Okay, now, I don’t really have to explain Halloween, do I?
Unlike some of the more obscure holidays I know we’ll examine in this series, Halloween (Hallowe’en, All Hallow’s Eve, Samhain–pronounced sow-in, by the way) is one of the biggies celebrated in many countries and cultures. While we celebrate mostly with candy and costumes these days, some still see it as a mystical night where the veil between this world and the next grows tissue thin.
Fall has long-been my favorite season, so it’s no big surprise that Halloween is my favorite holiday. There’s just something about the nip in the air (sometimes we have to really search for that nip, down here in Florida), a good bonfire or fire-pit, impending sweater weather, and winter squash starting to appear in the stores that makes me extra happy. Not to mention the fun of being able to go to work in silly costumes.
A certain national coffee shop has made many folks–even those not terribly fond of coffee–salivate like Pavlov’s dogs over the mere mention of a Pumpkin Spice latte. About the only thing that drink is missing is a good shot of something. It just so happened that I was browsing the fall/Halloween display in World Market in September and found the Torani Pumpkin Pie-Flavored Sauce, 12 oz. for $5.99.
For those not familiar, Torani is a pretty common brand of flavorings used in coffees and Italian sodas. While there are many recipes available all over the Web for similar syrups (which make it easy to make your own pumpkin-spice anything year-round), getting to try the real deal was a happy surprise. Not only have I made amazing pumpkin spice lattes at home with it, we’ve also used it on vanilla ice cream and it’s heavenly.
It doesn’t do half bad in today’s cocktail, either!
Iced Pumpkin Spice
1 1/2 oz Spiced Rum
1 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 oz Pumpkin Pie-Flavored Sauce
Combine rum, condensed milk, and sauce over ice and shake until the nip in the glass matches the nip in the air–even if the latter is just wishful thinking. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Novelty glass and mellowcreme pumpkin patch optional.