(Pumpkin) Spice Up Your Life
So pumpkin spice is polarizing, right? It seems like people unabashedly love it, or roll their eyes hard when anyone brings it up (but secretly enjoy it!), for fear of being called — the horror 😱 — basic! Look, whatevs! Our philosophy here at TFC is drink what you like. So today, whether you’re solidly pro-pumpkin spice or a closet PSL drinker, you can stir up an adult pumpkin spice cocktail and enjoy it in the comfort of your own home — no annoying trip to Starbucks required.
This is a super fun little project that’s easy peasy but does require a bit of forethought. You have to make a pumpkin spice syrup first and give it some time to chill. So, throw it together in the morning when you have a spare ten minutes and it’ll be ready for cocktail hour later. Or lunchtime…we don’t judge.
And, we went straight to the source, Starbucks, for the OG pumpkin spice syrup recipe. It does make enough for a several drinks, so you can also use it to make a PSL or other pumpkin-y libations!
Let’s get spicy, shall we?
First, make the pumpkin spice syrup (recipe from Starbucks At Home):
1½ cups sugar
1½ cups water
6 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground nutmeg
4 Tbsp pumpkin purée
"Combine sugar and water in saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Once sugar is dissolved, add cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ginger, nutmeg and pumpkin purée, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove from heat and immediately strain through cheesecloth."
We added 2 tablespoons of vodka to the finished product for longevity. (Obviously, if you’re serving this to little ones in a non-alcoholic setting, you can skip the vodka and it will still keep in the fridge for about a week.)
We also strained this about 4 times through cheesecloth and a fine mesh strainer. It gets pretty goopy so we wanted it nice and smooth for a better mouthfeel in the drink.
Next, let’s make the cocktail! This is a gorgeous riff on an Old Fashioned, lovely and classic with a pumpkin-y twist. Perfect for sipping in front of a crackling fire, a stroll around the backyard with leaves crunching under your feet, or curling up with loved ones under a warm blanket. Choose your own adventure!
2 oz. bourbon
1/2 oz. pumpkin pie liqueur*
1/4 oz. pumpkin spice syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and gently stir until well-chilled. Strain into a chilled glass over fresh ice. Sip & enjoy!
* Check our your local distillery for their pumpkin spirit offerings. If you're nearby to Pittsburgh, we picked up Crooked Creek Distillery's Pumpkin Pie liqueur at PA Libations in the Strip District. For a little coffee flavor, try Maggie's Farm Pumpkin Spiced Coffee Liqueur. Yum!
Happy fall, y'all!