I’m a Starbucks gold card carrier, which means that I drive through there to get coffee quite a lot. Usually, though, I actually get coffee. Just basic coffee with cream and sugar. Or caramel syrup, which until October has been a free perk for rewards members. (Boo, Starbucks, for taking that away!) That only costs me about $2, a reasonable amount for a treat.
This fall, I’ve fallen hard for the Pumpkin Spiced Latte. (only upon proofing this post do I see my silly accidental pun there.) Hot or iced – it’s delicious. It made me feel like autumn was really here, even when it was 84 degrees outside. But here’s the problem. Those drinks are expensive! I could almost get 2 grande coffees for the price one tall Pumpkin Spiced Latte.
I’ve gotten a couple (maybe more), but I’m trying to stay away from the Starbucks drive through so I don’t bankrupt us this fall. So when The Kitchn blog featured a recipe for how to make your own at home, I paid attention. It’s a great recipe, though I found it to be even better with double the sugar. Isn’t everything?! But it required a steaming the milk in a pot, whisking ingredients, and just generally making a mess every single time I wanted one.
Having made simple syrups for coffee before, in peppermint and vanilla, I figured that someone out there on the Internet had figured out a way to replicate that Starbucks flavor with one. With syrups, you make a batch, and enjoy it from the fridge for a couple of weeks. So with the effort of a regular cup of coffee, I could make mine Pumpkin Spiced.
I looked around for recipes, and I ended up making mine up. Kind of like with making soup, I just played around with adding ingredients until it tasted like I thought it should. So, unfortunately, I don’t have specific amounts. But here’s the general idea.
Use equal amounts water and sugar – I went with 2 cups each. Then, use a fork to whisk in canned pumpkin. I think I put about 6 tablespoons. Honestly, I think that as long as it will dissolve in the syrup, you can’t put too much pumpkin.
Then, to reduce grittiness from spices, I added cinnamon and cloves whole. I only had two sticks of cinnamon, but I think more would be even better. I used a palmful of cloves. I only had ground versions of ginger and nutmeg, so I poured a bit of those in there. Maybe half a teaspoon? I kept getting out clean spoons to taste the syrup, adding more when I thought it needed it.
I brought the whole mixture to a boil, and then simmered it for quite a while. I stirred it very frequently, not wanting it to burn.
Finally, I removed the whole spices, and then used a funnel to pour it into a my storage containers. Since I thought it could use some more cinnamon flavor, I put one of my sticks in each container to keep steeping.
The result is delicious! I’ve had it in hot coffee several times. And since it’s a syrup, it is perfect for iced coffee too.
Speaking of iced coffee, I was happy to see them sharing how to use an Aeropress to make iced coffee over at Serious Eats. That’s how I make all of my iced coffees. It’s quick and delicious. And with my new supply of pumpkin spiced syrup, it’s perfect for these still-warm fall days.