the beverage cart

pumpkin infused vodka, with bonus cocktail!

September 22, 2012

I have two infused vodka recipes — Jalapeño vodka and this one… pumpkin infused vodka.

Around these parts, that is to say New England, one can find pumpkin in virtually everything from pasta to cream cheese to beer… it’s ubiquitous. It’s so popular as a beer flavoring agent that by mid-October it’s hard to find a sole 6-pack of pumpkin ale.

The first time I tried this recipe I was blown away by how effective the Vodka took to the pumpkin. (Or vise-versa.) With the addition of Madagascar vanilla bean, cloves and cinnamon stick the end result ends up being very reminiscent of a very smooth aged bourbon.

Let’s get started!

You will need:

  • a nice pumpkin – specifically 2-3 cups of cubed pumpkin
  • 2T whole cloves
  • 2-3 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 madagascar vanilla bean, sliced length-wise
  • 1 liter of vodka

Clean out the pumpkin, I save the seeds to make roasted pumpkin seeds–great for salads.

I cut a block out of the back so I could salvage enough of the punkin for a Jack-O-Lantern. Man, I love Halloween.

My Jack-O-Lantern!

Vanilla, Cinnamon and Cloves waiting for their vodka bath. Mmmm vodka bath.

Pumpkin cubed. I think I am going to try and figure out something cool to do with the vodka soaked pumpkin that’s leftover from the infusing process. Maybe a pumpkin vodka sauce?

In a large pitcher I combine the pumpkin, vodka and cloves, cinnamon and vanilla.

And then it’s time to play the waiting game. I usually let this set for 5-6 days.

In the meantime… roasted pumpkin seeds with rosemary, coarse pepper and sea salt.

So pretty! This is the end result. I strained the pitcher of ingredients through cheesecloth a few times until the sediment is (mostly) removed. As you can see it’s a beautiful amber color. Now what to do with this delicious pumpkin vodka?

This is fantastic. In a salad plate combine a bit of bourbon and a bit of vanilla extract. In another plate add ground cinnamon and sugar. Soak the rim of a small aperatif cocktail glass and then place in the cinnamon/sugar.

Let the rim dry with the crusty sweet goodness.

Pour in 1 1/2 oz of Kaluha and then float 1 1/2 oz of the pumpkin vodka… voila!

Let me know what you think! I love to hear from visitors to my blog… more Halloween fun to come!

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  • Avatar
    Reply Lynn McCormick October 25, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    I was excited to try your pumpkin vodka.
    I am pleased to say it turned out awesome.
    We enjoyed the pumpkin martini very much!
    Thank you!

    • Avatar
      Reply davidtornado October 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      Awesome! Glad it turned out! 🙂

  • Avatar
    Reply Tim October 27, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Do you leave this setting out or should it be refrigerated?

    • Avatar
      Reply davidtornado October 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      There are a few different theories on this, but I think refrigeration is a good idea. I let my pumpkin vodka infuse at room temperature and then after straining moved the decanter to the refrigerator. Thanks for checking out my site!

  • Avatar
    Reply Tim October 31, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Oh ok, so you let it sit out for the 5-6 days at room temp then refrigerate.

  • Avatar
    Reply Bombchelle November 20, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Is that 2 tablespoons or teaspoons of cloves?

    • Avatar
      Reply davidtornado November 20, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      Hi! I think teaspoons. Cloves are very strong and you don’t want the pumpkin to be too overwhelmed. Thank you for reading! I will check out your blog!

  • Avatar
    Reply Barb October 13, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    So you dont bake the pumpkin first? Infuse raw? And how about using vanilla extract?

    • Avatar
      Reply davidtornado October 15, 2014 at 2:01 am

      You definitely get more out of the pumpkin by using raw pumpkin and letting it set over time. I think cooked pumpkin might get “stewy” or too thick. (I’m getting ready to post a yummy roasted pumpkin soup recipe!) Also, the vanilla bean infuses nicely. You could always use vanilla extract, but I think that defeats the purpose of infusing! Thanks for reading!

  • Reply so this happened: vol. 5, week 42 | david the tornado October 24, 2014 at 12:43 am

    […] I made a roasted pumpkin coconut curry soup (recipe here) and additionally made my annual pumpkin infused vodka (recipe here). […]

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