Pumpkin Spiced Russian

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Cocktail History

The Pumpkin Spiced Russian is an autumn riff on the classic White Russian that was created by Emma Stokes and included in her book Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail. Similar to its inspiration, the cocktail is made with vodka, coffee liqueur, and milk and is taken up a notch with the addition of pumpkin spice simple syrup and a caramel sauce rim, making it an even sweeter dessert drink.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Vodka: This is the base spirit. We used Russian Standard Gold Vodka because it’s smooth, easy to sip, and fairly inexpensive without compromising the quality.

Coffee Liqueur: This gives the drink its deep coffee flavor. We used Mr. Black Spirits Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur because, in our opinion, is the best coffee liqueur on the market. It’s much less sugary than others and has a bolder coffee flavor.

Milk: This adds a creamy texture to the drink. We opted for skim milk just to cut down on the calories, but if you aren’t counting those, you can use whole milk or heavy cream.

Caramel Sauce: This lends delicious caramel flavor and silky texture to the drink. We went with Torani Caramel Sauce because it’s nice and thin.

Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup: This gives the cocktail most of its spiced pumpkin flavor and balances out the coffee flavor with more sweetness. We make our syrup using Alex’s sous vide recipe.

Pumpkin Pie Spice: This adds some fall flavor to the caramel rim. We used Simply Organic Pumpkin Pie Spice, but any brand will work.

Cinnamon Stick: This is mostly just for a garnish but also adds a touch more spice to the drink. We buy them in bulk section at our local grocer.

Tasting Notes

The Pumpkin Spiced Russian features a mixture of pumpkin spice and coffee aromas, begins with an immediate hit of pumpkin and caramel from the rim blended with the sweetened flavors of coffee and pumpkin in the mouth, and goes down with a lasting coffee note accented by caramel and spices.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We aren’t kidding when we say this one is rich! Neither of us is typically keen on the type of drink with fancy rims and candy-sweet ingredients, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t finish ours pretty quickly. Messy rim and all, it’s worth making one or two at your holiday get-togethers this year.

Alex’s Take: “I’m not huge on sweet, indulgent cocktails like this with extravagant, messy rims and sweet flavor, but this was a pretty tasty. Alhough slightly kitschy and overly sugary, I could see anybody enjoying this in place of dessert. One difference between a standard White Russian and this is that we ended up using skim milk, which is what we keep in the fridge. That kept it a bit lighter than cream would have, and that helped out a bit since the typical recipe doesn’t call for a syrup like this does. Also, the caramel and pumpkin spice rim was messy, but it did add a lot of decadent flavor to the drink. I definitely wouldn’t have more than one if not just for calories alone, but it’s delicious as long as you’re on a cheat day.”

Kendall’s Take: “One word—yum! Although a little heavy on the coffee flavor for my taste, this drink is still a fabulous (and very decadent) recipe that I would absolutely request again. Normally I’m not big on pumpkin spice, but it is really tasty when paired with the caramel sauce rim. Try this instead of pumpkin pie for the perfect autumn indulgence!”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Have Yourself a Merry Little Cocktail by Emma Stokes.

AuthorHave Yourself a Merry Little CocktailPrep Time5 minsRating

Ingredients
 2 oz Vodka
 1 oz Coffee Liqueur
 ¾ oz Milk
 ¾ oz Caramel Sauce
 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
 1 Cinnamon Stick

Method
1

Pour pumpkin pie spice on a plate, rim a lowball glass with ¼ oz caramel sauce, and dip glass in pumpkin spice until coated.

2

Add vodka, coffee liqueur, pumpkin spice syrup, ½ oz caramel sauce, and ice to glass.

3

Stir for 10-15 seconds.

4

Slowly top with milk.

5

Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Vodka
 1 oz Coffee Liqueur
 ¾ oz Milk
 ¾ oz Caramel Sauce
 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
 1 Cinnamon Stick

Directions

Method
1

Pour pumpkin pie spice on a plate, rim a lowball glass with ¼ oz caramel sauce, and dip glass in pumpkin spice until coated.

2

Add vodka, coffee liqueur, pumpkin spice syrup, ½ oz caramel sauce, and ice to glass.

3

Stir for 10-15 seconds.

4

Slowly top with milk.

5

Garnish with cinnamon stick.

Pumpkin Spiced Russian

Tools & Glassware We Recommend

More Pumpkin Cocktails

If you like this pumpkin-flavored cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Pumpkin Spiced Espresso Martini
Smashed Pumpkin
Spiced Pumpkin Punch
Pumpkin Cider

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