Seasonal Sippers: The Perfect Pumpkin Punch

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Although summer-fresh, mint-and-pineapple, Mojito and Bahama Mama memories linger, autumn’s arrival brings more than just changes to temperature and colors; it’s time to redecorate your cocktail considerations, too. Fall presents powerful views of earth tone sunsets visible from almost any back porch – and the view is never better than when it’s toasted with heavier-spiced spirits and friends. I’m confident this seasonally spirited punch will perfectly please your guests’ palate.

2 cups of Pumpkin Purée
10 ounces of infused spiced rum
8 ounces condensed milk
40 coffee beans
12 dashes of Angostura bitters
Ice block or cubes
Pumpkin Purée: Made-from-scratch puree delivers the freshest taste, although canned purée is acceptable. Start by pre-heating oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with coated bakery paper. Next, it’s time to slice and dice – take one large pumpkin, remove the stem, and cut the pumpkin in halves. Extract all seeds and flesh, leaving only the skin and meat on each half. Lightly sprinkle the two fleshes with salt. Turn face-down on baking sheet and bake for 45 – 50 minutes, or until you can easily pierce with and remove a small knife; let cool for one hour. Once cool, remove the flesh from the pumpkin and blend until consistently smooth. Your made-from-scratch puree can refrigerate for up to 10 days, or freeze for storage.

Rum infusion: Empty a 750ml bottle of spiced or dark rum into a sealable jar and add coffee beans. Store in a dark, cool area for three days, shaking gently every 24 hours. Strain the coffee beans and pour the rum back into the bottle. Feeling a flavored infusion? Use flavored beans to modify the flavor, if desired.

Pumpkin punch: Combine all the ingredients in a large punch bowl and mix completely. For additional flavor, sprinkle a teaspoon of nutmeg on top. 

Sample the original recipe before flying solo at The All-Steak, Inc.’s BackRoom Lounge, where you’re welcome anytime. Join our seasonally spirited Costume Creation Challenge on Halloween from 8 p.m. – ‘til in the BackRoom. Need another reason to raise your glass? All ingredients are available locally. Enjoy your pumpkin punch — and cheers for fall.

Julius Valentine is the mixologist at The All-Steak, Inc.’s BackRoom, at 323 3rd Avenue SE Cullman, AL. Watch for his seasonal custom beverage tips in the CullmanSense. Contact Julius via