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A Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe, With or Without Booze

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.

 

Pumpkin Spice Latte Ingredients

½ cup brewed coffee
2 tablespoons pumpkin spiced simple syrup (recipe follows)
1.5 ounces Cognac, rum, Bourbon or vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream, whipped into soft peaks
Ground nutmeg, for garnish

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

½ cup water
½ cup sugar
3 3-inch cinnamon sticks
4 cloves
10 black peppercorns

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.

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