Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thanksgiving Recipes: Warm Pumpkin Pie Cocktails

This cocktail is a like warm, melted pumpkin ice-cream with a bourbon kicker.  

The idea for this cocktail came about because of a comment I posted on a Huffington Post article on bourbon.  In a post reply, someone passed along a recipe for a pecan pumpkin bourbon pie.  She said it was her favorite pumpkin recipe out there and I joked that all someone had to do was turn it into a martini. 

Although a playful comment, I began to wonder if I could turn it into a warm cocktail. 

The execution issue I had was that in doing research, all the pumpkin recipes I found used a pumpkin spice liquor or pumpkin spice.  I don’t see the point of using an artificially flavored liquor and pumpkin spice has too much clove for my taste.  Plus, to me the secret of making this a really exciting drink had to be the use of pecans. 

Incorporating the pecans was the challenge.  I thought about crumbling them or making a simple syrup out of them.  What I finally landed on was infusing the bourbon itself, allowing it to carry the bulk of the flavor nuances of the drink.

To do the infusion, you need one week, preferably two.  So, if you want to make this recipe in a hurry, I’ll provide cheats along the way (but it is worth the time and wait).    

The ratio of this infusion is 3 to 1: three parts bourbon, one part pecans.  First, toast the nuts.  Then, using a pan or a mallet or a rough coffee grinder, break the nuts up into pieces.     In an airtight glass container, put in the pecan pieces, one cinnamon stick, and the bourbon.  Close tightly.  After one day, remove the cinnamon stick because it can overpower quickly. Then, let the pecans and bourbon continue to infuse in a cool space for a week

After one week, run the infusion through some cheese cloth to remove the pecan pieces and pour bourbon back into original bottle.*  In a pan, reduce 1 cup of water and ½ cup maple syrup till it is a thick syrup.  My original infusion was 1½ cup bourbon, and I used about 4 tablespoons of the syrup.  Because of that, I didn’t have to add sugar to the cocktail.  You might like yours less sweet or even sweeter, so  go according to taste. 

If you can, let the bourbon and syrup hang out for a week to settle.  This isn’t required, but it somehow helps. 

*If you feel experimental, after the infusion is done, then sauté the pecans to cook off the excess bourbon.  Possibly throw in butter or brown sugar.  Then, you can use those pecans in stuffing or sweet potato casserole.

I like easy to remember numbers and ratios, so I made this one easy: 1 to 1 to 1 to 1.  I made it by glass, but you could make a large batch that hangs out in a crock pot for your guests.

For one serving, I went with . . . 
¼ cup canned puree pumpkin
¼ cup boiling water
¼ cup pecan bourbon
¼ cup Sweet Cream creamer (I used International House’s Breve Crème that is half cream and half milk)**
1 tsp. brown sugar (optional for if you haven’t used bourbon with syrup.

**If you don’t want to go through the trouble of infusing your own bourbon, I’d recommend using a hazelnut flavored dairy creamer

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  1. Thats an awesome flower, Katie! Your photos just keep getting better and better.

  2. i ABSOLUTELY love this idea!! so awesome, I hope I can get a chance to try it before the holiday season ends! - i found your link on the bloghop from deelicious sweets pumpkin blog hop! and im so glad i did! :]

  3. @CaseyThanks, Casey, for stopping by and checking out my recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

  4. Success! I am delighted to report that the pecan pumpkin bourbon pie dish I made using your wonderful recipe was successful. Big time. I can’t believe that I did it. Thanks. It's no doubt due to your terrific and easy-to-follow instructions.

    PS. I showed this to my chef friend and now he's really hyped up to make this dish.


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