This amaro pumpkin cocktail is not quite your typical fall cocktail. It's not laced with cinnamon or apple-based. However the unusual ingredients create a wonderfully smooth, citusy (and easy) sipper.
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It seems that each year, the pumpkin spice craze gets bigger and bigger, here in the US at least. I have to say, I do love the aroma and flavors of the warm spices typically used, but I am not such a fan of the typically sickly-sweet PSL. A sip or two is fine for me, not much more.
Real pumpkin, on the other hand, is an ingredient I like to use in many ways, particularly savory, like pumpkin ravioli and Taiwanese pumpkin rice noodles. We do love out annual pumpkin pie from scratch, and a few other sweet treats as well.
Pumpkin in drinks, however, proves a little more challenging. It is often that bit thicker than other liquids you may use and so can separate out. The flavor doesn't fit with everything, either.
This year, however, I was determined to give it a try and hit upon a winner. I drew on my recent growing appreciation of amaro and created this relatively light pumpkin cocktail.
What is amaro?
Amaro is a kind of liqueur or aperitif, traditionally made mainly in Italy but there's a growing industry in the US these days as well. They are generally herbal in flavor and you can enjoy them to sip or mix in cocktails.
Unlike some other drinks, there isn't a strict set of ingredients and so the flavors can vary quite a bit. Some use artichokes as the base, others Japanese rhubarb or other ingredients. But all tend to use a range of herbs to give a range of flavors.
Here I have used Averno amaro which is from Sicily and has a hint of orange in the flavor, so I have drawn on that in pairing with orange juice. The spiced whiskey adds a little extra sweetness and spice flavor, but use only a little or it can take over.
The pumpkin flavor is not so distinct, but I feel like it helps to stop the cocktail being too sweet. Plus it definitely makes it thicker which gives it an almost luscious feel.
Why the name?
Naming cocktails is something I struggle with. I mean, some are obvious because they are a flavor or slant on a classic. But this isn't.
In the end, I called this "falling for orange" given the orange flavor in there and I always think of the Italian for love "amore" when I say "amaro" so it seemed fitting.
I had a little fun with some dry ice, as you can see, when I was taking the photos. It certainly makes for a dramatic presentation, but please remember that you should always be very careful handling dry ice - use tongs and do not touch with bare skin and never drink while the dry ice is still there. Make sure it has fully evaporated and dissolved before drinking.
This amaro pumpkin cocktail is a delicious and incredibly sipable drink that's perfect for fall. Not too sweet but with a lovely flavor and texture. It's definitely not your PSL, but for me I would rather have this fall drink any day.
Looking for more fall cocktails? Try these:
- Cranberry whiskey sour
- Spiked mulled apple cider
- Pumpkin spice whiskey sour
- Persimmon apple cider mimosa
- Plus get more ideas in the cocktail recipes archives.
And if you like amaro, also try my "campfire in lemon groves" amaro limonello cocktail.
Falling for orange: amaro pumpkin cocktail
- 3 oz orange juice 90ml
- 1 ½ tablespoon pumpkin puree
- 1 oz amaro 30ml, I used Averna amaro which has citrus flavors
- ¼ oz spiced whiskey 8ml
- Put all of the ingredients in a glass along with an ice cube and stir together so well mixed and slightly chilled. Strain into a whisky glass to serve.
Remember to pin for later!
Thank you to #PumpkinWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Sweets & Treats, Torani, and Cabot Creamery Co-operative for providing prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #PumpkinWeek recipes. All opinions are my own.