Pumpkin Pie cocktail on a table with a pumkin and autumn leaves

Pumpkin Pie is the first cocktail recipe I ever rightfully came up with on my own, nearly a decade ago. Inspired by many terrible pumpkin pie recipes on the internet and about to spend my first Thanksgiving in a country that never heard of Libby’s canned pumpkin purée, I went on a long mission to perfectly emulate a slice of legit pumpkin pie in liquid boozy form.

Fast forward eight years, and my local German grocery store now sells cans of hokkaido pumpkin purée, which works perfectly in this drink. 🧡

Overhead shot of a pumpkin pie cocktail on a table with autumn leaves

There’s a bit of effort with the homemade autumn 5 spice syrup, but this stuff is outrageously delicious and you can use it in and on everything throughout the season. It is the signature ingredient that gives that authentic pumpkin pie flavor. Generally we encourage experimenting with ingredients, but in this case there is no substitute. Those pre-made pumpkin pie syrups just don’t cut it.

Once you’ve strained and chilled the syrup, the rest of the cocktail is a piece of cake . . . I mean pie. 😉

Pumpkin Pie cocktail close up with ground cinnamon



  1. Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice
  2. Double strain into a fancy stem glass
  3. Top with ground cinnamon
  4. If you’re feeling really decadent, add a little puff of whipped cream

Autumn 5 Spice Syrup

A glass bottle on a table labeled as 'Autumn 5 Spice' surrounded by 5 whole dried spices - nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cinnamon sticks and fresh ginger

This syrup is to die for. I always make more than I need. If you only plan to make a few cocktails, you might want to cut this recipe in half. But seriously, you can use this stuff on everything. You will not regret having leftovers around. Think 5 spice old fashioned, banana pancakes with 5 spice syrup, 5 spiced latte, etc.

Looking down into a pot, there are five spices - fresh ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, a crushed whole nutmeg and allspice

The five spices are cinnamon, ginger, allspice, clove and nutmeg. I strongly advise using only whole ingredients. It just wont be the same with powders. Once you have all your spices, it’s quite a simple process. Just simmer for 20 minutes, which will make your house smell amazing.

I recommend muddling the spices in the simmering water once they are softened up, about 5 minutes before you’re ready to strain. This will help release all the flavors.

Five whole spices being strained through a strainer. A white bowl sitting below is filled with a brown liquid.

I also use a muddler to press out all the liquids after straining. You may need to double strain if you have a lot of sediment.

Once you’ve strained out the solids, you should have about half of your original volume of liquid. This is a one-to-one syrup, so you should have the same amount of liquid as sugar. If you started with 3 cups of water, you should have about 1½ now. Pour the liquid back into the pot and dissolve in the sugar completely.

Many syrup recipes call for adding the sugar at the beginning of the process and simmering with sugar in the pot. I prefer adding it at the end to reduce the amount of sticky business.

Liquid is pouring out of a pot into a funnel and into a glass bottle which is sitting inside a large stirring glass

Hot tip for transferring your syrup into a bottle — place the bottle into a stirring glass or other large glass to keep it from tipping over.

Cool the syrup for at least a few hours before using. It will stay fresh in the fridge for about three weeks.

Looking overhead, there are 5 jars of spices - whole cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and fresh ginger
The magical 5 spices


  • 3 sticks Cinnamon
  • 3 slices Fresh ginger
  • ½ tsp Clove
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1 whole Nutmeg
  • 3 cups Water
  • cups White sugar


  1. Bring all ingredients except sugar to a boil
  2. Lower temperature and simmer for 20 mins
  3. Once the ingredients soften up, muddle to release all the flavors
  4. Strain out the solids, double strain if you have a lot of sediment
  5. Return the liquid to the pot and dissolve in the sugar
  6. Let cool a bit before transferring to a glass bottle
  7. Let chill for at least a few hours before using in a cocktail

Other drinks to enjoy