Try these simple pumpkin spice cocktail recipes.
To be honest, I am more than a little skeptical when it comes to the pumpkin spice craze. From coffee to muffins to ice cream, it seems like everything comes in a pumpkin spice flavor during the month of October.
But pumpkin spice mixed drinks? Really? I had to know if it was worth the hype. So I tracked down a few recipes, and the results were…well…surprisingly delicious.
I began by giving the Spiced Pumpkin Punch a try. It’s a bourbon-based drink that is, as its name implies, designed to knock you out. The ingredients are: 1 ounce of pumpkin puree, 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 ounce of fresh lemon juice, 2 ounces of bourbon, 3 ounces of ginger beer, 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger, and 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
Though the ingredients list may seem intimidating, the process is actually simple. Place all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain the ingredients over ice in a rocks glass—and you are done. (If you’d like to add some extra flair, you can garnish your cocktail with a cinnamon stick and sage leaves. And maybe an extra dash of cinnamon on top.)
I moved on to the Pumpkin Mojito. I know, I know. It sounds strange to make such a summery drink in the midst of autumn. But trust me. It’s worth it. Instead of overpowering the drink, the pumpkin used in the recipe simple adds a new twist, and it complements the flavors of rum, mint, and lime surprisingly well.
To make a Pumpkin Mojito, you will need 10 mint leaves, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1-1/4 ounces of aged rum, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, and 2 ounces of club soda. Since rum is the only spirit used in this drink, I recommend splurging on a higher quality label.
First, muddle the mint leaves and sugar in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Then add the rum, pumpkin, lime juice, and ice. Shake until thoroughly mixed and chilled. Finally, strain the mixture into a Collins glass and top with club soda. If you have some extra mint leaves on hand, they can be used as a garnish.
Lastly, I tried my hand at pumpkin spice-infused vodka. The recipe I followed called for one 6-inch vanilla bean, one piece of pumpkin, half of a nutmeg, and 750 ml. of vodka.
Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Then use a vegetable peeler to shave 12 thin strips off a piece of pumpkin; each strip should be about 6 inches long and 1 inch wide. Next, combine the vanilla bean, pumpkin strips, halved nutmeg and vodka in a large bottle.
Seal the bottle and let it stand. The mixture needs at least four days to properly infuse, but it can be left for up to three months for a more intense flavor. Since this was my first attempt at an infusion, I let it stand for one week.
Then came the moment of truth. I poured a round of pumpkin spice-infused vodka shots for my friends and me. The consensus: It was delicious. It was like autumn in a shot glass. Granted, I have never infused anything before in my life, but I was proud of the result.
So, if you would like to get into the spirit of the fall season, give pumpkin spice mixed drinks a chance. You won’t regret it.