Cheers to fall! This Pumpkin Old Fashioned is a seasonal take on the classic libation. Made with real pumpkin, maple syrup, and bourbon, it has all the flavors you love and expect in a fall-inspired cocktail.
Pumpkin Old Fashioned:
This past week I brainstormed a few drink ideas to take advantage of the flavors of fall. Autumn seems to come and go so quickly, so I’m starting now to create as many of these seasonal cocktails as possible. I’m kicking things off today with the Pumpkin Old Fashioned that debuted in my post on fall table decorations. In case you missed that post, click here.
Two or three years ago I decided to learn how to appreciate and even like bourbon. Why? Well, have you ever seen a movie or TV show where the actor pours a shot of bourbon from a beautiful decanter into his/her rocks glass and takes a sip? I’m not sure why, but I’ve always thought that was so cool. That’s the reason (albeit a silly one) I wanted to like bourbon.
While I’m not at the point of drinking it straight up, I have developed an appreciation for bourbon. It all started when I created this Cranberry Bourbon cocktail. During the holidays it’s still a go-to in my home.
I’ve also come to like Old Fashioneds. I even shared this Cranberry Old Fashioned recipe last year. It’s a delicious cocktail for the holidays!
How Do You Make a Pumpkin Old Fashioned?
The first requirement is a good bourbon. There are lots out there. After sampling a few, I found I prefer Four Roses Single Barrel. It’s a bit pricey at $40 a bottle, but I enjoy the taste. I also don’t drink it very often, so it lasts a long time.
The remaining ingredients in a classic old fashioned are sugar (either a sugar cube or simple syrup), bitters, sometimes water, and an orange peel and cherry to garnish.
For this Pumpkin Old Fashioned, however, there are a couple of substitutions and an addition:
- Instead of sugar, we’ll use maple syrup
- Instead of classic Angostura bitters, we’ll use black walnut bitters.
- And we will add a bit of pumpkin puree.
The process of making a Pumpkin Old Fashioned is pretty simple. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the bourbon, maple syrup, pumpkin purée, and bitters. Shake vigorously.
Add ice to a rocks glass; then strain in the cocktail mixture.
Then squeeze an orange peel over the cocktail to release the oils, Also rub the orange peel around the rim of the glass.
You can garnish this old fashioned any way you choose. I like to throw in the orange peel and add a homemade bourbon cherry and a cinnamon stick.
A Few Notes About Making a Pumpkin Old Fashioned:
I recently made homemade bourbon-infused cherries. That’s what I used in my cocktail. You can find the recipe here. If you prefer not to make homemade cherries, these Luxardo Maraschino Cherries are amazing. I love them. They come with a hefty price tag, but they are worth it.
Also, if you’d like, you can use classic Angostura bitters. I think the black walnut bitters work well in this recipe because of their nutty flavor, but use what you have. (Because I’m weird about drink ingredients, I now have more bitter flavors then I will ever need.)
In my opinion, Finding Home Farms has the best maple syrup. Pure/real maple syrup is a must in this cocktail. Do not use maple-flavored syrup, such as Aunt Jemima or Mrs. Buttersworth’s.
Now that we’ve taken care of these things, it’s time to sip your Pumpkin Old Fashioned. Although my description is detailed, this cocktail is simple to put together.
Want more fall cocktail recipes? You’ll love these too:
- Apple Cider Sidecar
- Cranberry Old Fashioned
- The BEST Mulled Wine
- Caramel Apple Martini
- Cranberry Bourbon Cocktail
- Autumn Harvest Fall Sangria
I think you’ll agree that this Pumpkin Old Fashioned is both beautiful and delicious! In case you haven’t yet become a fan of bourbon, just add a little more maple syrup or a splash of water.
Pumpkin Old Fashioned Recipe:
- 2.5 ounces bourbon (I prefer Four Roses Single Barrel)
- 2/3 ounce pure maple syrup* (I prefer Finding Home Farms)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin purée
- 1-2 dashes dashes black walnut bitters**
- Orange peel, cinnamon stick, and a bourbon cherry for garnish
In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine the bourbon, maple syrup, pumpkin purée, and bitters. Shake vigorously.
Add ice to a rocks glass, then strain in the cocktail mixture.
Squeeze the orange peel over the top of the cocktail to release the oils; then rub the orange peel around the rim of the glass.
Garnish with orange peel, cinnamon stick, and a bourbon cherry***.
*Use real maple syrup. Adjust the amount to suit your preferred level of sweetness.
**Standard Angostura bitters work well here, too.
***My recipe for homemade Bourbon Cherries will be posted soon. I will update this recipe with a link once that post is up.