One small kabocha squash from the farmers' market, some spices, a small bottle of Absolut, and a day later.... I will say that the original recipe called for canned pumpkin (boo!) and entirely too much nutmeg (hiss!). But the idea was there. So after a bit of tinkering with the second batch, I offer this improved recipe:
- ¾ cup water
- ¾ cup raw turbinado sugar
- 4 whole cloves
- ½ tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg (the TBSP the original recipe called for was WAY too much)
- 1 tsp powdered ginger
- peel of one lemon (try to keep it in one long piece, which makes it easier to fish out later)
- about 1 cup roasted, mashed pumpkin (I can’t bring myself to use the canned stuff)
- 1 ½ cups vodka
DirectionsBring water to a boil over medium high heat in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and return to a boil, cooking until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Remove from heat and add cloves, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, lemon peel, and pumpkin. Return to stove and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add vodka, and mix until completely combined.
Pour your fancy liqueur into a Mason jar and put in the refrigerator. Strain it (or don’t) before drinking.
My landlady liked a shot of the strained infusion with tonic water and lots of ice when we had a snow day recently. (No snow, incidentally, but classes were canceled and to be honest it was nice to have the morning off.) I prefer my pumpkin vodka with eggnog. To each her own. I will admit that eggnog is not always my thing. My take on glasses of eggnog is similar to my take on pastrami sandwiches: they should be consumed infrequently but enjoyed thoroughly. I'm significantly less strict about things containing pumpkin, however: the more the better.
Earlier this evening, after a bit of mulled wine and holiday punch and lots of tasty seasonal nibbles, I was in the mood for my annual bit of 'nog. Instead of the usual brandy for spiking it, though, I decided on some of my homemade pumpkin vodka, and I can tell you -- this is not the pumpkin vodka talking, really -- it may become a holiday tradition. I don't know why friends at this afternoon's apartment-warming gathering were stifling grins and refusing glasses of it. Have to get home soon? More for me, I guess. Better mix myself another to keep my spirits up as I proofread....