Today’s recipe is a really fun one – it’s something easy you can throw together today and have ready for your Thanksgiving table AND it will knock the socks off your guests. This pumpkin pie vodka would make an excellent ingredient for a signature cocktail for with the meal – or if you’re not hosting, I can guarantee any hostess would flip out after getting this from you and securing your spot at the table next year (although I highly encourage you to keep some at home for yourself).
Anyone who has spent more than about an hour with me knows that I have this annoying little habit. I am constantly saying the phrase “I could totally make that at home”. I can’t help it, it’s just how my brain works. I see or taste something amazing and I can’t help but think of a process in my head of how to execute it at home – sometimes I boldly state that I could make it even better.
That’s the story behind this Pumpkin Pie Vodka. I was browsing through the aisles at Total Wine and saw a bottle of one made by a popular vodka brand. Since I always love a good alcohol infusion, I knew I could take this idea and make it awesome.
We start with real pumpkin. Not canned – actual pie pumpkins. Roast it up to deepen the flavor a bit.
Then I went a little crazy with the spices. I threw in a vanilla bean, some cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, whole allspice and some whole nutmeg. I did something a bit different with the nutmeg though – I took a 1/2 inch piece and whacked it with my meat tenderizer, then threw all the pieces in. The goal here is to imitate the spices you’d normally put into a pumpkin pie.
We let the jar sit for 2-3 weeks in a cool, dark place – giving it a little swirl every couple days. You’ll notice that over the course of the 2-3 weeks the vodka will go from clear to a lovely orange color. That’s due to our lovely pumpkin.
After our wait is over we want to strain out all the spices and pumpkin. And just to make sure we get as much vodka out of this sucker as possible, give that cheesecloth a little squeeze to release any extra liquid it absorbed.
I like to strain it through another couple layers of cheesecloth one last time to remove any extra stuff that’s still hangin around. Funnel the pumpkin spice vodka into a bottle, and refrigerate it until ready to use.
This stuff tastes good on its own (with a little dollop of whipped cream..) – but also tastes great when mixed into cocktails too – I created this yummy pumpkin pie martini just for this infused vokda
When I was experimenting with this recipe I also made a small batch that I infused with bourbon instead of vodka. The results were good, but the vodka definitely won my heart. I felt that the bourbon flavor was too dominant for the pumpkin, where as in the vodka the pumpkin spice flavors took over. So yes, it is possible to try it with other alcohol, but vodka ended up being the perfect vessel!
- 1 pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin, seeds removed, cut into cubes (about 2 overflowing cups)
- 3 cinnamon sticks (4-inch)
- 4 whole cloves
- 3 whole allspice berries
- ½ piece of nutmeg, broken apart into smaller pieces
- 1 vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise
- 750ml bottle vodka
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Spread cubed pumpkin onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes. Let cool.
- In an extra large glass jar with a tight fitting lid, combine roasted pumpkin and spices. Pour vodka into the jar to cover pumpkin and spices. Seal jar and store in a cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks, swishing around contents of the jar every 2-3 days.
- After the 2-3 weeks of infusing, line a mesh strainer with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Strain pumpkin vodka mixture into the bowl, removing the cheesecloth to squeeze out excess liquid. Discard pumpkin and spices. Line the mesh strainer with another piece of cheesecloth and strain vodka through it to remove any remaining sediment.
- Funnel mixture into an airtight bottle. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.