At this time of year my social media feeds become saturated with yummy fall drinks, drunk by people wearing cozy fall sweaters and scarves. While my attire still consists of shorts, tank tops, and flip flops, I’m all in for fall flavors (and so ready to pull out my jeans and scarves).
Pumpkin is always a big fall trend. As it should be. It’s cute, festive, and good for you. So why not add it to a drink!?
I had two different ideas. One was to do something with apple cider, the other with milk. This recipe will work with both. For those who don’t love coffee, or for the kiddos, the cider will be perfect. You could make either one (or both!) in big batches and serve to a crowd. You could use coconut milk and make it vegan. There are so many options for one simple drink.
If you’re opting for the milk and coffee version, depending on how you make it, it can be either a latté or a café au lait. Be definition, the former is made with espresso, the latter with coffee. I used coffee, because that’s what I had on hand. I brewed it strong and it tasted great. I’ve been a decaf drinker for a few years now. But, don’t get all down on decaf now. I choose high quality whole beans, that have been decaffeinated with water rather than chemicals, and I think it tastes just as good as it did when I drank regular. I stopped drinking caffeine because I felt like it was contributing to anxiety. Because I’ve found such amazing coffee, I haven’t missed the caffeine at all.
This pumpkin drink actually contains real pumpkin. I roasted one the other day for some Pumpkin Pasta and had some leftover. It’s combined with the same seasonings I’d add to pumpkin pie, coffee, and milk (or cider). Everything gets heated up or brewed, then it’s strained and topped with some whipped cream and more cinnamon.
I enjoyed this so much that I drank it all and then made some more. It’s probably a good thing I don’t drink caffeine. 😉
- 1/2 C milk (any kind) or 2 C apple cider (and omit the coffee or espresso)
- 2 T cooked pumpkin purée
- good pinch cinnamon
- good pinch nutmeg
- good pinch all spice
- good pinch ginger
- tiny pinch salt
- 3 t maple syrup (or to taste)
- 1 1/2 C strong coffee, or 1-2 shots espresso/person
- whipped cream (optional), for topping
- cinnamon, for topping
- caramel (optional), for topping
- Heat milk or cider through maple syrup over low heat, for about 5-7 minutes (or until it barely starts to simmer, or comes to about 165F), stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. (Or, steam the milk, then stir in pumpkin through maple syrup. If pumpkin and syrup are cold, they will cool down the milk a bit.)
- Brew coffee/espresso, if using. Combine with milk mixture.
- Strain the hot pumpkin mixture through a sieve, pressing down to get all the liquid out. Taste for sweetness. Top with whipped cream, cinnamon, and a drizzle of caramel if desired.