It's not too early to start thinking about Halloween parties—forget the costumes, let's talk about the drinks! Pumpkin—a must have at any fall party—and homemade cinnamon-infused rum are perfect partners for this fall-inspired punch.
Pumpkin punch is a cinch to make, but if you have time, it's worth it to infuse your rum using a few cinnamon sticks. Just let the cinnamon sticks soak in the rum for a few days then strain them out. It's takes very little effort but makes a big difference in this drink (and extra spiced rum can be used for all sorts of warm, fall cocktails).
I used a can of pumpkin purée—make sure to get the plain pumpkin purée without any additional spices or sweetener—with sweetened condensed milk to bring just the right amount of sweet creaminess to the pumpkin. Once all the ingredients are thoroughly combined in the punch bowl, a quick zest of freshly grated nutmeg over the top adds a warm, spicy flavor and scent.
To make sure your punch stays cold, make a big block of ice in a Tupperware container or a cake pan. (Or make jumbo ice cubes in one of these silicone trays.)
About the author: Kelly Carámbula blogs about her adventures in the kitchen, including a weekly happy hour, on eat make read. She is also the founder and publisher of Remedy Quarterly, an independent food magazine.
- For the cinnamon infused rum:
- 1 750-mL bottle of dark rum, like Flor de Caña
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- For the punch:
- 10 ounces pumpkin purée
- 10 ounces cinnamon-infused rum
- 10 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 10 dashes Angostura bitters
- Freshly ground nutmeg
- Ice block or cubes
To make the infused rum: Combine the cinnamon sticks and rum (keeping the rum bottle) in a large ball jar (or any wide-mouthed jar.) Seal and place in a dark area for 3 days, gently shaking daily. Once the cinnamon flavor is bold enough, remove the cinnamon sticks and pour back into the liquor bottle.
In a large punch bowl, combine the pumpkin purée, rum, condensed milk and bitters. Gently stir until fully combined.
Sprinkle freshly grated nutmeg over the entire punch bowl.