The Great Pumpkin Pie Cocktail

DSCN2353It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  That is, if you happen to love autumn, as I do.  The leaves are changing colors, it’s cool enough to wear scarves again, and the time is right to watch repetitively It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  Speaking of great pumpkins, have you yet stocked up on all of the cans of pumpkin that you’ll need for the next three months?  If not, I trust that you’re working on it.  While you’re gearing up to make the first of many pumpkin pies, why not really get into the spirit of the season with a little pumpkin pie cocktail?  Yes, please.

This easy-peezy martini has all of the flavor of pumpkin pie and takes a fraction of the time to assemble and serve.  It involves pumpkin, spices, and a milk product, just like the real thing, but with the pleasant additions of Kahlua and butterscotch schnapps.  If you don’t yet have Kahlua and/or butterscotch schnapps on hand, I highly recommend investing in both; they both can be used throughout the holiday season(s) to make any number of festive cocktails.  For now, however, let’s focus on making this liquid pumpkin pie dream a reality.

The Great Pumpkin Pie Cocktail

Makes 1 cocktail


1.25 oz. Kahlua or another coffee liqueur

1.25 oz. butterscotch schnapps

2 oz. cold milk (any kind)

.75 oz pumpkin puree

1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

dollop of whipped cream (optional, for garnish)

To Make the Cocktail:

Halfway fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.  Atop the ice, ad the Kahlua, butterscotch schnapps, milk, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice.  Gently mix with a spoon to start to incorporate the pumpkin and spices.  Vigorously shake the shaker for 30 seconds.  Pour the contents of the shaker into a martini glass.  If you like, garnish the cocktail with whipped cream.  Enjoy!


Cafe Frangelico

DSCN2145My grandparents are all about being European.  My grandfather, whom my cousins and I call “Opa” (German for “grandfather”) is from Germany, and his wife is from Austria.  Now that they’re retired, they make annual trips to Europe to tour new places and visit familiar ones.  Afternoon cake and coffee is a daily occurrence, not only when they’re abroad, but here in the States, too.  While this routine does mean that any and all afternoon visits are fairly lengthy due to the whole process (table setting, coffee, cake, some more coffee, etc.), the idea itself is a lovely notion.  (Also, Tante, if you happen to read this, I’d like to put in a request for your Black Forest Cake for my birthday.  I’m positive that 23 is not too old for birthday cake.)

The fast pace of everyday American life doesn’t often allow time for such luxuries as afternoon coffee, but, thankfully, that’s what weekends are for.  There are few things I love more than an afternoon gab session with a ladyfriends, and introducing a bit of European-ism to the equation could only serve to improve it.  Just to mix things up, why not invite a friend over for an afternoon get-together, and, rather than the usual beer or glass of wine on the couch, why not try spiked coffee and a slice of cake on the deck?  It’d be a good excuse to be fancy for a while, and what girl doesn’t like to be fancy?

Cafe Frangelico is way, way too simple to make (coffee + liqueur + liqueur + whipped cream) and takes virtually no effort to enjoy.  The additions of Frangelico (an Italian hazelnut liqueur) adds a bit of nutty sweetness, and a topping of real whipped cream (it takes all of 5 minutes to make) curbs some of the bitterness from the coffee.  No need for creamer here!  So chic and so European!  Feel free to bust out your fancy dishes and favorite floral dress for this occasion, too.

Cafe Frangelico

Adapted from Cocktail Mixer

Makes 1 cocktail


1 oz. Frangelico (or other hazelnut liqueur)

1 oz. Kahlua (or other coffee liqueur)

0.5 oz. whipped cream vodka (optional)

strong, hot coffee

whipped cream (for topping)

To Make Cafe Frangelico:

In a mug, combine the Frangelico, Kahlua, and whipped cream vodka (if using).  Top with hot coffee, leaving 1/2″ for the whipped cream.  Top with whipped cream.  Enjoy!

To Make Whipped Cream:

In a large mixing bowl, combine one cup of heavy whipping cream, 2 Tbs. of granulated sugar, and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.  Using an electric mixer, whip the cream on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, until you notice bubbles starting to form and the cream beginning to whip up.  Gradually, increase the mixer speed to medium-high, and continue to whip the cream just until stiff peaks form and it holds its shape.  Don’t whip it too much, or you’ll end up with butter.  Enjoy!