When fall comes around, I go pumpkin crazy. I’ve always loved the pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, but I’m not sure I ever thought about enjoying pumpkin outside of that one day a year until Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes came into my life. Now, I’m one of those people who gets excited when it’s featured on their menu again every year (though one of my coworkers reminded me that you can get whatever flavor drink you want at Starbucks all year round). Even though we don’t usually get much of a fall in the South, once the calendar hits September, I have pumpkin on the brain. When I realized I had a preposterous number of pumpkin recipes pinned, I decided to share them here. This is the fourth of 10 different pumpkin recipes for your gustatory pleasure!

Today we’re being joined by none other than my parents, who are perhaps more adventurous than I! Awhile ago, my dad sent me a collection of pumpkin cocktail recipes. I was pretty skeptical. I like pumpkin beer, as evidenced by my recent Instagrams:

…and in fact at one point last year even made it my veritable mission in life to find some. But I had trouble imagining the pumpkin taste (and especially the texture!) in a cocktail. So without further ado, let me introduce my dad to tell you about their pumpkin margarita experience!

“We normally like simple margaritas, one shot each of tequila, triple sec and fresh lime juice.  Caught up in the excitement of Laura’s “In Pursuit of Pumpkin…” series, we decided to bust out and try something exotic – Pumpkin Margarita.  A Google search revealed a few alternatives.  We were influenced by this recipe, which we took as a starting point.

We assembled the ingredients:

  • Limes
  • Tequila
  • Cointreau
  • 1 can Pumpkin
  • ¾ Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp allspice
  1. The first step was to heat 1.5 cups water, ¾ cup brown sugar, the spices and the can of pumpkin.  We let it simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring now and then.  This makes a pumpkin flavored syrup.

  1. The most challenging part came next.  The mixture needs to be strained to get the liquid.  The original recipe was a little vague about how to do this and also advised to let the mixture cool completely.  The chemist in me took over here.  Why cool it?  That would only increase the viscosity of the mixture and slow the filtration process.  Instead of a “fine mesh strainer”, I decided to use coffee filters.  We had two options: one was a Chemex coffee setup, the other was a colander I lined with “Kroger 8-12 Cup Basket Coffee Filters (unbleached).

Even with the mixture warm, filtering took a while.  We walked up to our local bookstore, browsed for a while, then had coffee.  When we got back, the filtration was done.  We got about 1.5 cups of pumpkin syrup.  It tasted like pumpkin! At this point, things are almost ready to go!

  1. Squeeze the limes to get juice.

Now things are really ready to go.

4.  Mix everything together in a pitcher.  I used 1 cup tequila, 2/3 cup Cointreau, 2/3 cup pumpkin syrup, 2/3 cup lime juice.  Stir well.  At this point, I am feeling parched – PARCHED!

5.  This needs to be served in the finest stemware available, over crushed ice with an added lime wedge.

We didn’t salt the rims, but one could.  (Wet the rim with lime juice, dip in salt.)

6.  Here we are trying these:


These didn’t have much of a pumpkin taste, but were very smooth and mellow. Their color was pleasant. They were a good change from our usual concoction.  Not sure it is worth the trouble to make the pumpkin syrup, but it all was pretty festive!”

Don’t you want to change all of your Thanksgiving plans to have turkey fajitas and pumpkin margaritas this year?!? Yeah. I thought so. Thanks to my parents for branching out and testing this recipe for us! Have you had any crazy cocktail concoctions lately? What’s the weirdest flavor that you’ve enjoyed in an incongruous place?

Laura Lindeman

Laura Lindeman