Food & Drink

Gourd of Education

If It Has to Be Pumpkin Spice... Make It Whiskey

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While the rest of the world drinks its pumpkin spice lattes this fall, you’ll be taking a different approach to autumnal gourd consumption.

Pumpkin spice whiskey.

And there’s nothing artificially double-pumped about this. It’s the real thing. The real, big, orange, orb-shaped, weird thing. That will go into your whiskey. Then go into your guests. Then reside permanently in the Hall of Legendary Halloween Party Libations.

Oh, and you’re doing this yourself. Here’s how.

Step 1: Acquire that pumpkin.
Time to hit the pumpkin patch. Or just go to Whole Foods or something. Point is: pumpkins. They’re those big orange things that aren’t oranges. Buy one. The important thing is to procure a medium-size “sugar pumpkin” or “pie pumpkin.” Because they’re the kind you ingest.

Step 2: Carve your pumpkin.
Yeah, you just meticulously selected a pumpkin. But don’t get too attached, because you’re about to seriously disfigure it. Take your blade of choice and carve out big, crescent-shaped pieces while discarding the seeds and pulp. For what comes next, you want clean pumpkin flesh only.

Step 3: Place your pumpkin pieces in the oven.
Preheat that oven to 200 degrees and put those slices on a sheet to dehydrate for the next six hours. Hey, this is fun. After six hours, flip them over and find something to do for another six hours. Football is a good way to spend time, so watch that. The end result of your 12-hour non-effort should be some now-concentrated, now-juiceless pumpkin pieces that look like dried fruit. Because they are dried fruit. Pumpkin’s fruit, right? Right.

Step 4: The whiskey.
Use a whole bottle of bourbon. Or rye, if that’s your thing. But you’ll really need two whiskeys here. The nice and drinkable but not rare or precious whiskey you’ll be infusing with your pumpkin. And an even more drinkable, really good whiskey you’ll sip on the side. It helps with the process.

Step 5: Spices. They make pumpkins better.
One important note about pumpkin here: it doesn’t taste that great by itself. So you’re going to want some fall spices to back it up. A teaspoon each of whole star anise, cloves, allspice and black peppercorns should do the trick. And two or three long sticks of cinnamon. Gotta have cinnamon.

Step 6: Marrying the pumpkin to the whiskey.
It’s so beautiful. You knew them before they ever met. Now they’re starting a new life together. Put everything into an airtight glass container large enough to fit all of this stuff. Make sure the whiskey covers your pumpkin and spices with a little self-guided turbulence. You know, swirl it around.

Step 7: Wait.
Stick that container into a cool, dark place. Now you just have to wait two weeks. When the two weeks are up, you’ll put a cheesecloth over the mouth of your container and pour the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a new container. Your whiskey is ready to drink and should taste like fall is supposed to taste. But the flavors will mellow out and meld together further if you can wait another week. Be strong.

Step 8: Serve liberally. Enjoy the accolades.
Congratulations. You just made pumpkin spice whiskey. And in this hypothetical but getting-more-believable-every-day future, everybody is loving it. Soak it in. The praise, the compliments, the whiskey. Definitely the whiskey. You earned it.

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