Cozy fall pumpkin cocktail on counter with a bottle of whisky, gourds, and apples.

Cozy Fall Pumpkin Cocktail

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2 Servings
10 minutes

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving! Hoodie season has arrived! This cocktail has all your favourite fall flavours! Maple syrup, pumpkin, apple cider and yes, some pumpkin spice…but only because it goes with the pumpkin!

These flavours are naturally a match with bourbon and its sweeter corn base. However, I was recently at our local Manns Distillery and their Canadian whisky is a ‘bourbon style’ whisky, with a comparably high corn content in the mash. You can’t make bourbon in Canada, so Canadian whisky it is! So much fun to try products made by smaller distilleries, and it’s great to support local.

Cozy Fall Pumpkin Cocktail Ingredients

Cozy Fall Pumpkin Cocktail Ingredients

So many ingredients in this cocktail to bring together Fall in a glass:

Pumpkin puree – feel free to cook an actual pumpkin to make puree. I did it once, only once. I tasted no difference! Seriously, just buy a can of pumpkin. A large can makes two pies, or one pie, some scones, and some cocktails. Make sure you buy pure pumpkin puree, not a can of pumpkin pie filling! We all know that cocktails can be healthy if they contain superfoods like pumpkin…beta-carotene for eye health, packed with fibre, and it even boosts your immune system. Look at that, we made the cocktail healthy, again!

Maple syrup – We live in Canada, maple syrup is reasonably priced and abundant. You must use real maple syrup!

Apple cider – Make sure you use apple cider, not apple juice, for a tangier, fresher flavour. Fall is apple season, visit your local orchard and buy some today. I also love it warmed up in a to-go mug to take to work. Yum! I kept with the shop local theme and purchased from my favourite apple orchard, Brantview Farms, owned and run by the lovely Howell family!

Whisky – I used Mann’s Canadian Whisky, however, if you are not local, a bourbon would probably be the natural replacement, or a sweeter, corn based whiskey.

Orange bitters – I am not an expert in bitters, still learning, but bitters are there to elevate the taste of the cocktail.

Pumpkin pie spice – I purchase the ready mixed variety, feel free to use your own combination of cozy fall spices. They are mostly used to rim the glass with some cane sugar.

Cane sugar – used to rim the glass. I prefer the coarser cane sugar so that you get a bit of a crunch as you enjoy your cocktail.

How to Make this Cozy Fall Pumpkin Cocktail

1 T cane sugar
1 t pumpkin pie spice
2 T maple syrup (use only real maple syrup)
1⁄4 c pumpkin puree
3 oz whisky or bourbon (4 for a stronger drink)
1⁄2 c apple cider (not apple juice)
2 ds orange bitters

Mix the cane sugar and pumpkin pie spice and place on a small plate

Pour the maple syrup onto a second plate (or into a small bowl)

Rim the glasses:

Dip the edge of the glasses in maple syrup (or use a small piece of paper towel or small brush to edge the glass to coat it)

Dip the glass in the sugar to adhere the sugar mixture around the edge of the glass

Do this first so that the sugar can set and dry a bit to the rim of the glass. The maple sugar and cane sugar make a crunchy addition to the cocktail.

Grab a cocktail shaker and add:

  • whisky 
  • pumpkin 
  • maple syrup 
  • and an extra pinch or two of pumpkin pie spice 

and stir well to mix the pumpkin into the ingredients

Add the apple cider along with two generous dashes of orange bitters and fill with ice

Cover and shake! Do a dance! Impress your friends!

Strain into the two rimmed glasses. Add a couple of ice cubes if desired.

Garnish with apple slices and/or a cinnamon stick.


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