All Hallow’s Eve is upon us, who’s excited? The candy overload, costume mania, and pumpkin carving! Oooh the pumpkins! While Thanksgiving seems like the holiday truly focused around eating pumpkin, don’t wait until November to get your fill of pumpkin. Here’s an infusion that will take a week to make, just in time for your Halloween parties. While I am already thinking of warm, spiked pumpkin lattes made with a spiced syrup, something tells me this vodka could be lots of fun for crazy Halloween cocktails.
This recipe is so simple, I can’t even pull much of a quirky story out to pair with it. Really, it’s due to the power of the internet. Local Kitchen’s Pear and Pumpkin Ale Preserves had a whole conversation going in the comments about pumpkin. LK casually tossed out the idea of pumpkin vodka. The sugar pumpkin from my CSA on the counter and the Tito’s vodka in my freezer called out to me. It works, you CAN preserve the flavors of pumpkin in alcohol!
Edited to add: Well, duh, the flavor! Kaela pointed out that I didn’t actually talk about the most important part. So, the pumpkin vodka is a subtle infusion. I’m not so used to sipping vodka (even delightful Tito’s), so the punch of vodka is still there. The pumpkin flavor is also there, slightly sweet and interesting. A simple syrup, something to sweeten it a bit, is recommended. A friend even suggested amaretto and vanilla with it, for a pumpkin pie cocktail. Once I play with other cocktails, I’ll chime back in, and if anyone else tries it and wants to throw in their two cents, please do in the comments!
The following recipe is a small batch, but if you already have a pumpkin in your disposal, feel free to up the amounts. The pumpkin used was a small, tasty sugar pumpkin, not a larger carving pumpkin. If you're in a time crunch, the pumpkin could be strained out even three days into infusing.
1 cup pumpkin vodka
- 6 oz [about 1/8th] peeled and cleaned sugar pumpkin
- 1 cup vodka
- To clean your pumpkin, cut in half and use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. Clean the seeds and stringy bits out with a spoon. Cut into eighths.
- Using your vegetable peeler, slice one eighth of the pumpkin into thin ribbons. Place them in a large mason jar or other container.Top with one cup of vodka and let sit for one week.
- Line a strainer with a damp coffee filter or paper towel and strain the vodka. Press the pumpkin to remove as much liquid as possible.
- My final vodka still has some sediment with only one strain through the coffee filter. If you prefer a cleaner vodka, strain a second time.