I know, I know! It does sound a bit strange and it was one of the biggest leaps of faith EVER but you know what? It’s good too. Without a doubt my margaritas all have a couple of things in common as most do. Reposado tequila, real orange liqueur and fresh lime juice. It was not that big of a leap to go from there to the Pumpkin Spice Margarita. Really.
The difference in almost all of them is simply what I decide to add for a unique flavor. And I’ve done a lot of margaritas too. My favorite old fashioned one, basil and jalapeno, blackberry and blood orange and…well, you get my drift right? So I was thinking about a margarita for today’s Friday Cocktail segment and what I would do that was seasonal and I could hardly miss the huge pumpkin I had just brought in from my front porch.
Why not? I knew I had some pumpkin puree from last year in the freezer (boy did I time that right…just one!) so I was on it. Consider how the world has gone Pumpkin Spice crazy I decided to do the same. I made a pumpkin simple syrup flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg and just added that to my standard ingredients and voila…here you go!
When I say a leap of faith I mean it. This cocktail should have been made and at least photographed yesterday but I was trying to catch up from a post on Wednesday and another yesterday so it didn’t happen. I’ve pretty much missed doing any cocktails during my recuperation from cataract surgery but come on…enough is enough. I wanted to make one today AND enjoy it this evening with friends so I plowed through and hoped against hope I would like it!
And I really did. I used the pumpkin to make a simple syrup so it’s not too heavy handed in the cocktail but I think of most importance is the type of tequila. Whereas a Blanco might be perfect for the fruity margaritas of summer, I decided that I had to use one with a bit more oomph to work with the pumpkin concoction I made for the flavoring. Reposado it was and the two worked together perfectly.
Because pumpkin is so bland I decided to use the ubiquitous ‘Pumpkin Spice’ flavor that is so popular today. It’s basically the combination that makes holiday pies taste so good…some pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg. Altogether a spicy and smooth concoction that paired beautifully with the fuller tequila, orange liqueur and a bit of lime juice.
This would be pretty much the perfect cocktail for Thanksgiving. Or tonight. Cheers!
Pumpkin Spice Margarita
For the Pumpkin Spice Syrup
- 16 oz pumpkin puree (or 15 oz if using canned)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- pinch of salt
- 1 cups water
For the Cocktail
- 4 ounces Reposado tequila
- 2 ounces orange liqueur
- 4 ounces pumpkin spice syrup
- Juice from one lime
- Lime Wheels
To Make the Pumpkin Spice Syrup:
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan set over medium-low heat; whisk together until smooth. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat, cool, and strain into a container.
To Make the Cocktail:
- Chill two cocktail glasses. Rub a lime wedge around the rim and dip the rim into a saucer filled with a combination of equal parts kosher salt and sugar.
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the tequila, orange liqueur and pumpkin spice syrup. Shake until chilled.
- Fill the rimmed glasses with ice and pour the mixture into the glasses.
- Garnish with a lime wheel.
Once the syrup has strained out from the pumpkin, use it for toast or waffles...it's like pumpkin butter!