Pumpkin Spice Old Fashioned: Celebrating Fall with a Bourbon Twist
As leaves turn golden and the air grows crisp, the arrival of fall is heralded not just by the changing scenery but by the flavors that define the season. Among these, pumpkin spice stands out as a quintessential autumnal taste. Scott Allen, the bar manager at Copper Lounge in Los Angeles, captures this essence in a cocktail that elevates the familiar to the extraordinary: the Pumpkin Spice Old Fashioned.
A Seasonal Symphony in a Glass
The Pumpkin Spice Old Fashioned is more than just a nod to the season’s favorite flavor; it’s a carefully crafted cocktail that balances the richness of pumpkin with the depth of bourbon. The homemade pumpkin syrup, made with pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar, and vanilla extract, offers a taste reminiscent of a liquid pumpkin pie. This syrup forms the backbone of the cocktail, providing a sweet, spiced base that complements the bourbon’s complexity.
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Instructions - How to make it:
Muddle the pumpkin syrup, orange bitters, and orange wedge in an Old Fashioned glass.
Add the bourbon and a large ice cube.
Optionally, add a splash of club soda.
Stir gently with the cinnamon stick to combine.
Combine 1 cup water and 3/4 cup light brown sugar in a saucepan; simmer until sugar dissolves.
Whisk in 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice and 1/3 cup pumpkin puree; simmer for 8 minutes.
Cool, strain, and add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
A Twist on Tradition
While the classic Old Fashioned is a testament to simplicity, Allen’s Pumpkin Spice Old Fashioned embraces a more playful approach. The addition of an orange wedge, muddled directly into the drink, might raise eyebrows among purists, but it adds a bright, citrusy flavor that pairs beautifully with the bourbon’s notes of butterscotch, candied orange, chocolate, and spicy white pepper. The orange bitters enhance this citrusy depth, tying all the elements together into a cohesive, delightful cocktail.