Halloween may have come and gone, but with Thanksgiving just two weeks away, pumpkin season is far from over. From the dark and spicy to the refreshingly approachable, here are four smashing ways bartenders are serving up the ultimate fall flavor.
THE PUMPKIN SPICE MARTINI at PARK AVENUE TAVERN
Bartender Chris Keegan isn’t immune to the most buzzed about flavor of the season. “Everyone catches the pumpkin bug this time of year, myself included!” he says. As such, Keegan shakes together house made pumpkin puree (complete with nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla) with spiced rum and Rumchata before straining everything into a coupe, which is topped off with an autumn-approved cinnamon stick.
THE DRUNKEN PUMPKIN at GREEN FIG
It’s all about balance in this fall-forward sensation from bartender Adrian Grossman, who shakes together Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, coconut milk, Pumpkin Spice Kahlua, caramel apple butter, and Oaxaca Bitters before straining it all into a martini glass. Don’t be fooled by the frothy milk foam that tops it off — this drink packs more of a punch than any pumpkin spice latte ever could.
THE CRANE’S FICTION at ANALOGUE
Inspired by The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’s Ichabod Crane — the poor lad who was destined to encounter the Headless Horseman — this dram translates to autumnal drinking done right. The team shakes together Rittenhouse Rye, cinnamon syrup, pumpkin cordial, Benedictine, and a whole egg before filling a rocks glass over a large ice cube and garnishing it all with grated cinnamon. The results? A spicy, spirit-driven sipper perfect for crisp fall nights.
THE IT’S PUMPKIN TIME! at BOTTLE BINE
Head bartender Moses Laboy (of Gotham Bar and Grill and Red Rooster) is big on showcasing seasonality at this New American bar and restaurant in Midtown East — and the It’s Pumpkin Time! is no exception. Laboy reaches for pumpkin shrub, Averna, Black Bottle Scotch, and fresh lime juice for the smoky and earthy creation — and that’s not all. A sidecar of pumpkin seeds accompanies the drink, ensuring you can have your pumpkin — and eat it, too.
By Nicole Schnitzler
(Photos from left: Crane's Fiction at Analogue; Pumpkin Spice Martini at Park Avenue Tavern; Drunken Pumpkin at Green Fig by @RatedRuwan)