Make it easy and drink your dessert! The Bourbon Cocktail with Pumpkin and Chocolate Liqueur is sweet but the bourbon is definitely forward and makes it VERY adult! The perfect after dinner cocktail.
If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen some teasers of the holiday decor I did for Fall this year. I have a ton of Christmas decorations but Halloween, Thanksgiving and Fall in general get ignored for the most part. And I even know why!
In a nutshell I prefer cooler colors; and and most definitely not a big fan of orange. That’s right, poor orange. I have a friend who loves orange and I wonder what is wrong with her; it simply assaults my senses!
Adding black to orange for a holiday that is supposed to be scary for decor in a house of someone who NEVER…and I really mean NEVER EVER watches scary shows? It’s not at the top of my list of things that’s for sure. So I normally wade through this period just preparing for Christmas when I might go a bit nuts with burgundy and forest green; I don’t even like red with tones of orange!
So I decided to ignore convention and decorate my way. A big plum glass pumpkin, another of clear glass. I found a beautiful white ceramic pumpkin at Home Goods; the silly mouth and eyelashes disappeared by turning them to the back and I brought in a couple of dusty pink little glass guys and a green paper mâché one I’ve had for years.
Two of my favorite things are a new wire frame pumpkin with a battery operated candle and these sparkly twinkle lights twined through everything. It really turned into a bright spot in my kitchen that I’ll enjoy through Thanksgiving; every day is festive!
Those grapes? One of my favorite Christmas decorations for many years; they were a garland with lights but they no longer lit up. I decided to separate them into bunches and add them to the forest of Fall, further accentuating the colors I love.
I decided to photograph this quintessential Fall cocktail in this mass of glass and lights. Quintessential but definitely with a twist; a dose of chocolate liqueur and a smidge of maple syrup are a part of the mix. The recipe comes from my pal Anita who blogs at Hungry Couple in New York City; she said it was amazing, I worried it would be too sweet and she promised me that the bourbon was pronounced and made all the difference. She was right…I mean SHE WAS RIGHT!!!
Anita’s recipe differs from mine only in that it called for simple syrup and I didn’t have any available when I got ready to do some cocktailing. Normally no big deal; simple syrup is well, simply water and sugar boiled until the sugar dissolves. The only problem for me is that it’s hot and needs time to cool down to at least room temperature.
I’ll make it sometimes using half the water that’s typical and then add ice cubes to the mix to give me a quick cool down but the other day I was in no mood for that even; the change in time and the location of the setting sun makes a major shift in the light in my home…I had to get on it right away.
For some drinks, especially margaritas, I would pull out a bottle of agave but for this cocktail I had a brainstorm and used maple syrup; it seemed the right choice with bourbon and pumpkin. To be honest, the final cocktail was so perfect I’m sticking with the maple syrup but if you have none in the house; go with the simple syrup, the other flavors are more prominent and it will be just as delicious. Half water, half sugar and boil on medium until you no longer notice any granules in the water; make it ahead and stick it in the fridge to cool.
It’s hard to describe but what made it for me was the bourbon; it’s definitely there and gives a nice little kick to a cocktail I expected to be more cloying. Definitely sweet…but not cloying. If you want to dial back the sweetness a bit more for yourself; try it first without the maple syrup and add a bit at a time for your taste.
This is sort of the perfect Fall and holiday cocktail. No need to spend the afternoon baking for guests; hand them one of these and they will love you forever!
PIN ‘Bourbon Cocktail with Pumpkin and Chocolate Liqueur’
- 2 1/2 oz. Bourbon
- 2 oz. Half and half
- 1 & 1/2 oz. Pumpkin puree
- 1/2 oz. Maple Syrup
- 1/2 oz. Chocolate liqueur
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Chill cocktail glasses in the fridge or freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Fill shaker with ice and shake hard for 15-20 times until container is ice cold.
- Pour into martini glasses and serve.