Pumpkin Spice Recipes on Middays With Michelle Dawn Mooney

Photo by Tjololo Photo

Photo by Tjololo Photo

Today I’m a guest on Middays With Michelle Dawn Mooney — talking about pumpkin cocktails for Thanksgiving. Below are the recipes I talked about, plus a few extra ideas for you. Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1 clove
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree

Bring the sugar and water to a boil and then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes, then strain and refrigerate. Add a tablespoon of vodka, if desired, to increase the shelf life. Continue reading


sangriaI love sangria. But when I see ready-made sangria in the supermarket or liquor store, I get a little confused. Isn’t the point of sangria to use up mediocre wine and leftover fruit? I guess I have a very pragmatic way of approaching such a delicious beverage. Besides, part of the fun is picking out which fruits go into it and then eating the fruit as you sip the drink.

Below is the basic recipe for sangria, but it’s an ideal DIY cocktail because you can improvise so easily. The best sangria I made featured peaches, meyer lemon slices, and strawberries along with a strawberry liqueur instead of triple sec. While you don’t have to use bad wine (though I sometimes do!), it’s a waste of money to use expensive wine since you are adding so many other flavors.

You can do this with white wine or a rosé, for an even more summery drink. It’s perfect for barbecues and big parties. No bartender needed!


1 750 milliliter bottle of red wine
2 cups chopped fruit
2 ounces Cognac (or brandy or dark rum)
2 ounces triple sec (or other fruit liqueur)
2 ounces simple syrup

Combine all ingredients and let them set in the refrigerator overnight.

Photo by Jackson Stakeman

Summer Sangria

Cherry Berry Sangria from 20something cupcakes

It’s patio party weather, so we want to spend our time sipping drinks outside, not stuck behind the bar making them. That’s when our friend sangria comes in handy. All you need is wine, fruit, and a little booze and/or liqueur. Pour it all together, wait, and then drink with friends. Here are some fun ones that are good for summer.

Watermelon and Raspberry Sangria ~ With a white wine base and sweet summer fruit, this one sounds perfect for a hot weekend in the backyard.

Cherry Berry Sangria ~ A rosé (aka pink wine) mixed with summer cherries and berries makes this one pretty as well as tasty. But I bet it would be just as good with a pinot noir or malbec.

Ginger Plum Sangria ~ Another one with pink wine, this time with seasonal plums and a ginger kick.

Negroni Punch ~ Prosecco adds bubbles, while Campari makes it a little more bitter and deep. Sounds like the perfect match for peaches and summer berries.

Lavender Infused Champagne Sangria ~ Sparkling wine infused with lavender along with lychee and peaches … why am I not drinking this right now?