It’s almost winter now, but every year I get excited when fall rolls around. The colors changing and the smell of the crisp cool air make every day exciting. Curling up and reading a book by the fireplace on those days where the temperature drops just a little too much… there’s so much to appreciate. But nothing compares to how much my girlfriend, Brit, loves the fall. Apple cider, hot chocolate, apple pie, and pumpkin all get lumped together into the fall is coming and we need to have category. So having just started this blog, fall is something that I couldn’t let pass by without mentioning, and it’s time to explore one of the most characteristic fall ingredients: pumpkin.
At thanksgiving, pumpkin pie was always one of my favorite desserts. I never much cared for the turkey. My family doesn’t have a rich history of culinary expertise. That’s the nice way of saying that the turkey was really dry every year. Stuffing and gravy never really made up for the dry turkey, I have an unhealthy aversion to mashed potatoes, and as a kid, I really didn’t eat vegetables. Canned cranberries? Well I liked them for a while, but I guess I outgrew them. I still remember my grandmother pushing basically an entire can toward me and saying, have some more… I remembered that you love these, so I bought extra. To which, I had to politely take some more, and think to myself, really, I don’t remember liking them that much. But once dinner was finished, there was pie. Thinking about it now, it seems that Brit and I were destined to be together just so we could share our love of pumpkin.
Of course, there have been some not so good pumpkin experiences as well. There was that pumpkin pie that we made and forgot to add sugar. Yeah, not so good. And this year when Argo Tea started serving their pumpkin chai tea, my first attempt to order one resulted in disappointment — they were out of one of the ingredients needed to make mine.
But thanksgiving is right around the corner, and if you’re looking for something a little different to serve this year, look no further. You’ll want to serve this Drunken Pumpkin.
The Drunken Pumpkin
A Casa de Milo Original Recipe
- 3tbs pumpkin puree
- 2oz bourbon (Bulleit)
- A splash of apple schnapps (99 apples)
- Ground cinnamon (preferably ceylon)
- Ground nutmeg (freshly ground)
- Peach bitters
Start by rimming your glass. Fill a small saucer (or plate) with sugar, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg. Use about 2 parts sugar to 1 part each of cinnamon and nutmeg. Moisten the rim of a rocks glass and roll the edge in the sugar mixture, creating an even layer of sugar around the outside of the glass.
Combine the pumpkin puree, bourbon, and apple schnapps in a cocktail shaker. Sprinkle a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg over the mixture. The amount to use here is so small that you really can’t measure for one drink. You’ll just want enough that you’ve dusted the top of the liquid nicely. Two or three shakes of the container should be fine for each. Add a generous amount of ice. Shake until cold, and strain into a rocks glass. Finish with a dash of bitters and serve over ice.
Pumpkin is such a versatile ingredient. Though sweet preparations like pumpkin pie and cookies usually come to mind, it, like many other squash, works nicely when used as a savory ingredient. In this case, we’ve mixed pumpkin with bourbon to make a fantastic seasonal drink. You get a very clear taste of pumpkin, and there’s a hint of sweetness, but the taste of the bourbon isn’t lost either.
We enjoyed this cocktail with a wonderful pumpkin fettuccine alfredo. It was a wonderful night of pumpkin all around.