You know fall has arrived when you see pumpkin spice foods and beverages advertised everywhere. Here you will find an easy recipe for Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup, and two recipes that use it.
Pumpkin Spice Does Not Contain Pumpkin
Even though the word pumpkin is in the description, it does not mean actual pumpkin is in pumpkin spice products. This is not some sort of scam, or swindle, or bait and switch. Pumpkin spice is the description of the spice mixture that gives pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin scones their excellent flavor. By itself, pumpkin, like most squash, doesn’t have a lot of flavor. It is an excellent source of vitamin A, and a good source of vitamin C, and potassium. I like to eat pumpkin in various forms, but I wouldn’t want to drink it, unless it is part of a smoothie. Trying to add actual pumpkin to a latte would be kinda gross, actually. I like my lattes with flavor, not fiber.
What is this Pumpkin Spice Blend?
Pumpkin Spice is a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. You can buy it at the grocery store, or make your own.
Making Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup
A simple syrup is a way to add sweetness and flavor in one easy step. Since the sugar is liquified, there is no sugar sludge in the bottom of a cold drink, which is a huge bonus in my book.
I had all of the spices on hand, but not all of them were whole spices, so I used ground spices. Cinnamon is not really soluble, and I don’t like the mess it leaves in the glass or mug when I’ve finished a cinnamon laced drink, so I decided to use an empty tea bag.
I put 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon cloves in the tea bag, then tied it shut with kitchen string.
I measured out 10 ounces of water into a small sauce pan, and heated it to boiling. As soon as it started to boil, I turned off the heat and added the tea bag. I let it steep for about 5 minutes, then removed the tea bag.
Infusing the water with flavor gives you more control over the final flavor intensity. It is my preferred method of flavoring simple syrups.
After the tea bag was removed, I measured the amount of liquid left in the pan using a kitchen scale. I needed to add about an ounce of water to bring the total volume back to 8 ounces.
To the 8 ounces of infused water, I added 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar, and stirred well. The pan was placed back on the stove, and brought to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Once it reached the boil, I set the timer for 3 minutes, and let it boil gently.
When the 3 minutes were up, I removed the pan from the stove, and let it cool. I like to split the batch into two smaller glass jars, because I think it keeps longer. I used two small Mason jars, as pictured at the top. After the jars were filled, I placed them in the refrigerator where they can be stored for about a month. If it lasts that long!
Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
10 ounces water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
Measure spices into an empty tea bag, and tie shut with kitchen string. Pour water in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Remove pan from heat, and place tea bag into water. Let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bag, and set aside. Measure water, and add water if necessary to make 8 ounces. Add sugars, and place pan on stove. Heat to boiling over medium high heat. Boil gently for 3 minutes. Let cool. Store in glass containers in refrigerator for about one month.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
This is the drink that started the whole craze. Thank you, Starbucks! You can easily make a PSL at home using espresso, or very strong coffee. I have my own espresso machine, so that is what I used.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
8 ounces 2% or whole milk (milk fat brings out the good flavor in coffee)
2 shots espresso, or
1/2 cup very strong coffee
2 tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup
Heat milk in microwave or on stove top while espresso/coffee is brewing. Pour the simple syrup into the bottom of the mug. Pour heated milk over top, then add the espresso/coffee. Stir gently. Top with whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!
Apple Cider Sparkler
When we host dinner club, we try to find a featured beverage for the evening. One of the requirements is that it needs to be able to have a non-alcohol version as well. We found a recipe that sounded good, then adjusted it for the non-alcohol version. We loved the version we came up with better than the original.
Apple Cider Sparkler
1 tablespoon pumpkin spice simple syrup
2 ounces apple cider
5 ounces ginger ale
Put simple syrup in bottom of 12 ounce glass. Add apple cider, and top with ginger ale. Add ice. Enjoy
If you want to make it with alcohol, add up to 1 ounce of vodka with the apple cider.
The Possibilities are Endless!
I plan on trying this in a tea recipe that I like, but hate the spice residue left over in the bottom of the cup, as well as a fall martini recipe. This would also be a good simple syrup to use on a spice layer cake to help keep it moist (to learn that technique, click here).
Have fun, play a little in the kitchen, and feel free to share your ideas in the comments below!