There’s only a brief window every year between the time “pumpkin spice” sounds deliciously festive and the point at which any mention of it makes me want to go on a decorative gourd rampage. In the meantime, let’s drink.
Some people complain that Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte is chock full of “chemicals,” or that until recently it didn’t contain any real pumpkin. Minor quibbles, those. The real problem with the PSL is that it doesn’t get you drunk. Here are five cocktails from around the interwebz to help remedy that grave error.
1. Pumpkin Spice Old Fashioned
The rich, earthy flavors and timeless class of an Old Fashioned is a perfect choice here, because it can stand up to the trendy, overhyped, “basic bitch” elements of pumpkin spice. Cocktails are all about blending complementary flavors, after all. Credit: Rachel Carr, who has a few other pumpkin cocktails
2. The Great Pumpkin
Make this one for the Charlie Brown reference, or the addition of pumpkin beer, or simply because it, like the rest of the drinks here, will get you schwasted. With the inclusion of pumpkin ale, rye, apple brandy, and maple syrup, this is pretty much autumn in a glass — minus the colorful leaves, wool sweaters, and skanky Halloween outfits. Credit: Jim Meehan
3. Pumpkin Spice Martini
The martini is an example of simple elegance in a cocktail. It has liquor — either gin or vodka — with just a splash of vermouth. This is an absurd bastardization of said cocktail, but it’s surprisingly delicious (and vegan). Credit: Veganosity
4. Spiced Pumpkin Punch
If you’re looking for something on the lighter, fizzier side, this your drink. With ginger beer, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and bourbon, the only way you can mess this up is if you mix up too little. Credit: Domesticate Me
5. Hot Butternut Rum
At the first restaurant job I ever had, the chef used any sore throat or sniffly nose as an excuse to make a round of hot buttered rum. I don’t remember whether it actually cured anything, but that wasn’t really the point, now, was it? This recipe calls for butternut squash, but feel free to substitute pumpkin. Credit: Sother Teague