The idea of pumpkin spice is funny – bartender friends of mine all over the world have strong feelings for and against pumpkin spice. I suppose my feeling on the matter is that orange coloring and spice doesn’t cut it, but if you do something truly special with pumpkins or squash, you’ve earned the right to jump on the annual media bandwagon. So that’s where we’re going. This cocktail tries to channel happy Halloween memories spent trick-or-treating as well. I choose to make, serve, and drink it while in full makeup, dressed as a zombie from Candyland (I’m not sure zombies were in that game, but let’s reinvent it), and I suggest you do the same. There just better be actual pumpkin in your pumpkin spice—and did I mention that this piña colada riff uses gin instead of rum? Fun.
Related: Perfect Pumpkin Desserts to Make Your Fall Menu Sweeter
Excerpted from A Bartender’s Guide to the World: Cocktails and Stories from 75 Places by Lauren Mote and James O. Fraioli. Copyright © 2022 Lauren Mote and James O. Fraioli. Cover and book design by Terri Nimmo. Cover and book photography by Jonathan Chovancek. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved
Tula Gingerbread Syrup
For the Tula Gingerbread Syrup, using an immersion circulator, bring a pot of water to 195°F (or use a stem thermometer to hold the temperature on medium-high heat). In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, honey, gum arabic, salt, water, and ginger juice until the sugars are dissolved. Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and allspice to a heatproof food-safe bag and top with the sugar water. Remove the air from the bag, seal, and clip it to the side of the pot, ensuring that the mixture is underwater. Cook for 1½ hours. Transfer the bag to an ice bath and let cool. Strain the liquid into a sanitized bottle, label with the date, and store in the fridge for up to 10 days.
For the cocktail, to a shaker filled with cubed ice, add the gin, sherry, pineapple juice, syrup, lime juice, ice cream, and bitters. Using some force, shake hard for 5 seconds. Using a Hawthorne strainer, strain into a short, thin highball glass. Garnish with cinnamon.