One thing I love about the onset of October is the all-of-a-sudden-everything-pumpkin craze. To decorate. To eat. To drink.
I find that most people, when it comes to pumpkin-flavored food and drink, lie in one of two camps:
Yum. or Yuck.
I happen to love most all pumpkin things...and I do happen to like the phenomenon known as Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I have found that at my three local Starbucks locations, it's difficult to get a consistent drink...mainly seasonal beverages. I was elated to find that the Starbucks located in my grocery store has a manager who makes The. Best. PSL I have ever ordered.
But...I also like to be conscious of spending, and so I began a search for a way to make them at home. There are a bunch of recipes out there...some are too pumpkiny...some are just gross...I began to get discouraged. I finally saw one (and now I can't remember which site it was from...I'll update when I find it) and knew it had to be The One.
And it was.
With temperatures finally reminiscent of what the beginning of fall should look like, I made some of the syrup today...and then got the crazy idea to add another favorite fall flavor to make a latte: caramel.
Here's what I did:
Caramel Spiced Pumpkin Latte
1-2 Tbsp pumpkin spice syrup (recipe below)
1/4 cup hot brewed caramel-flavored coffee (I used The Fresh Market's Caramel Macchiato)
1/2 cup milk
pumpkin pie spice, for garnish
1. In a frother, (I have this one) pour 1/2 cup milk and heat for about 1 minute. Watch carefully to keep from boiling. Once heated, froth the milk until it doubles in volume.
2. In your favorite coffee mug, pour pumpkin spice syrup. I used close to 2 Tbsp. Pour coffee over syrup and fill the mug with the frothed milk. Stir gently.
3. Dust foam with pumpkin pie spice and enjoy!
Pumpkin Spice Syrup
yields about 2 cups
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
3-5 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3 - 3 1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1. In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Add cinnamon sticks and remaining spices. Cook for 5 minutes; stir occasionally. Do not let mixture boil.
2. Allow to cool for 15 minutes.
3. Using a fine sieve, strain all the syrup over a 4-cup measuring cup. Rinse the sieve. Place a funnel over storage bottle/container. Place sieve over the funnel and carefully pour the syrup through the sieve once more, taking care not to spill or splatter.
4. Store in refrigerator.
I thought it would be fun to dress up my syrup.
I found this 16 oz. bottle with pour spout at my grocery store for a couple dollars.
To make the label, I took a small tag distressed with walnut ink (purchased years ago).
I added a strip of Basic Grey's orange dotted vellum tape (similar here) around the bottom of the tag and stamped a pumpkin in the center with a brown Staz-on ink.
To attach and finish the tag, I wrapped a piece of twine around the neck of the bottle twice, placed both ends of the twine through the tag and tied a bow.
This would a lovely gift...I'd use a 1/2 to 1 cup bottle to get more gifts out of each batch of syrup. Add a cute mug and bag of coffee beans with a recipe in a basket and you have a fabulous hostess or "just because" gift!
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This is Day 23 of 31 Days: Crafting a Creative Life. You can find an archive of all the posts from this series here. Thanks for joining me this month!