The Friday Tipple: Pumpkin Pimm’s

Pumpkin Pimms

Happy Halloween, Boo-zers! You knew we wouldn’t forget, even if October 31st is still a few days away. Actually, we started thinking about this Halloween cocktail long ago, when we resurrected our summertime favorite, Pimm’s No. 1, for the Pear & Pimm’s. We may have even started thinking about it many moons before that when we visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and finally got our hands on a bottle of pumpkin juice. The empty bottle sat on our kitchen counter for months, mocking us with delicious memories.

There are many recipes for pumpkin juice out there in the world of J.K. Rowling worshippers, and they are all pretty good, but we wanted something a little less sweet so that our Pumpkin Pimm’s would taste like a proper cocktail. Roasting a fresh sugar pumpkin (that’s the smallish variety that weigh just a few pounds, typically used for pies, not the big ones that are carved into jack-o-lanterns) did the trick, giving a slight smokiness to our housemade pumpkin juice.

Merlin’s Beard, that’s a good drink! Careful not to splinch yourself on the way home from that Hallowe’en Feast.

Pumpkin Pimm’s

It doesn’t take long to make your own pumpkin juice, but, if you’re desperate to try this drink before the Three Broomsticks fills up with tipsy witches, then mix a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin with the pear nectar and apple cider called for in our pumpkin juice recipe and strain — it should still give you a good flavor.

2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1

1 ounce gin (as always, we recommend Catoctin Creek Organic Watershed Gin)

3 ounces pumpkin juice (our recipe here)

small teaspoon of mashed pumpkin (reserved from juice recipe)

toasted salted pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional but worth it)

Place first four ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass. Top with pumpkin seeds and enjoy.

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The Friday Tipple: Shake Shots

We’re feeling shaky, Boozers. The excesses of debate drinking games and watching baseball playoffs late into the night has left us somewhat out of sorts, and, while we know that the logical response would be total abstinence, we are lured by the seductive call of a fortifying “adult” milkshake. What could be more tasty than combining a full-fat ice cream with a little tot of distilled goodness?

Of course, the thing about a milkshake is that it can sometimes be too much of a good thing, at a time when all we require is a bit of a treat. Hence, the advent of Shake Shots. By starting with a simple vanilla shake base, you can build many different flavors: add a little fresh-squeezed orange juice, tequila, and a drizzle of grenadine for a Tequila Sunrise shake shot, or a tablespoon of chilled coffee and Bailey’s for an Irish Cream delight. We know you’re already planning a DIY Shake Shot bar for your next party.

For today’s Shake Shots, we made two shots with that vanilla shake base, adding freshly-grated ginger to one for a frosty version of the Dark ‘n Stormy, and adding some malted milk powder to another as a topping for a beer shake shot. For the third, we went seasonal and used our local Moorenko’s Pumpkin Ice Cream for the shake, to which we added a spicy shot of rye whiskey, courtesy of one of our favorite local distillers, Catoctin Creek.

The only limit is your imagination. Just watch out for the brain freeze.

Shake Shots

It seems insulting to your intelligence, dear Boozers, to tell you how to make a milkshake, but we will. Basically, put about 3/4 of a cup of vanilla ice cream in a blender with 1/4 cup of milk and start blending. You’ll need to add more milk slowly until it gets to the consistency you prefer; we’d suggest leaving it on the thicker side so that it doesn’t thin down too much when you add liquor to it.

for the Dark ‘n Stormy shot: Add about a 1/4 teaspoon of freshly-grated ginger to a 1/2 cup of the vanilla shake base. Pour into a shot glass, leaving about 1/2 inch at the top, then top with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum.

for the Beer shot: Add a teaspoon of malted milk powder to the vanilla shake base. Pour chilled beer (we went seasonal again, using Dogfish Head Punkin Ale) into a shot glass, topping with a large spoonful of thickened milkshake.

for the Pumpkin shot: Make a thick shake with pumpkin ice cream (you can substitute a pumpkin syrup with vanilla ice cream). Take a half-cup of the shake and add 1.5 ounces of rye whiskey. Pour into shot glasses and dust the top with unsweetened cocoa powder or ground nutmeg.

The Friday Tipple: Pumpkin Pimm’s

Happy Halloween, Boo-zers! You knew we wouldn’t forget. Actually, we started thinking about this Halloween cocktail several weeks ago, when we resurrected our summertime favorite, Pimm’s No. 1, for the Pear & Pimm’s. We may have even started thinking about it many moons before that when we visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and finally got our hands on a bottle of pumpkin juice. The empty bottle has been sitting on our kitchen counter for months, mocking us with delicious memories.

There are many recipes for pumpkin juice out there in the world of J.K. Rowling worshippers, and they are all pretty good, but we wanted something a little less sweet so that our Pumpkin Pimm’s would taste like a proper cocktail. Roasting a fresh sugar pumpkin (that’s the smallish variety that weigh just a few pounds, typically used for pies, not the big ones that are carved into jack-o-lanterns) did the trick, giving a slight smokiness to our housemade pumpkin juice.

Merlin’s Beard, that’s a good drink! Careful not to splinch yourself on the way home from that Hallowe’en Feast.

Pumpkin Pimm’s

It doesn’t take long to make your own pumpkin juice, but, if you’re desperate to try this drink before the Three Broomsticks fills up with tipsy witches, then mix a few tablespoons of canned pumpkin with the pear nectar and apple cider and strain — it should still give you a good flavor. 

2 ounces Pimm’s No. 1

1 ounce gin (as always, we recommend Catoctin Creek Organic Watershed Gin)

3 ounces pumpkin juice (our recipe here)

small teaspoon of mashed pumpkin (reserved from juice recipe below)

toasted salted pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional but worth it)

Place first four ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass. Top with pumpkin seeds and enjoy.

Last Gasp of Summer Liqueur

In the past week, the Good Booze kitchen has made it through both an earthquake and a hurricane. Since bad things tend to come in threes, we think the last thing to threaten us will be… the end of summer. Labor Day is on the way and, with it, the end of juicy fresh raspberries, peaches, tomatoes, and cantaloupes. Don’t get us wrong, we’re looking forward to apples, pears, and pumpkins, but in this bittersweet time of year, we are holding on to summer with a vengeance even as it slips through our fingers.

The hurricane blew down a few plants in the old vegetable plot, leaving us with an assortment of peppers, both hot and sweet, that need to be consumed right away. Add to that the enormous piles of almost-overripe peaches being sold at rock-bottom prices at our local farmer’s market, and we knew what we needed to do: make an infusion for this Friday’s Tipple.

A lot of cocktail recipes call for really beautiful liqueurs; we often covet them at the local liquor emporium, where they beckon to us in their glistening bottles clad in designer labels. But making your own infusions gives you the chance to be really creative while using seasonal products — and it’s much less expensive. We still buy the occasional artisanal liqueur — in fact, we’re seeking out Catoctin Creek’s Pearousia right now, with autumn cocktails in mind — but, for now, we’re sealing our summer memories in a jar.

Last Gasp of Summer Liqueur

There are no rules to this, make what you like. Use any fruit, vegetable, or herb combination and use with brandy, vodka, gin, bourbon, or whatever. Here’s what we did, because we wanted to make something to specifically complement this Friday’s Tipple recipe:

One ripe peach, sliced

One hot Italian pepper, split

1 tablespoon lavender honey

Triple Sec

Place peach slices and whole pepper into a 12-ounce mason jar; cover with triple sec and let sit in a cool place for a few days, or even a few weeks. Add to cocktails to taste.