Let's face it, we're in full pumpkin spice season at the moment. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin beer — there's no hiding from the current pumpkin craze. Rather than trying to avoid it, why not embrace the pumpkin flavours and get creative with some cocktails? Pumpkin spice actually works quite nicely in cocktails, with the combinations of the cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves adding some unique fall flavours.
Here are three cocktails to get you started down the path of being the pumpkin cocktail master:
Pumpkin Spice Whisky Cocktail
Whisky and pumpkin are a combination that works surprisingly well together: the bite of the whisky complements the spice profile. While this cocktail may seem complicated at first glance, it's really just a simple syrup, whisky and soda. Plus you get the added benefit of having extra pumpkin spice simple syrup that you can use either in other cocktail recipes or in your coffee to make your own pumpkin lattes.
- 1 1/2 tbsp Pumpkin spice simple syrup*
- 1 1/2 oz Forty Creek Whisky
- Soda water
- Sugar and cinnamon for garnish
*Pumpkin spice simple syrup:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
- 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- pinch of ground cloves
- pinch of ground allspice
In a medium sauce pan combine all ingredients and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low for ten minutes. Strain through a cheese cloth and store in the fridge.
Rim a cocktail glass with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Add simple syrup, whisky and soda water. Stir vigorously and add a few ice cubes.
Pumpkin Spice Irish Cream
Starbucks isn't the only company that has realized the power of pumpkin spice. Bailey's caught onto the trend and released a special pumpkin spice version last year. While it's difficult to find, you don't have to search this out, as making Irish cream is incredibly easy. What's nice about this one is it practically fits right in with the already established flavours of the pumpkin spice latte, so it's almost as if you've simply added alcohol to your PSL.
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup Irish whiskey (cheap)
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix well. Pour into a mason jar and refrigerate for at least five hours. Shake well before serving. Can pour over ice, or in your favourite coffee. Experiment with other additions to the mixture like added cinnamon, instant coffee or chocolate for some interesting variations.
Pumpkin Pie Martini
If you haven't had enough pumpkin pie this season, this martini is a pretty fair recreation of the dessert, whipped cream included. This one is pretty sweet by its very nature, so think about serving it during a dessert course or as single serving during larger gatherings.
- 1 1/2 oz Smirnoff whipped cream vodka
- 3 oz Pumpkin flavour eggnog
- dash of cinnamon
- Brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and maple syrup for garnish
- Whipped cream
Rim a martini glass with maple syrup and dip in the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice mix. Pour the vodka and eggnog in a martini shaker with ice and shake. Pour into martini glass and top with a dollop of whipped cream.
If you're the adventurous type, think about making your own pumpkin spice cocktail. Good options as a base include whisky, Kahlua, chocolate liqueurs and rum; avoid anything that already has a strong herbal note like gin or tequila.
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