Sunday, October 24, 2010

DIY Happy Hour: Pumpkin & Spice-Infused Vodka and Pumpkin Pie Martinis

Posted by Katie

These pumpkin pie martinis are one of my favorite drinks that I've ever made. Once you get the pumpkin & spice-infused vodka out of the way, they're super simple to make. And they taste amazing—like pumpkin pie with whipped cream in a glass.

We were on our way to a costume party, hence the Halloween theme, but these martinis would be great for any girls' night held in October or November.

Pumpkin & Spice-Infused Vodka

I looked at number of recipes before attempting to make this infusion. Some used fresh raw pumpkin or cooked fresh pumpkin while others used canned pumpkin.

I'm lazy, so I decided to use canned pumpkin. It actually turned out to be more work in the end, but that's okay. Here's the recipe:

What You'll Need:
- Canned pumpkin (I used Libby's)
- Cinnamon sticks
- Nutmeg
- Glass jar/container of some sort

Step 1: Put canned pumpkin in glass jar and fill jar with vodka.
Leave at least a 1/2 inch of space on the top.

Step 3: Keep jar in fridge for at least a week, shaking jar once a day. 

Step 4: Three or four days before you plan to strain the vodka, add 3 sticks of cinnamon and a good couple pinches of nutmeg. Continue shaking regiment.

Step 5: Strain the vodka. 
This part would have been a lot easier if I hadn't used pumpkin puree...

Place drink strainer over glass, pour vodka/puree mixture into strainer, use muddler or similar tool to squeeze out liquid.

Step 5: Pour infusion back into washed-out glass jar and keep in the freezer until you're ready to drink it.

Pumpkin Pie Martinis

 What You'll Need:
- Pumpkin & spice-infused vodka (recipe above)
- Half & Half
- Brown sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground nutmeg
- Cane sugar
(Pumpkin Spice liquor pictured, but not need for this recipe)

Step 1: Make brown sugar simple syrup.

Stir 1 cup of brown sugar and 1 cup of water over medium heat until it just starts to boil. Turn off heat and let cool.

Step 2: Combine 1 part pumpkin & spice-infused vodka, 1 part half & half, and 1 part simple syrup over ice in shaker. Add a pinch of cinnamon and some nutmeg.

Step 3: Shake.

Step 4: Cinnamon-sugar the martini rims.
Rub the rim with a lemon rind. I forgot to buy lemon so I poured some Pumpkin Spice liquor into a dish and used that.

Combine cinnamon and sugar in a dish.

Run rims through cinnamon and sugar mixture until coated.

Step 5: Pour mixture into rimmed glass and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.


P.S. I bought that Pumpkin Spice liquor because I was worried my infusion wouldn't have enough flavor and I wanted a back up. The liquor actually tasted more like spice than pumpkin and had a chemical aftertaste. I tried using it in the recipe above with regular vodka as a substitute for my vodka infusion and the consensus was that those martinis were nowhere near as good as the other ones. So I recommend just going the extra mile and making your own infusion. Trust me, it's worth it. 


vodka martini said...

Pumpkin pie martinis sounds like the perfect cocktail for my upcoming Halloween party. I've put up a list of cocktails already, of course vodka martini is my number one, it's a personal favorite. lol! I have pomegranate and black martini, too. I thought red and black will be perfect for the occasion. I'm thinking pumpkin pie martini will be the highlight at my mini bar.

Anonymous said...

I know this is way after you posted this, but can you tell me how much vodka you used for the infusion? Thanks!

Katie said...

I just filled the jar up, leaving a bit of room at the top for shaking. Cheers!