Fall Five: Pumpkin Pie Shooters

Fall Five: Pumpkin Pie Shooters

Fall Five: Pumpkin Pie Shooters

Series Links | Rosemary Bourbon Sour | Apple Margarita | Apple Manhattan | Fall Ginger Smash | Spiced Rum Old Fashion

We wrap our Fall Five series today with one of our all-time favorite party drinks. These are a must, either for Halloween or Thanksgiving–or, you know, just a Friday night when you’re craving fall and need to shake off the work week.

People always ask us who liked cocktails first. I (Steph) always give 100% of the credit to Brian: he owned legitimate spirits; I owned things like vanilla flavored vodka; he knew how to mix drinks that tasted delicious; I tried to mix drinks that tasted like mouthwash. So, while Brian really does credit (he can also simultaneously get credit for increasing my alcohol consumption 50 fold as well. Love you, hun ;)), it might be more accurate to say that he made all of my cocktail dreams come true.

Before Brian & I were Brian & I, I had cocktail aspirations and some sense that serving fun drinks would make my parties better, but I wasn’t very good at it and thus was constantly leveraging the strengths of my friends (that’s a nice management way of saying it, right?).

Long ago, I was planning a massive combined housewarming and sayonara-for-a-bit party, as I just moved into the largest, most affordable apartment in Harvard Square and was also about to depart on a month long globe trotting trip. It was the end of September in Boston, and the air was chilly and the leaves were turning; so a kick-off fall party only seemed fitting, especially since I would be missing fall myself while instead perusing the hills of Tuscany (rough I know). My good friend Mike was picking up shifts as a bartender to pay his way through seminary (we seem to have a niche for befriending liquor-loving churchgoers), and I asked him (begged him–I mean leveraged his strengths) to serve as the bartender for my party.

He’s the best person ever; so he willingly agreed. He proposed a whole menu of good-bye summer drinks, to which I had to tell him, “Those sound great, but I’m going for ‘hello fall’ drinks.” He obliged and reworked the menu.

Of course, in the end, Mike was right, as the day of my party rolled around and it was, no lie, eighty-five degrees on the last day of September. I lived on the 5th floor, had massive windows that let in the sun, and had had the oven on all day. My main course for the party was not one, but two, massive vats of soup. Nothing says ‘here’s to fall!’ like squash soup when you’re dripping in sweat. At one point during the evening it seemed like the party was starting to wind down. I ran into my room to get something, and I discovered 15 people huddled around my small AC window unit.

Back to the drinks. I still don’t know where Mike found this recipe, and it’s possible he made it up. I must have asked him for it a thousand times after the party. He of course would tell me. I would write it down. And then I, of course, would lose the place where I wrote it by the next time I needed it. Years later, I described this drink to Brian and he recreated it and then wrote it down in his cute little recipe journal (I mock him, but he can always find what he is looking for).

These shooters were the hit of that 80 degree fall party, and the hit of every party when we’ve served them since then. They taste like you’re sipping pumpkin pie. They’re pretty. We’re not usually ones for shots, but if you’re going to have shots they should taste like pie and look pretty.

Pumpkin Pie Shooters


makes 24 shooters

  • 1. 5 cups Rum (we used an aged rum, but any will do; use a spiced rum for an extra kick)
  • 4 tablespoons Curacao (or other orange liqueur)
  • Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup Canned pumpkin or canned pumpkin pie mix*
  • Cinnamon
  • All Spice*
  • Nutmeg*
  • 4 tablespoons Agave*

*If you can find canned pumpkin pie mix buy that–it’s already mixed with sugar & spice in which case you don’t need allspice, nutmeg or agave. Sometimes, though, grocery stores are finicky and only carry the pumpkin pie mix right around thanksgiving. Canned pumpkin is easier to find; so we tell you how to make the shooters if that’s the only thing you can get your hands on.


  • Put all ingredients into shaker. Again, if you’re using pumpkin pie mix you can nix the allspice, nutmeg, and agave.
  • Stir ingredients together to get rid of any pumpkin clumpiness.
  • If you’re mixing ahead of time, put lid on shaker and stick in fridge. This is helpful so that you’re not trying to do it during the party. Nothing is worse than trying to welcome guests and simultaneously trying to open a can of pumpkin. However, the pumpkin and alcohol will separate after awhile; so keep mixture in the shaker until you’re ready to serve.
  • When you’re ready to serve, add ice and shake vigorously for 20 seconds (you both want to make the shot sufficiently cold and blend the pumpkin, so shake shake).
  • Pour into shot glasses 2/3 full.
  • Line shot glasses on a flat plate or sturdy tray.
  • Top with whipped cream and cinnamon and serve.

Shot glasses: We don’t have that many shot glasses, so get these one for parties.

Roberts & June