Posts Tagged ‘pumpkin’

Skip the pumpkin patches and corn mazes for the Pumpkin King cocktail

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Cocktail experiments are much like wandering through a corn maze.  Sometimes – too often – a promising zig or zag ends up a dead-end. Repeatedly. Should I consider it cheating if someone finally hands me a map? Hell no!

I get some flavor ideas stuck in my head; this month it was pumpkin (for the holidays and because my daughter’s smile looks like a jack-o-lantern now, with missing teeth galore). The problem is that pumpkin, no matter in syrup or butter form, leaves unappealing sediment.  Blech.  Then I remembered that chocolate can have that same problem –> but my chocolate stout reduction did not –> and they do make pumpkin ale –> so I could use the same technique to make pumpkin ale syrup. Aha! Surely I had found my way out of the maze. 

 

 

Er, not quite. Sticking with my chocolate stout syrup recipe, I created the pumpkin ale syrup and trialed it in several cocktails. Somehow I just couldn’t find the right combination of flavors to highlight the pumpkin element. Ready to toss that idea into my (full) dustbin of discarded cocktail ideas, an online search brought me to a Raising the Bar segment with Jamie Boudreau, owner of the excellent Canon on Capitol Hill. Boudreau demonstrates the Pumpkin King recipe, even using the same brand of ale, Southern Tier Pumking, for his pumpkin ale liqueur.

The Pumpkin King cocktail is refreshing and interesting. It would make an ideal chaser to Trick or Treating or a Thanksgiving feast…or both!

 

Jamie Boudreau’s Pumpkin King cocktail

1½ oz blended Scotch
½ oz pumpkin ale liqueur (see my change below)
½ oz lime juice
Dash of bitters (I used Peyschauds)
Ginger beer to top (I used 1 oz of Fentimans)

Shake the first four ingredients with ice; strain into an ice-filled Collins glass. Top with ginger beer (I found 1 oz to be better, perhaps owing to different glass sizes), and garnish with a lime wedge.

 

Disclosure: my version deviates from Boudreau’s because I wanted to use the pumpkin ale syrup I had already made rather than create a liqueur.  My syrup uses less sugar, so I bumped the amount up from ½ oz to 1 oz in the cocktail. If you also want to go that route, here is my recipe:

 

Pumpkin Ale Syrup

1 bottle (24 oz) of pumpkin ale
1 c. sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 t. allspice berries
1/8 t. salt
 
Combine all in a large sauce pan. Bring to boil until the sugar is dissolved, and then simmer on medium while stirring occasionally and watching carefully — it can quickly bubble up and over if left unwatched. After simmering for 15 minutes, remove from heat and discard any foam on top.

 

Happy Halloween! Looking for more Halloween-inspired cocktails? Check out these previous posts:

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Drinks That Burn in Hell-oween

When Orange Meets Black

Uniting Fire and Ice

A Cackle Night Hollow

Cheers, ICE

As always, check out my Glossary of Spirits page for alcohol and mixer definitions and details.

 

The Perfect Pumpkin Finale for Your Feast

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Can’t decide whether to make a pumpkin pie or pecan pie for Thanksgiving? Bag them both and whip up this easier dessert cocktail instead.

Praline Pumpkin Pie

¾ oz vodka
½ oz praline liqueur (or substitute, see notes below)
2 ½ T pumpkin ice cream (I used Snoqualmie Pumpkin Custard)
1/8 t ginger juice (optional)
Scan pinch of salt
Scant pinch of pumpkin pie spice for garnish (optional)

Measure out softened ice cream and add it to the vodka, praline liqueur, ginger juice and salt in a mixing glass. Stir until mixture is uniform in texture. Pour into chilled cocktail glass and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice on top before serving.  Note: For the ginger juice I used the liquid in a jar of Ginger People’s grated ginger, but the drink won’t be ruined without it. You may substitute the praline liqueur with Frangelico liqueur or amaretto, but they can be stronger flavors, so start with only ¼ oz and add to taste.  Update 12/6: I noticed in a Food & Wine book that they recommend substituting praline liqueur with equal parts Frangelico and amaretto to approximate the taste. A useful option if your friend didn’t bring you back any praline liqueur from New Orleans.

Praline Pumpkin Pie: It's like three desserts and a cocktail rolled into one.

I created this one after experimenting with other pumpkin cocktail recipes (see below) that used pumpkin butter. Faced with having to make my own pumpkin puree mix or syrup, I had an “ah ha” moment and grabbed some pumpkin ice cream to create this creamy dessert drink. The ice cream has a nice spiced pumpkin taste that the praline liqueur plays off while the combination keeps both flavors in balance.  Top with whipped cream to really get your pie on. 

Other options

During my experimenting, I did find a couple of “pretty good” pumpkin drinks and discovered a nice pear vodka by Grey Goose.  Both of these drinks came from About.com’s cocktail page via the Grey Goose company (the local liquor stores have a big display right now that includes a handy sample pack of their flavored vodkas, but definitely substitute brands if you have a different one on hand).

Pumpkin Carver

1 ½ oz Grey Goose L’Orange Vodka
½ oz maple syrup (the original recipe says ¾ oz, but it was too much)
½ oz ginger liquer
1 t pumpkin butter (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
Apple chip to garnish

Add ice and all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake until well chilled. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish (optional).

Pumpkin Divine

1 oz Grey Goose La Poire vodka
1 T pumpkin butter (or less)
½ oz triple sec
½ oz simple syrup
Pinch each of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger
Apple chip sprinkled with nutmeg to garnish

Add ice and all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake until well chilled. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish (optional).

The Pumpkin Carver Cocktail

This year I give thanks for a bounty of cocktails I’ve tried and for you Ice + Clink + Drink readers I share them with.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Cheers, ICE