Thursday, November 15, 2012

Harvest Moon Martini

Halloween is past, but it isn't Thanksgiving yet. So having a pumpkin flavored harvest martini is still in season, right? In this case, I used homemade pumpkin infused vodka instead of the various pumpkin pie cream liqueurs out there. Besides, we've already done the Pumpkin Pie Martini here.

The pumpkin flavor is very subtle and easily overpowered - like cucumber or watermelon. So vanilla vodka is used to accentuate the sweetness of the pumpkin and the result is very much like a delicious Polish Żubrówka (or sweet grass vodka). The Kahlua and spiced rum add complexity and color without making it taste like another pumpkin pie martini. In the end, a wonderfully light cocktail that's not too sweet but has all the flavors of spiced pumpkin.
  • 2 oz Pumpkin Infused Vodka (see below)
  • 1 oz Vanilla Vodka
  • 1/2 oz Spiced Rum
  • Splash of Kahlua
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cinnamon Stick 
Chill an up glass with crushed ice and water. Then rim the glass with a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon. Shake all liquid ingredients with ice in a shaker until it sweats and strain into the glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Pumpkin Infused Vodka

A quick internet search results in many versions of this, but they all use a variety of spices in the mix. I tried that first and found that the cinnamon/clove flavor way over powered the light pumpkin and tasted more like spiced vodka than anything else. I decided that the spice flavor could easily be added after the fact and went for just pure pumpkin vodka.

It's absolutely delicious on its own with many subtle flavors completely lost otherwise. The starch and sugars in the pumpkin dissolve into the vodka and thicken it similar to Kahlua or Żubrówka.
  • small pie pumpkin (or sugar pumpkin)
  • vodka 
  1. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the innards.
  2. Dice the pumpkin into small cubes (without the rind) and fill a canning jar.
  3. Add vodka to the jar until full.
  4. Place out of sunlight in a cool place for at least a week. The longer the better.
  5. Strain the vodka thru a fine mesh into a bottle.