Pumpkin Flip

I never get sick of pumpkin-flavored everything. My new favorite is this pumpkiny bourbon cocktail I made with Savvy Housekeeping. It’s light and fluffy while being bold and spicy at the same time. It’s the perfect special-treat cocktail for all of autumn. Whether you have leftover pumpkins from Halloween or just want a Thanksgiving cocktail, this one will do the trick!

We used St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, but you could also make it with homemade allspice dram. (I used up all my DIY allspice dram on Tiki creations already!) For the pumpkin puree, you can use the canned variety (just be sure it’s not flavored at all) or make your own fresh pumpkin puree. If you’re concerned about using raw egg whites, you can use pasteurized egg whites. However, we used fresh eggs straight from the Savvy Housekeeping chicken coop!

Pumpkin Flip
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1/2 ounce allspice liqueur
1/2 ounce simple syrup
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/4 ounce lemon juice
1 egg white
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters

Pour the bourbon, liqueur, simple syrup, puree, lemon juice, and egg white into a shaker without ice and shake hard for about 30 seconds. Add ice and shake again for about 1 minute. Ice will build up on the outside of the shaker if you’ve done it right, so you’ll need to cover the shaker with a tea towel first so your hands won’t get too cold. Crack the shaker open and pour out the drink through the gap. Top with bitters.

My Favorite DIY cocktail ingredients so far

I have a weekly column on Serious Eats where I post recipes for DIY cocktail ingredients. That’s a lot of homemade cocktail ingredients! While I like all the recipes I post there, I do have my favorites. So if you have a hankerin’ to do a cocktail project but aren’t sure where to start, these are my favorite recipes I’ve done there so far:

Ginger Liqueur ~ While I love ginger liqueur, I was surprised that this ended up being one of my favorite and most useful homemade ingredients. It turns out I wasn’t alone, and I’ve been hearing from readers that they also fell in love with the slight kick and light sweetness of ginger liqueur.

Orange Bitters ~ Even though you only use a few drops at a time, bitters are a critical part of making cocktails. These orange bitters are different than what’s on the market while still performing reliably in cocktails. DIY bitters have a reputation as being a project for cocktail geeks only, but they’re actually not difficult to make. You’ll need to get a hold of some special tree bark and other things I had to go to the hippie store in Berkeley to find, but the result is something you can keep around for years.

Grenadine ~Real grenadine is radically different from the weird dyed-red goo you usually see in stores. For one thing, homemade grenadine actually tastes like it was made with pomegranates. It has a bright, tart flavor that goes well in everything from Tiki cocktails to light summer sparkling drinks. Also, if you make this, you just might be surprised to discover that you actually like Shirley Temples after all.

Allspice Dram ~ Spice is somewhat rare in your typical cocktail, which is why I love this allspice liqueur. It’s most known as a Tiki ingredient, but once you start experimenting with it, you’ll see it’s at home in a whole variety of concoctions.

Homemade Gin ~ Without going through the whole trouble (and possible illegality) of distilling your own spirits, you can still make a gin that’s darn good. And you can control the flavor profile: Maybe you want intense juniper with bold coriander notes? Or light floral and citrus flavors with a strong grassy finish? It’s up to you. Though, it’s basically gin-flavored vodka, it’s a totally legit way of making gin … many companies do a more fancified version of this process to make their product.

The Grouse Dram

After I made my own allspice dram, I started looking around for ways to use it. It’s most well-known as a Tiki ingredient, but I was curious about ways to use it in other types of cocktails. This drink made with blended scotch and apple cider is just what I was looking for.

Liquor companies send me a lot of recipes using their products. Though many of them are quite good, I use them sparingly because it’s fun to make up my own and I don’t want to turn into a PR machine for a bunch of brands. However, this recipe from The Black Grouse was too perfect, considering that I was obsessed with using allspice dram. I whipped one up for myself, and it’s great for a rainy night.

The Black Grouse is a smoky blended scotch that’s good for mixing. You could sub in your favorite, but keep in mind that smokiness is key when you’re choosing one. If you don’t want to make your own allspice dram, you could buy St. Elizabeth’s, which is what the bartender who created this used.

This recipe was created  by Walid Hamid of Sra. Martinez as part of the Distinctive Bartender competition.

The Grouse Dram

2 ounces The Black Grouse
1 1/2 ounces apple cider
1/4 ounce allspice dram
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce lemon juice

Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Continue reading

DIY vs. Buy: Allspice Dram, the Tiki Secret

Tiki drinks are so much fun … and so are tiki ingredients. Allspice dram is a little hard to find and a lot easy to make. So make it already!

Allspice dram is a simple liqueur flavored with allspice berries. It’s also known as pimento dram, because allspice is a berry from the pimento tree. (But pimento makes most people think of olives, so I don’t like to call it that.) There’s nothing like it. It’s a big part of Tiki drinks, adding a dark, strong, and spicy counterpoint to rum and sweet ingredients.

DIY vs. Buy: Should I Make My Own Allspice Dram? on Serious Eats

Photo by Liam Boylan