Spiced Pumpkin Punch

October 31, 2013 | |

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Spiced-pumpkin-punch-with-bourbon-1I used to be really good at Halloween. As a kid, I started planning my costume in August, and to be perfectly honest, I always killed it. Just to give you a point of reference, in sixth grade, I was Sweetheart Barbie.


Sure it was hot/disorienting/claustrophobic trick-or-treating inside a spray-painted refrigerator box lined with cellophane, but it was worth it. The universe paid me back for my discomfort in appropriate amounts of candy and compliments.

My teenage Halloweens were pretty underwhelming because I went to boarding school, and wearing costumes to class wasn’t really a thing. Needless to say, I still dressed up, but my outfits were much less impressive than in my Halloween heyday. I did make my own Ninja Turtle shell out of a printer box my sophomore year, but it was rather unwieldy in class and some teachers complained, so after that, I mostly stuck to wearing orange and black.

Then came college, where I celebrated Halloween like any other co-ed, with jungle juice and as little clothing as possible. Ahhhh, the slutty years. I don’t remember them well, but I’m sure I had a great time!

Spiced-pumpkin-punch-with-bourbon-6-4Not gonna lie, the post-college Halloween space has been rather difficult to navigate. How seriously should one take Halloween post-graduation and pre-having kids? I mean, I feel like I’m past the point of being a slutty nurse and hitting ze clubs, but I also don’t have a small child to take trick-or-treating (thank God). So, what do I do? According to my roommate, I go to a Phish concert in Atlantic City dressed as Catwoman to his Batman. Problem solved.

The Phish extravaganza isn’t actually until tomorrow night, which leaves tonight free and clear. Since the Village Halloween Parade will be taking place on my street this evening, I do not plan to leave my apartment after 6pm. Shit gets way too weird out there. Instead, I will probably force Logan to watch Hocus Pocus (which I feel is a fair trade for dragging me to a Phish concert), while eating candy corn and drinking my favorite Halloween cocktail, Spiced Pumpkin Punch.

Spiced Pumpkin Punch is an unbelievably delicious fall treat, friends. If you’re skeptical about putting pumpkin puree in a cocktail, I get it. I thought it would be weird and gross too. However, I’m very pleased to report that I was wrong. It is delightful. The puree gives the punch a subtle pumpkin undertone and thickens it just enough to give it some depth without being smoothie-like. Again, delightful.

Spiced-pumpkin-punch-with-bourbon-3Dressed up with cinnamon, fresh ginger, and a generous amount of bourbon, this cocktail is practically bursting with seasonal flavors. The ginger beer adds the necessary sweetness, as well as a little extra heat and the tiniest bit of carbonation to round out the punch. Sipping on this is 100% guaranteed to warm you up from the inside out. Plus, Spiced Pumpkin Punch is a very festive shade of orange and looks incredibly fancy with a cinnamon stick and a couple sage leaves, making it an excellent option for fall entertaining.

Planning on having a Halloween partay this evening/weekend? I recommend making a giant batch of Spiced Pumpkin Punch and creatively serving it in a hollowed out pumpkin. If you’re not afraid of dry ice and randomly know where to purchase some, by all means, get that involved too. Spooky, scary.

Happy Halloween, friends! May your day be filled with plenty of dirty tricks and delicious treats.

Spiced Pumpkin Punch: (Makes 1 Serious Cocktail)

1 ounce pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon honey
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
2 ounces bourbon
1/8 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (yes, you can use ground ginger if you must)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 ounces ginger beer
Garnish: (optional)
1 cinnamon stick
Sage leaves
Dash of ground cinnamon

Preparing your Spiced Pumpkin Punch:

-Place all of the ingredients except the ginger beer in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, don’t panic. Just use a teaspoon to really mix things up.

Spiced-pumpkin-punch-with-bourbon-step-1-Strain ingredients over ice in a rocks glass.

Spiced-pumpkin-punch-with-bourbon-step-2-Stir in the ginger beer, and garnish your cocktail with a cinnamon stick and a couple sage leaves if you’re feeling fancy. An extra dash of cinnamon never hurts either.


I’m thrilled to be a part of Food Network’s Fall Fest this week. For more festive Halloween recipes, check out the amazing blogs below.

Feed Me Phoebe: Leftover Jack-o-Lantern Salad i.e. Pumpkin & Arugula Salad with Miso-Lemon Dressing
The Heritage Cook: Jack-o’-Lantern Black & Orange Soups
The Lemon Bowl: Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Virtually Homemade: Apple Caramel Cake Pops
Weelicious: Roasted Pumpkin and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Ghoulish “Bloody Brains” Roasted Cauliflower and Beet Hummus
Devour: Caramel Apples for Halloween
Taste With The Eyes: Braised Oxtail for Halloween?
Made By Michelle: Clementine Pumpkins
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Silky Pumpkin Hummus
Red or Green: Spooky Black Bean Dip & Chile Roasted Sweet Potato Appetizers
Dishing: Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms
Cooking With Elise: Wicked Good Halloween Recipes
The Sensitive Epicure: Trick or Treat, Spaghetti or Squash? Both
FN Dish: Have a Homemade Halloween

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  1. 54 on October 31, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    so….it’s my fault, really. I know better. I do. you can not shake a carbonated beverage. it explodes. seriously. my kitchen and I, we’re angry and sticky now. tastes ok, a bit ginger-heavy but I’ll leave out the grated stuff when I make it again. after I shower and clean the kitchen.

    • Serena_Wolf on October 31, 2015 at 5:11 pm

      UGH. I’m so sorry! Most ginger beers are so lightly carbonated that the shaking isn’t an issue, especially with such a small amount, but I’ll make a note in the recipe!!

  2. Jenna on October 31, 2015 at 10:43 am

    I’ve taken this punch to all the autumn and Halloween parties I’ve gone to and it’s such a hit. People go crazy for the real pumpkin and ginger and I always end up sharing your recipe, so just wanted to say THANK YOU!!!

    • Serena Wolf on October 31, 2015 at 5:13 pm

      AH! Love to hear that. Thank YOU, Jenna!

  3. Becky deVries-Wong on October 9, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    Can you do this as a non alcholic beverage?

    • Serena_Wolf on October 10, 2015 at 9:50 am

      yes, definitely! (I’d add a little extra ginger beer.)

  4. Jamie Shae Romero on November 27, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Is there a way to make this into a punch bowl? I want to serve this for thanksgiving but I don’t think I’ll have time to play bartender and cook at the same time. Thank you!

    • Serena_Wolf on November 27, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      You could totally do this in a punch bowl. I would mix a 750 ml bottle of bourbon, 12 ounces pumpkin puree, 12 ounces of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of honey, a teaspoon each of ginger and cinnamon, and top it with 3 bottles of ginger beer before serving. (You can always add a little extra ginger and cinnamon if you like!) Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Brittany Mullins on November 4, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    This looks and sounds delicious! Although I’m not a huge bourbon fan, maybe I could use rum instead.

    • Serena_Wolf on November 5, 2013 at 7:52 am

      Thanks, Brittany! I think dark rum is a pretty delicious sounding alternative. It would make it a tiny bit sweeter, which I’m totally on board with. Try it!

  6. Laura Phelan on October 31, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Logan’s costume is amazing. He gets hit on a lot doesn’t he…

    • Serena_Wolf on October 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      I literally have to fight other girls off with a stick.

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