Bourbon Spice Cocktail

Full disclosure: This pumpkin-spice cocktail doesn’t have any pumpkin in it. But neither do most “pumpkin spice” items that are everywhere around Thanksgiving. Still, it’s full of the wonderful flavors that make those seasonal treats — including pumpkin pie — taste and smell so good: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.

It also has bourbon.

As with Thanksgiving dinner, you’ll want to do a little bit of prep for this drink. It calls for a pumpkin spice simple syrup that can be made ahead of time and will keep for a while in the fridge. Because the proportions are easy (1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice), you can make a big batch and use it in coffee. If you have all of the aforementioned spices, you can easily make your own pumpkin-pie spice, but the pre-mixed stuff will work just fine.

I’ll be serving this at Thanksgiving dinner this year: “Don’t worry, Mom! If you like Starbucks’ pumpkin-spice latte, you’ll love this.”

Pumpkin-Spiced Bourbon Soda

For the pumpkin-spice simple syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Method: In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine one cup sugar, one cup water, and 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. When the mixture reaches a boil, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool to at least room temperature. (It may get a little gloppy on top; just skim that off and discard it.)

For the cocktail:
2 ounces bourbon
1 ounce pumpkin-spice simple syrup
Club soda

Glassware: Rocks or highball glass

Method: Add the bourbon and simple syrup to the glass, stir gently, and add a handful of ice. Top off with club soda, stir gently, and enjoy.