When the weather starts to get chilly and the trees start to lose their leaves, there’s a seasonal coffee drink that shows up too: Pumpkin Spice Lattes. We’re not sure who first added warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg to coffee, but it was a genius combination that’s now part of American coffee culture. Pumpkin spice lattes are more than a temporary menu item. They have fervent adherents who post pictures to Instagram with the hashtag #PSL, which has been used more than 1.7 million times to date. A search for the related hashtag #pumpkinspice provides more than 2.4 million results.
With a little effort, you can make your own Pumpkin Spice Lattes at home, either as a morning coffee drink or an adult libation with your favorite brown spirit. Once you master your own Pumpkin Spice Latte cocktail recipe, it just may become one of your go-to hot Halloween cocktails.
Both versions depend on a quick simple syrup that’s flavored with pumpkin pie baking spices, plus some black peppercorns for balance. You’ll find the syrup is a nice addition to black tea or red, ice cream, Greek yogurt or even apple juice to make a quickie version of a hot apple cider cocktail.
Feel free to make this recipe your own: instead of brewed coffee, use instant coffee or a couple shots of espresso. Swap the heavy cream for a rich barista version of your favorite alternative milk. And the pumpkin spice syrup makes delicious hot fall cocktails with any aged brown spirit: Bourbon, dark rum, Cognac, and even brandy will all taste wonderful.
Whether you’re a diehard PSL drinker, or had never heard this acronym before, the combination of coffee with baking spices like cinnamon has potential for an excellent cool-weather cocktail.
Last Updated: August 16, 2023
Pumpkin Spice Latte Ingredients
Pumpkin Spice Latte Directions
Pour coffee into a mug and stir in spiced simple syrup, followed by your spirit of choice. Spoon homemade whipped cream on top, and then garnish with ground nutmeg.
Pumpkin Spiced Simple Syrup Ingredients
Pumpkin Spiced Simple Syrup Directions
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar dissolves.
Reduce heat and add cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns. Simmer for five minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool. Pour through sieve into a heat-safe bowl or jar. Discard solids.
Syrup can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to one month.