Fall. For me, there isn’t any greater season. What’s the one flavor that starts popping up everywhere? Pumpkin. Not just pumpkin, but pumpkin spice. It’s in everything. Drinks, desserts, pastries — you know, some of the best stuff in life. With this grand pumpkin proliferation, I realized that that I have yet to find an exceptional pumpkin martini. Time to fix that: here’s the pumpkin pie martini!
Originally, I intended this cocktail as a straight pumpkin martini sans the pie. However, after some fiddling and experimentation, I decided that I preferred it with a little bit of extra richness and creaminess. That’s not to say that one day I won’t produce for you a straight pumpkin martini, but for now, enjoy it in pie form.
Bonus: you don’t have to wait for Thanksgiving to get your pumpkin pie fix. (Unless you’re like a friend of mine who hates pumpkin pie, then you’re out of luck. I’ll tell you like I tell him, “Bobby (pretend your name is Bobby, his is), have this hushed caramel apple or Johnny Appleseed instead. You always bake an apple pie, these taste like that.”)
In my research, I found that some recipes use funky flavored vodkas and other odd ingredients. Just say no people. If you’re going to use a flavored vodka, make it yourself. This recipe, however, needs no funky flavors. It lets the pumpkin and spices shine through.
You want some vanilla flavoring? Add some vanilla.
We kick up our flavor components by adding rum instead of just straight vodka and maple syrup (grade b if you can, it’s a more robust syrup flavor) instead of simple syrup. That’s how you make the flavor shine.
Regarding the pumpkin puree, typically I roast my own pumpkin (100% of the time for my pies), but with this I felt lazy. You can easily get away with using the canned stuff and you won’t tell a big difference versus roasting your own. However, if you do want to roast your own, more power to you!
Not shockingly, when it comes to pumpkin pie spice, I also mix my own. That’s not to say you can’t use some pre-mixed stuff, I just like to control the proportions in mine. If you’re interested, it’s: 4 parts cinnamon, 2 parts ginger, 1 part nutmeg, 1 part allspice, 1/2 part cloves.
Now, onto the pumpkin pie martini!
Pumpkin Pie Martini
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. dark rum
- 1 oz. half and half
- 2 tbs. canned pure pumpkin puree
- 1 oz. maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Graham crackers
Glass type: Cocktail
Smash up the graham crackers, cinnamon and sugar together. Get the rim wet and dip it into your cinnamon, sugar, cracker mix. PROTIP: use maple syrup on the glass and you’ll get extra flavor and sticking power.
Combine everything else into your cocktail shaker. Shake like a bandit. Pour and strain into your magnificently rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a little bit of grated nutmeg (fresh, naturally).
Enjoy the power of the pumpkin pie anytime you’d like, not just for Thanksgiving.