Spice up your life: Recipes for pumpkin-spiced drinks

Ireland Wagner/Staff

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With Halloween having passed recently and Thanksgiving right around the corner, every café and restaurant is all over the pumpkin scene. While all of these snacks and treats are delicious, gorging on these tasty morsels, while making you and your stomach happy, can make your wallet a little sad. To save some money, but keep your life as pumpkin-full as before, follow the Clog’s guide on making your own pumpkin-spiced beverage at home!

First off, you need to know what kind of drink you’re making, and how strongly pumpkin-spiced you would like it. Typically, the best and easiest way to make a fall-appropriate drink is by using a spice blend. For that fall flavor, simply mix:

1 tablespoon ground ginger and nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon cardamom

2 tablespoons cinnamon

Depending on the flavors you prefer, this ratio can be adjusted to meet your preferences. Typically, we at the Clog recommend you have a significantly greater proportion of cinnamon, as it is the more seasonal flavor. Cardamom can be very dominant, so having the least amount of this is recommended. Another thing to note is that most of these flavors are balanced by using sugar, as they tend to be too strong for the palate on their own.

With this blend of spices, you can now adjust any of your favorite drinks to your preference. Simply add a teaspoon or two of the spice mix and a drop or two of pumpkin essence, and voila! For a more natural pumpkin flavor, you can also use pumpkin puree or pumpkin pie filling instead of the essence. Read on for specific fall-themed beverage recipes to know exactly how to use these ingredients!

Pumpkin-spiced hot chocolate


1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon spice mix

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin essence or 1 teaspoon pumpkin puree


Add the milk to a pot and heat on a stove until it simmers. Once bubbles form around the edge of the pot, add the spice mix, the pumpkin essence, cocoa powder and sugar. Stir until well combined. To remove gritty texture, strain mixture into mug.

Pumpkin-spiced tea


2 teaspoons loose-leaf black tea

1 1/2 cups water

3/4 teaspoon spice mix

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

2 drops pumpkin essence or 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin puree


Make the tea by heating the water in a pot on the stove with the tea leaves and the spice mix. Once water is boiling, take the pot off of the stove and stir in the pumpkin essence or puree until well combined. Strain to remove gritty texture. Enjoy!

We hope these recipes and general tips make your fall and Thanksgiving a more festive time!

Contact Chandini Dialani at [email protected].