'Tis the season to be ...a pumpkin head. Even as early as October, right before Halloween rears its frightful head, I already find myself awaiting the arrival of everyone's fall favorite flavor, The Great Pumpkin! Fall and pumpkins are quite synonymous, I feel The Pumpkin ushers in the season of hoodies, boots, sweaters, colorful foliage and delicious offerings. When it makes its ritual appearance at Starbucks in their pumpkin spice chai latte, you know Autumn has made its grand entrance. And I welcome it with open arms ...it's cuddle time. haha. In addition to being a lovely porch decoration, it's a kitchen favorite. Our round, orange friend, is oh so versatile! Along with pumpkin pies, there is pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, even pumpkin beer. You name it, the pumpkin has its reach far from its humble home in the pumpkin patch.
The summer has its signature drink of spiked watermelons, the winter has its spiked egg nog, so the fall rightfully should have its own spiked pumpkin drink. My favorite is the pumpkin pie martini. Vodka, my clear spirited friend, is just as versatile as the pumpkin! It's obvious they should go hand in hand. There are many recipes out there for this decadent and potent cocktail, but here is my own version that works best for me. It's great to see you Autumn. We toast to your leader, the ruler of this season, The Pumpkin. I present, the pumpkin pie martini!
Ingredients: (per serving)Directions: Pour the cinnamon sugar onto a plate. Crush and crumble a piece of honey graham cracker over the cinnamon sugar (like the picture below). Then, wet the rim of the martini glass and twist the rim in circles to coat the rim with the mixture. [If you don't want to coat the rim, you can also just sprinkle the mixture right on top of the poured drink.] Set aside, fill a tumbler halfway with ice and combine all the ingredients. Shake and then strain into the cinnamon sugar rimmed martini glass. Add a wallop of whipped cream on top ...and then chug! j/k. Anyhow, drink accordingly to your liking.
Tips: The whip cream melts fast into the drink so you can put the whip cream on an uncrushed graham cracker and float the graham cracker on top. Eventually the cracker will dissolve too, but keep in mind if you do this, your martini will be more on the chunkier side.
To make the drink less strong (why?!), substitute the pumpkin liqueur for pumpkin spice syrup or pumpkin puree or add 1/2 oz of heavy cream or half & half instead of the cream liqueur. You could also substitute rum for the vodka.
You can use a cinnamon stick or stick a graham cracker into the whipped cream for garnish.
Interesting fun fact: Colonists sliced off pumpkin tops; removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie. :)