How to Make Your Own
One 10-12 Pound Fresh Pumpkin
1 Fifth of 100 Proof Vodka
1 Cup of Sugar
2 Tbsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
Juice of 1 Lemon
Zest of 1 Lemon
Tools: baking sheets, large metal strainer and coffee filters or cheesecloth, measuring cups and spoons, citrus zester, large glass jar (infusion jar) for distillation process, second large glass jar for filtering process, decorative bottles for finished liquor, labels.
Cut your pumpkin into chunks (about 8" or so), place these flesh side down on a baking sheet and bake at 400 for about half an hour or until the flesh is tender. The baking time will depend on the size of your pieces.
Scrape out the cooked flesh from the shells into your infusion jar.
Pour in the vodka.
Add the lemon zest, the Pumpkin Pie Spice and the sugar.
Seal your infusion jar and place in the refrigerator.
Let this distill for a minimum of one week and up to two weeks. Shake the jar up whenever you open the fridge or at least once a day.
After the first week you can test the depth of flavor until you get the amount of pumpkin flavor you want
Once your distillation is complete you can set up your filtering station. I like to do a quick strain through a large sieve or metal strainer to get out the larger, chunkier elements. This will speed up the following steps.
Place your metal strainer lined with coffee filters or the cheesecloth over your second large jar and pour your infused pumpkin liqueur into this in stages. After each stage dump out the sediment remaining.
You'll do this until all the solids are removed.
OPTIONAL: If you want a really bright orange colored liqueur you can add a few drops of orange food coloring at this point.
Pour your strained pumpkin liqueur into your decorative bottles, add one of my personalizable cocktail labels or my customizable Halloween Labels and you're ready to give them as gifts and enjoy in cocktails!
You can also use rum instead of vodka, but remember that while vodka doesn't have a very distinctive flavor, rums do and this will affect the final flavor of your end liqueur. Try both and see how you like them.
32 ounces of canned pumpkin puree can be substituted for the fresh but you'll lose some of the great flavor you get from the freshly baked squash.
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