Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thirsty Turkey Day Special: The Drunken Pumpkin!

Happy Turkey Day, folks!  Now that you’ve filled your bellies with massive amounts of turducken, dressing, sweet potatoes & pecan pie…howsabout a nice cocktail to wash it all down with?

I’ve got just the thing.

Commander’s Palace in New Orleans makes a cocktail called “The Drunken Pumpkin”.  It’s unusual list of ingredients includes the following:

2 oz Wood­ford Reserve Bour­bon
1/2 oz Fee Bros. Cor­dial Pump­kin Spice Syrup
1/4 oz Man­darin Napoleon
2 drops Black Cherry vinai­grette
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz sim­ple syrup
Fresh rose­mary sprig

Many of which aren’t exactly things that you can find just laying around the house (at least not MY house…but maybe you have a nicer pantry than I). 

When I decided I wanted to recreate this one the first challenge was “where in the world do I find pumpkin cordial?”  I had read you can order it from Fee Bros. directly, but then I didn’t see it on their website…so I wonder about availability?  Given the recent pumpkin shortages, it makes me wonder if their supplies are limited or if they weren’t able to make it this year.

So I found a recipe for making pumpkin syrup at home!  Normally, this would be way too much effort for just a cocktail, but it’s actually really versatile—mix it with some milk and BOOM—homemade creamer for your coffee.  It’s also pretty awesome in hot cider, and as a syrup over pancakes or drizzled on the Pumpkin Cranberry Scones from last week…

So—how do we make it?  Super simple.

Heat one small saucepan & add

1.5 cups water

1.5 cups white sugar

Stir til dissolved.  Then add:

4 cinnamon sticks (or about 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon)

2 whole cloves (or 1/8 tsp if you don’t have whole)

1/2 tsp ginger

1 tsp nutmeg

3 tbsp pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin. 

Heat for about 6-7 minutes while stirring, but don’t let it boil. Then strain—use a metal sieve or strainer.  For some stupid reason, I thought I’d be able to filter this with a coffee filter, but it’s WAY too viscous for that.  And since we couldn’t find the regular metal sieve, we had to use a pasta strainer (don’t laugh, it sorta worked).  And here’s our beautiful, delicious, golden end result:


(Once we find the strainer, we’ll have to refilter, as you can see.)

I was short on a few of the other ingredients as well, so this is what we used.  It took some trial & error, playing with the ratios (since I’m not much of a bourbon person, and it just didn’t have enough pumpkin flavor for me at first):

2 oz bourbon

2 oz pumpkin syrup

1/2 oz lemon juice

1/2 oz Grand Marnier

3 dashes Montmorency tart cherry juice

fresh rosemary, removed from the stem.

Put all ingredients into a shaker w/ice, and shake vigorously until cold.  Strain & pour into a highball w/ice (I split mine with the hubs):


(Mad props to Raised Spirits for the pumpkin syrup recipe.)

Verdict?  Mighty tasty & deliciously spicy…but perhaps a bit thick (due to our upping the dosage of syrup to increase the pumpkiny-ness).  If we’d had some on hand, I would have added a bit of seltzer water to lighten it up & add a little fizz.

So, there you go. 

Now, inquiring minds want to know: What’s your favorite part of your turkey day feastings?  For me, it’s my mom’s chicken & noodles.

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