A straight on shot of a pumpkin cocktail in a stem glass with oranges, chestnuts and yellow flowers

Last autumn something amazing occurred that was long overdue and completely unexpected. Canned pumpkin purée appeared on the shelves of my local grocery store in Berlin for an utterly reasonable price. Every November for the past seven years, I have made a special trip to the glorious 6th floor American food section at the dreamy, but costly KaDeWe shopping center and grudginly paid €5 for a single can of Libby’s pumpkin purée just so I can make my famous pumpkin pie cocktail. (Look out for that indulgent gem in a couple weeks as Thanksgiving gets closer.)

A can of german pumpkin puree
German pumkin purée!!!

Due to the hefty cost of imported pumkin purée, I never had the inclination to get experimental with other pumpkin cocktail recipes. All that has changed and I happily present to you my second ever attempt at a pumpkin cocktail, Murder Mystery.

A close up shot of a pumpkin cocktail in a martini glass

The key ingredient (aside from pumpkin) is a homemade chai-infused whiskey. It’s so easy and you can use it in just about any cocktail that calls for whiskey. Simply drop a few chai tea bags into your desired amount of whiskey and let sit for 4-8 hours, depending how strong you want it. In this case, it was a 400 ml mason jar and 4 tea bags. I used Bushmill’s because I had an extra bottle on hand, but next time I’d go for a nicer quality bourbon to make sure it’s velvety smooth.

A mason jar filled with whiskey and chai tea bags
Chai tea infusing into the whiskey

I recommend muddling an orange peel into the glass before adding the other ingredients and shaking, but it’s not essential. It just helps brighten up the flavor without expressing orange oil on the finished cocktail glass. I tried that and found it a little overpowering.

I also highly recommend using Fee Brother’s black walnut bitters if you have access to it. It adds such a lovely nutty vanilla note. But you can also use Angostura or skip the bitters altogether if you don’t have any. In case you don’t have any Amaro Montenegro on hand, just increase the maple syrup for sweetness instead. It will still be seriously and mysteriously delicious.

A shot of a pumpkin cocktail on a table surrounded by a pumpkin, oranges, chestnuts and yellow flowers



  1. Muddle an orange peel in your mixing glass
  2. Add all other ingredients and shake fast and hard
  3. Double strain into a fancy stem glass
  4. Don’t skip the double strain or you will get a very grainy drink!

Other drinks to enjoy