Apparently, pumpkin spice lattes make up a huge percentage of Starbucks’ fall sales. No wonder -- they’re delicious. But while I love me a pumpkin spice latte as much as the next girl, getting one every day – or even every week -- is a luxury my budget can’t afford right now. So I decided to see if I could replicate it on my own. And I did! The key is pumpkin spice syrup, and it’s SUPER easy to make.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ to ½ tsp each ground cloves, nutmeg, and allspice (the amounts are flexible- add the larger amount of your favorites.)
1. Mix water and sugar in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Place the spices in a coffee filter, and tie the filter off at the top with a piece of string.
2. Submerge the spice packet in the sugar and water mixture. Heat over gentle heat until the sugar is entirely dissolved and the mixture has turned a deep amber color from the spices. Your house should smell like fall. (If you don’t have coffee filters, you can add the spices directly to the syrup, but then you’re going to want to filter it at the end to prevent grit- a couple layers of cheesecloth will work. The coffee filter is way easier, in my mind.)
3. Let the mixture cool, remove the spice packet, and decant into a jar or squeeze bottle.
Ideas for use:
Pumpkin spice syrup is, of course, delicious in coffee with some warm milk -- just like a pumpkin spice latte, but you control the precise amount of flavor, and at a fraction of the cost. Try some of these other ideas, too:
- Pour a couple teaspoons into a dark, stouty beer for a DIY pumpkin stout (at my local bar, they call this “Stouty Spice,” which I think is hilarious).
- Drizzle a little into apple cider, ideally warm
- Add some to hot chocolate
Or, try this recipe my husband John developed for an autumn old-fashioned:
- 2 oz bourbon
- 1 ½ tsp pumpkin spice syrup
- 3 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 dashes orange bitters or ½ tsp Cointreau or triple sec
Stir ingredients with large ice cubes in a rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon or orange peel.