As soon as we say goodbye to summer, the Facebook statuses and Twitter feeds start to blow up about the joys of Pumpkin Spice Lattes from a certain famous coffee shop.
The arrival of this drink means fall is a comin’. I look forward to this, as fall is my absolute favorite time of year.
Fall seems to come around earlier and earlier. Truth be told, I had to instill a new rule this year because it just seemed wrong to drink a fall beverage while sweltering in 90+ degree temperatures! From now on, I will get my fall treat on the first day I wear a sweater.
As much as I love my trips to the coffee shop to get my Pumpkin Spice Latte, it gets a little spendy after awhile. And usually, I am running late, so I don’t have the time to stand in the morning coffee rush line. I have discovered making a latte at home is easy, just as delicious, and far less expensive than the coffee house version. Oh, and you can totally add some booze to it at home.
Did that get your attention?
You need to start by making a pumpkin syrup. This is ridiculously easy, and the best part is that it keeps in the fridge for a few weeks, so you can whip one up whenever you feel like it.
In a saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium high heat. You want the sugar to dissolve completely. When it does, add a few broken cinnamon sticks, freshly grated nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and a few Tablespoons of pumpkin butter (canned pumpkin works perfectly also).
Let the syrup cool to room temperature. The spices will steep and the flavor will deepen. Strain out the cinnamon and spices if you like (I don’t, I like the way that it looks), and pour into an airtight container.
I don’t have a cappuccino machine, so I do not have a fancy foamer. Not to worry, I found two ways that make foam a possibility at home. The first is a mason jar, the second is a $10 foamer.
Using either method, heat the milk in the microwave for 2 minutes. If using the mason jar method, screw the top on and shake. I wrap the jar in a towel (the jar will be hot) and shake until the top is foamy. Super easy. The other method: put the foamer into the hot milk and foam it for a few seconds.
While you are foaming the milk, brew a cup of espresso, or very strong coffee. Add a tablespoon (maybe more, depending on your taste, but I don’t like overly sweet coffee) of the pumpkin syrup to the coffee. If I’m making an after dinner version, I add a good glug of honey flavored whiskey.
Pour the hot milk into the cup and using a spoon, add foam to the top.
Add some whipped cream if you like, and a quick grate of fresh nutmeg. Happy Fall!