What I’m drinkin’ while I’m thinkin’.
So I came across a fabulous video and recipe by coffee expert and master barista James Hoffman for a homemade pumpkin pie spice syrup and since I unashamedly stand with Team Pumpkin Pie Spice in the the brutal Seasonal Culture Wars, I had to try it. Of course for me, trying it means tweaking it a bit. Mostly I just adjusted the spice ratios and water amounts. This stuff blew my mind and I wanted to share the results with you.
Below you’ll find my altered recipe for this amazing syrup as well as some dosing directions for use in a latte. I also encourage you to check out Mr. Hoffman’s original recipe here. You may like his proportions better than mine
Be sure to read through to the end. I’m including my own recipe for a pumpkin pie spice eggnog cocktail as a bonus.
Onward to the recipes.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Syrup
1 Whole Pumpkin (about the size of a cantaloupe)
3 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
0.5 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Ground Allspice
2 tbsp Ground Ginger
4 cups Demerara or Raw Sugar
3 cups Water
Step 1: Juice the pumpkin if you have a juicer. Add enough water to get to 4 cups if you do. Otherwise, skin it, cut it into smallish pieces, put it in a blender and add enough water to just cover the chunks. Blend until smooth.
Step 2: Strain the blended pumpkin through a cheese cloth, nutmilk bag, or fine wire strainer. This should yield about 4cups of juice. Measure to be sure how much you have.
Step 3: Add the juice to a wide sauce pan (more surface area means more evaporation) and switch on the heat.
Step 4: Add the sugar. This should be equal to the amount of juice you had. ie 4 cups of juice =4 cups of sugar. Stir until fully dissolved.
Step 5: Grind and add the spices. Pre-ground is fine but fresh will shine through in the syrup much more.
Step 6: Stir and continue to heat until boiling then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
Step 7: Let cool then strain through cheesecloth, nutmilk bag, or fine metal strainer into your favorite container. I used an old rye whiskey bottle.
This is just a syrup so feel free to use this in or on anything. Pancakes, ice cream, tea, whatever.
For a large latte like you’d get at a Starbucks, I find that about 1oz of this syrup works best. It provides enough flavor to stand out without being too sweet. Your milage may vary. Use that amount as a baseline and experiment.
Now on to the NOG!
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Eggnog
I love eggnog and I prefer it with raw egg. If you aren’t up for it, I get it. Plenty of tutorials online for cooked eggnog variations. Or leave out the egg for a thinner but still tasty drink.
2oz Brandy, Bourbon, or Dark Rum (Kraken or Gosling’s would be perfect)
5oz whole milk
1 whole egg
1.5-2oz Pumpkin Pie Spice Syrup
Freshly Grated Nutmeg (If you’re fancy)
Step 1: Pour all ingredients save for the nutmeg into a shaker with NO ICE. This is called a dry shake it’s vital for the consistency of eggnog. Shake 100-150ish times. That should get it nice and frothy and velvety.
Step 2: Add ice to the shaker and shake until chilled.
Step 3: Add fresh ice to a tumbler and strain the nog over the ice.
Step 4: Grate a little fresh nutmeg over the top and serve.
Be sure to try a few of these and adjust the amount of syrup you’re using until you find your (literal) sweet spot.