider

7 Fall Themed Drinks That Arent PSL

OK, we know what you’re thinking: “Apple cider is full of sugar. There’s no way to lower the sugar because, you know, apple juice.” First, you’re right, smarty. Second, please allow me to introduce you to flavored herbal teas, your new sugar-free, fat-free, sodium-fee, calorie-free, carb-free BFF. Full disclosure: These teas do not taste exactly like the real thing it’s trying to emulate because only the real thing tastes like the real thing. But, they give you the essence of what you’re craving, and, with a little doctoring, these teas can even make drinking real apple cider seem too cloying.

Lower-Sugar Apple Cider

(Makes 1 serving)

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: 5 min.

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 bag apple cider tea (or apple-flavored herbal tea)
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp. raw honey

Preparation:
1. Bring water to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat.
2. Add tea bag and cinnamon stick; allow to steep for 2 minutes.
3. Remove tea bag and cinnamon stick.
4. Pour into a mug. Add honey; mix well.
5. Serve immediately.

Contains 20 calories, 7 mg sodium, 6 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams sugar. Portion-fix: free.

Ginger, Lemon, and Honey Tea

7 Fall-Themed Drinks That Aren't PSL

Not only is this tea a delicate balance of a little sweet, sour, and spicy, but it is also a comforting elixir to sip when you have a sore throat. Admittedly, this combo seems more suitable for a holistic roundup, but don’t knock it ‘till you try it. There’s something wonderfully warming about how honey tames the sharpness of fresh slices of ginger and subdues the acidity of the lemon.

Ginger, Lemon, and Honey Tea

(Makes 1 serving)

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: 5 min.

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 slice fresh ginger
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (juice from ¼ medium lemon)
1 tsp. raw honey

Preparation:
1. Heat water in small saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Just before water boils, add ginger. Remove from heat once water comes to a boil.
3. Add lemon juice and honey; allow to steep for 2 minutes.
4. Remove ginger.
5. Pour into a mug; serve immediately.

Contains 24 calories, 7 mg sodium, 7 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams sugar. Portion-fix: free.

British Ginger, Lemon, and Honey Tea

7 Fall-Themed Drinks That Aren't PSL

OK, we get it; some of you need your caffeine in the morning (and afternoon, and… ). No worries. You can still partake in the harmonious trinity of ginger-honey-lemon; just spike it with black tea.

British Ginger, Lemon, and Honey Tea

(Makes 1 serving)

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: 5 min.

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 slice fresh ginger
1 bag Earl Grey tea
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice (juice from ¼ medium lemon)
1 tsp. raw honey

Preparation:
1. Heat water in small saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Just before water boils, add ginger. Remove from heat once water comes to a boil.
3. Add tea bag, lemon juice, and honey; allow to steep for 2 minutes.
4. Remove ginger and tea bag.
5. Pour into a mug; serve immediately.

Contains 24 calories, 7 mg sodium, 7 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams sugar. Portion-fix: free.

HOT COCOA

Tahini Hot Cocoa

7 Fall-Themed Drinks That Aren't PSL

If you love the classic culinary union of chocolate and peanut butter, give this sophisticated and slightly exotic spin on hot cocoa a try. It might sound a little weird, but tahini (spreadable sesame paste) adds a nutty richness to an otherwise ordinary mug of warm cocoa. Add a pinch of sea salt, if desired, to accentuate the sweet and savory flavors even more.

Tahini Hot Cocoa

(Makes 1 serving)

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cooking Time: 5 min.

Ingredients:
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage (or unsweetened almond milk)
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. tahini paste
½ tsp. raw honey

Preparation:
1. Bring coconut milk, cocoa powder, tahini, and honey (if desired) to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking frequently.
2. Pour into a large mug; serve immediately.

7 Fall Themed Drinks That Arent PSL