This weekend is a bit of a short post, but fret not, I will return a little later this week. I came down with a bad stomach bug last weekend that kept me mostly in bed this past week. The meal ideas I’ve been playing around with in my notebook were a bit too heavy and decadent for me to even think about, let alone cook and taste while doubled over with stomach cramps. I’ve got a bit of catching up to do. I am feeling much better, and because I didn’t want to leave you empty-handed, I got up early this morning to make this.
Pumpkin Spice Martini
Ok, I know this isn’t technically a martini, but “Pumpkin Juice Cocktail with Spiced Brown Sugar Syrup” was a bit too long for my taste. That said, remember last week when I begged you to save that pumpkin juice and promised a recipe to blow your winter wool-knit socks off? This is that recipe. I must have spent 45 minutes in the liquor store looking for the right spirit to use in this cocktail. I picked up, walked around with, and eventually put back four or five different bottles. Eventually, I decided that simplicity was the best policy and went with the the spirit that first came to mind when I started planning this drink: vodka.
I’m more of a whiskey girl myself, and I can count on one hand the number of vodka drinks I’ve actively sought out over all others. With that in mind, I don’t mind spending a little more on a locally made, organic varietal because I know it won’t disappear over the span of a few days.
I was dangerously close to picking up a tiny bottle of artificially colored cinnamon schnapps before I realized that, hello, I should make my own. It’s cheaper and I always prefer the taste of homemade anyway. What I ended up making was a spiced, brown sugar simple syrup, and it was ten times better than any Red No. 3 I could buy in a bottle.
Spiced Brown Sugar Syrup Ingredients:
1/4 cup tightly packed, light brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 small cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1 cardamom pod, smashed open
Heat all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once all of the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Drain the spices from the sugar syrup and transfer into a small, pourable container. Can be stored up to 5 days in the fridge.
To make the cocktail, you’ll need a shaker and some ice.
2 oz cold pumpkin juice
1 oz vodka
1 tbsp Spiced Brown Sugar Syrup
Optional: extra brown sugar to rim the glass
Shake all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and strain into your favorite martini glass.
The brown sugar syrup adds all the warmth and spice I’ve come to love and expect with pumpkin recipes. The clean smooth taste of the vodka gives plain old pumpkin juice an adult twist without trying to steal the flavor spotlight. If I were to host a Halloween party, and I desperately want to do so, this is what I would serve. More likely than not, this will make an appearance for Thanksgiving with the family.
Also, if my parents are reading this and are concerned about my early morning drinking habits, you can rest easy. I only took one sip to make sure the flavors were right and the whole thing went into the fridge for later this evening.
I’m shooting for a Thursday update this week to catch up on my cooking. See you all again soon!