Monday, October 15, 2012

Best Halloween Cocktail - The Pumpkin King Cocktail

Pumpkin King CocktailI just learned something new about cocktails today while reading a book about bitters. It seems that for a drink to be called a cocktail, it must have bitters as one of the ingredients.   And while this particular drink may not be my overall favorite Halloween drink (hard to beat the pumpkin martinis), it is my new favorite Halloween cocktail.

I've already blogged about this particular drink in a previous post which has a video by local bartending guru Jamie Boudreau.   In his video, he shows how to make a pumpkin beer liqueur, followed by the Pumpkin King Cocktail, which uses the pumpkin beer liqueur as an ingredient.   I've experimented with this drink in several variations now so I'd thought I post the recipe directly with some minor variations.

The Pumpkin King Cocktail

  • 1-1/2 oz. Blended Scotch Whisky (Jamie suggests Pigs Nose, I used Old Crofter)
  • 1/2 oz. Pumpkin Beer Liqueur (Jamie used the liqueur he made in the video which is excellent, I used my own homemade pumpkin liqueur)   If you use mine, increase the amount closer to 1 oz.   Jamie's is very sweet in comparison to mine, so use a little more.
  • 1/2 oz. Lime juice (my preference based on my ingredients was to use a little less)
  • Dash of Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters.  I couldn't find this locally, but I found Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters, which sounds similar and smells and tastes amazing!   More like Halloween than the Island spices it wants to be.  I preferred two dashes, though don't go any further, it is definitely bitter if overdone.
  • Ginger Beer
Add ice to a cocktail shaker, add the whisky, lime juice, bitters, and pumpkin liqueur.   Shake well.   strain into an ice filled collins glass, then top up the glass with ginger beer.   Stir and garnish with a lime slice.  That's it, but I suggest watching the video to see the master at work.

This drink is an amazing fall cocktail.   Its flavor is rich and unique, but its complexity is what makes it so fascinating.   I found myself flinching at the thought of lime as I watched the video, but it works really well.   And I'm now a new-found bitters fan.   There will be more to come on the topic of bitters.

This drink still needs one thing in my humble opinion, a proper Halloween garnish -- the bane of so many Halloween Drinks.  Once again, I'll have my eye out for a proper garnish for this one.

Original cocktail recipe and video via Jamie Boudreau.  Bravo!

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