It is finally that time of year again when everything you know and love slowly becomes infused with the sweet taste of pumpkin spice. From your favorite alcoholic beverage to your much needed caffeinated pick-me-up and beyond, here is a round-up of all things pumpkin spice flavored that you can find this fall season.
When I was a waiter/bartender, I can attest that the most requested alcoholic beverage that customers ordered during the fall was pumpkin ale. It would sell out like hot cakes, which I’m sure if given the chance, would also be injected with pumpkin spice. Dating back to the late 1700s, pumpkin ale may be produced using pumpkin flesh in conjunction with malt or other more typical beer grains. It may also be produced by adding natural or artificial flavor while the spice flavor may be added to evoke the flavor of pumpkin pie.
Many styles of pumpkin ale are produced including pale ales, wheat beers, porters and stouts, and are produced by several breweries including Sea Dog Brewery, Shipyard Brewing Company, Saint Arnold Brewing Company and Blue Moon.
It wouldn’t be the fall season if Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks didn’t have its pumpkin spice latte/coffee line, which is usually launched in late August. A pumpkin spice latte is a coffee drink made mixed with traditional fall spice flavors such as cinnamon and nutmeg, steamed milk, espresso, and topped with whipped cream. Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte is actually a little healthier since the company now uses actual pumpkin instead of artificial coloring since 2015. You can get a pumpkin latte/coffee either hot or iced.
I can’t believe it’s not butter! Yes, even our butter is now pumpkin spice infused. Pumpkin butter is basically a pumpkin puree that has been combined with either maple syrup for unrefined sweetness or cinnamon for added flavor. That pumpkin puree is then simmered and reduced until it’s thick and creamy. You can find pumpkin butter at your local North Shore Farms, Stop & Shop or Trader Joe’s. Just take some of that pumpkin butter and slather it on a pumpkin muffin, you’ll have yourself a true pumpkin feast.
You can now even stuff your raviolis with pumpkin as well. Pumpkin ravioli is traditionally served with a butter or cream sauce and can even be topped with pecans or even walnuts. Butternut squash can also be used as a nice topping for your pumpkin raviolis. In order to make the pumpkin ravioli filling, you’ll generally need 8 ounces of canned organic mashed pumpkin, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Those ingredients are for a 12-person serving.