Pumpkin Syrup (for Halloween Cocktails)

While I’d like to take another cheap shot at the pumpkin-spice latte drinkers out there, quite frankly I don’t need to – they do a perfect job of showing their basicness by holding them.  I jest, I jest – I’ve tried a PSL and I quite enjoyed it.  However what bothered me was that for all intents and purposes, it was simply a “spice latte”, with the pumpkin bringing very little flavour to the table.  This got me thinking – how could I incorporate the admittedly weak pumpkin flavour into a drink?  Of course!  Fruit simple syrup (yes, pumpkin is a fruit).

There are a fair few recipes for pumpkin syrup out there, and this is definitely on the stripped-down side.  No cinnamon sticks or fresh nutmeg – just pure pumpkin flavour.  Hell, this is so simple I feel a little guilty calling it a recipe.

I’ve been enjoying this in my gin and tonics for the last week or so, but it would just as well with vodka or even whisky, although it WILL make it look like you’re drinking…irn bru.


  • Pumpkin puree (tinned is easiest, but by all means roast and mash up a pumpkin if you’ve finished watching all that paint dry)
  • Brown sugar
  • Water
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Empty the tin of pumpkin puree into a large saucepan along with equal quantities of brown sugar and water – I did 400ml
  2. Heat gently, stirring well, until the sugar has dissolved.  Add a pinch of salt.
  3. Continue heating, stirring occasionally, for about 10-20 minutes.  Do not let it boil.
  4. Pass through a filter – I used a fairly fine sieve, although cheese cloth would be better.  Be patient and don’t try to push the liquid through as you’ll end up with lots of tiny sediments in the mixture.



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