Drink of the Week: Pumpkin Liqueur

The holidays, I’m sorry to tell you, are looming. You’re going to have to get gifts for people. Without going into a long lecture about how rampant consumerism and Made in China-itis is ruining this country (or at least keeping the rant brief), I think homemade gifts are a great idea, with a few small caveats. A homemade gift has to be something that the recipient will enjoy without further work, and something they wouldn’t make themselves (for this reason I don’t like “cookie kits” and the like). Obviously I think that fancy liqueurs fit into this category. They are simple to make at home and with good ingredients can be superior to those store bought (and in some cases, can’t be store bought).

Since it’s autumn and you can still usually get sugar pie pumpkins (smaller than jack o’ lantern pumpkins), I recommend making a Spiced Pumpkin Liqueur (thanks to my lovely husband for the recipe!).

Image Credit: Elenadan

Pumpkin Liqueur ( this recipe makes over half a gallon, split accordingly)
2 Cups pumpkin, chunked and roasted
½ Cup ginger, sliced
½ Cup allspice berries, crushed
¼ Cup cloves, crushed
1 Nutmeg, ground
4 Sticks ceylon cinnamon, broken into pieces
1 Tbsp cassia cinnamon, ground
1 Tbsp mace, ground
2 pods vanilla, scraped
750ml 151 proof rum
8 cups sugar for syrup

Separate all spices and pumpkin into 2 equal parts. Infuse spices and pumpkin in 151 for at least one week. Combine the balance of the spices and pumpkin with the sugar and 4 cups of water. Bring to near boil and simmer for 30 minutes and pour into separate container for at least one week. After 1 week strain all solids from 151 infusion and syrup and combine. You can pour through a brita filter device, but I wait for the tiny solids to settle and I cart off the clear top liqueur.

Colonel Tiki suggests a few uses for the liqueur here!


  1. The idea behind roasting the pumpkin is twofold: 1) You want to reduce the water content of the pumpkin to aid in flavor extraction. 2) You want to gently caramelize any sugars in the pumpkin to maximize flavor. I cut it up into pieces and roast at 400 for about 10-15 minutes. Cool completely before adding to the liquor.

  2. Marzipan /

    Thank you kindly for this awesome recipe. I now have vanilla seeds under my nails, and my kitchen smells like heaven.

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