Pumpkin Spice

It would be an understatement to say that people love the pumpkin spice line of drinks at Starbucks. They practically have a cult following. These yummy drinks been available for a month now and I have yet to buy one. Actually, I've only every had one and I have to say that they're pretty delicious. But Starbucks is expensive and really sugary (like more than a can of coke sugary), so I have yet to satisfy my need for "Fall in a cup".

Enter Pinterest. I was browsing the other day and stumbled across a recipe for pumpkin spice syrup. The magical elixir that transforms any normal drink into a warm, spicy treat. It's not completely healthy of course (none of the best things are), but it's a huge step up from that coffee chain's version. Plus it's way less expensive, so you can spend your money on better things (like new boots) than overpriced coffee, sugar, and milk.

The recipe linked back to Annie's Eats. I don't know if she is the first person to create this recipe or if she got it from someone else, but I do know that it is simply lovely.

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar (I ended up using 3/4 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar for a total of 1 cup of sugar and it tasted just fine...so if you're looking for a little bit less sugar then you can just use 1 cup)
4 cinnamon sticks or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (I already had ground so I just used that)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
Bottle/container to store syrup in (I used a glass bottle from the craft section of Hobby Lobby)

*Side note: Instead of using the individual spices, I just used 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (which, if you look on the bottle, is just those spices combined)

First, combine the sugar and water in a small pot on the stove until dissolved, then add pumpkin

Add your cinnamon and other spices

Stir continuously and let cook for about 6 minutes, but don't let it boil!

Pour mixture through a strainer. The recipe said through cheesecloth, and it's up there in the ingredients picture, but when I tried it with a little of the syrup it wouldn't strain (I guess my cheesecloth was just too fine). Instead I poured the mixture through a mesh strainer into a glass measuring cup. I may have cooked mine too long because it was already pretty thick and had trouble moving through the strainer. 

Funnel your syrup into a glass bottle, jar, or whatever container you've decided to put it in. I recommend glass because this mixture is pretty warm.

Screw the top on your bottle and enjoy your syrup! This recipe probably made about 12-16 ounces. That bottle is pretty big. Keep it stored in the fridge and it should last throughout the Fall season (if it lasts that long!)
I would love to bottle this in smaller glass bottles from the craft store and give them as gifts to my fellow coffee-addicts lovers. The blog I got the recipe from also gave these instructions on how to make a pumpkin spice latte with your homemade syrup:

"To make a pumpkin spice latte, combine 2 ounces of hot coffee or 1 shot of hot espresso (about 1-1½ ounces) with 5-6 ounces of steamed low-fat milk.  Stir in 1½-2 tablespoons of the pumpkin spice syrup.  Taste and adjust amounts accordingly.  Top as desired with freshly whipped cream, ground cinnamon and drizzle with caramel sauce (optional – sort of)."

I made the syrup last weekend, and will be making my first latte (with soy milk instead of regular) tonight. I'm currently out of coffee (GASP!) and need to make a grocery store run pronto. With the way this week has gone, I'm gonna need it. Be on the lookout...more Fall recipes are on the way!

Happy Fall y'all! 

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