A perfect fall cocktail for warm autumn days! This pumpkin spice bourbon milk punch is a tasty seasonal twist of a bourbon milk punch cocktail.
There are a couple of cocktails that fall under the category of milk punch. The kind we are making today is of the milk or cream-based cold cocktail variety popular in the American Southeast. Milk punch cocktails are typically made with either brandy or bourbon – we are using bourbon today – and served cold. Fun fact, eggnog is actually one of the most popular milk punch cocktails. I learned that while researching for this article! But it is fall and we are doing All The Fall Things, so a pumpkin spice bourbon milk punch is on the menu!
You can actually thank the Godfather for this recipe. When it comes to fall cocktail ideas, I usually think of recipes like my apple pie moonshine cocktail. Creamy drinks just don’t really come to mind. But one day, while we were chatting about food, in the way one does, fall cocktails came up. The Godfather suggested a milk punch, and I added the pumpkin spice. That’s teamwork, darlings.
While we lived in Alabama, we had the opportunity to learn more about Southern food we hadn’t really tried while in Georgia. The Godfather got into making Alabama white sauce for chicken. We took the kids to Mardi Gras in Mobile 2 years in a row. And we had the chance to travel to New Orleans a few times.
On our one kid-free trip, the Godfather and I enjoyed quiet evenings listening to live music and sampling some of New Orleans’ signature cocktails. This included the classic brandy milk punch, a brunch cocktail that’s popular around the holidays.
But we aren’t quite at the holiday season yet, because it’s pumpkin season! This is a bourbon milk punch recipe because bourbon feels more “fall” than brandy for us. Don’t let that stop you from subbing brandy or even spiced rum for the bourbon though. All three will taste great with pumpkin spice, so use what you prefer!
A few pumpkin spice bourbon milk punch recipe notes…
You might notice that this recipe doesn’t have milk. It also doesn’t use ice cubes. Instead, add chill and milk with ice cream! That doesn’t mean the recipe is like a milkshake. As you can see, it’s not. But we don’t water down any of the flavor adding ice. That makes this pumpkin bourbon milk punch perfect for sipping!
You’ll definitely want to sip this cocktail too. Looking at the ingredient ratios, you’ll see it packs a pretty serious punch! Be sure to enjoy responsibly, darlings.
As I mentioned earlier, the recipe calls for bourbon. But if you don’t have any bourbon on hand, brandy is a great substitute. And if you don’t have either of the above, spiced rum will absolutely work in a pinch.
The cinnamon sugar rim on the cocktail glasses is totally optional. If you choose to use one, you have a few options for getting your cinnamon sugar to stick. The first option is to just use a little water or other liquid. Dip the very edge of the glass into your liquid and then dip into a cinnamon-sugar mixture. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, try caramel!
I poured a little of my homemade caramel sauce into a bowl, then dipped the rim of each glass into the caramel. From there, I rolled the edge of each glass on a plate that had my cinnamon sugar mixture. It makes such a nice presentation, don’t you think?
Finally, the easiest way to mix up this recipe is in a blender. If you don’t have one, the next best option is a large mason jar with a lid. Then shake like crazy until your mixture is smooth.
- 2 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice (see notes)
- caramel for rimming glasses
- 1-2 tablespoons coarse sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon for rimming glasses
- Place the ice cream, pumpkin puree, bourbon, and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice in a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- (Optional) Garnish the glass rims with caramel and cinnamon sugar. Place soft caramel sauce in a shallow bowl or on a plate. Dip the rim of your glass into the caramel. Place the cinnamon sugar mixture on another plate, dip the caramel-coated rim into the sugar mixture.
- Divide the cocktail between two glasses. Garnish with an additional sprinkle of ground spices if you'd like. Enjoy responsibly!
- If you don't have pumpkin spice on hand, use a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, and/or nutmeg. Any fall spices you enjoy will work.
- If you only want to make one cocktail, you can halve the recipe, OR, you can make the full recipe and FREEZE THE EXTRA! The bourbon will prevent the cocktail from fully freezing, so you can give it a quick shake and have a prepared cocktail another day. No extra dishes!
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