The Pumpkin Spice Flip

Originally written for VinePair, October 2018

Something strange happens to us as soon as the weather gets cooler and the leaves change. We want pumpkin pie spices and fall flavors in everything!

Sadly, most of the pumpkin-themed drinks at your local coffee counter and cocktail bar don’t contain much or any real pumpkin. So I set out to make a simple cocktail that encapsulates these essential fall flavors without using anything artificial. As it turns out, organic pumpkin purée works really well in a shaken beverage, bringing a pleasantly creamy texture and unmistakably pumpkin-y taste.

My favorite version of this cocktail was with a quality aged rum, but this recipe is pretty versatile. I also tried it with añejo tequila, which put a different spin on it but was still quite delicious. Most aged spirits will work — if you’ve got some nice bourbon on hand, go ahead and give it a try!

Pumpkin spice cocktails


2 oz aged spirit (bourbon, rum, añejo tequila, etc.)

2 tbsp real pumpkin purée

¾ oz *spiced-honey simple syrup

egg white

Pumpkin Spice blend for garnish


Combine ingredients in a shaker tin & dry shake (=without ice) to break down the egg white. Add two 2” ice cubes, shake and strain into a a chilled glass.

Add a pinch of pumpkin spice blend on top for garnish.

*Spiced-honey simple syrup:

Add equal parts honey & water in a sauce pan over medium-low heat & stir to combine. Add whole cinnamon sticks, crushed allspice berries, cloves & a few star anise & simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat & let cool before straining out the solids. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.