With the start of Autumn comes vibrant red maple leaves, cooler temperatures, and the ubiquitous pumpkin pie spiced…everything! Did you know that at Mountain Rose Herbs we offer an organic Pumpkin Pie Spice blend that makes it easy to craft your own pumpkin pie inspired creations at home?
While this spice blend is delicious on top of lattes and cappuccinos, it also makes a delectable addition to a classic Old Fashioned cocktail. We’ve made our recipe extra special by swapping out the traditional sugar with a simple syrup infused with our Love Tea and a homemade bitters.
1 tsp. Love Tea simple syrup (recipe below)
2 oz. bourbon
4 droppers of orange cardamom bitters (recipe below)
2-4 dashes of organic Pumpkin Pie Spice blend
1 organic navel orange
Add simple syrup, bitters, bourbon, and pumpkin pie spice in the bottom of a double Old Fashioned glass. Stir until combined. Peel 1 large strip of orange zest using a vegetable peeler and twist the peel over the glass, releasing its oils. Wipe the pith-side of the peel around the rim of the glass and toss into the glass. Put desired amount of ice in glass and garnish with cinnamon stick and orange wedge.
Love Tea Simple Syrup
Herbalists know syrups are one of the tastiest ways to ingest traditional herbal remedies. However, we can use the same techniques to turn our loose-leaf teas into a delicious simple syrup for cocktails too!
1 cup water
1 cup fair trade, organic cane sugar or 1 cup organic local honey (Note: while we like the health benefits of honey, using sugar has a more neutral taste, which allows the flavor of the delicate tea to really shine)
6 Tbsp. organic loose-leaf Love Tea
Boil water in a medium saucepan on the stovetop. Once water has come to a boil, take the saucepan off the heat and steep tea in water for about 5 minutes, or until desired flavor. The flavor should be much more concentrated than a typical cup of sipping tea. Remove tea leaves and compost. Bring your tea/water infusion back to a boil on the stovetop. Add sugar or honey and stir until dissolved. Set the saucepan aside and let cool for 1 hour before storing in one of our pantry jars or recycled glass storage jars in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
Bitters have long been a part of an herbalists’ arsenal, particularly helpful as a digestive aid. But craft bitters are seeing a resurgence in bars and pantries across the country. Purchasing craft bitters for your home bar can be a pricey proposition, but bitters are actually very easy and inexpensive to make on your own. Bitters recipes typically include at least one of each: bitter, aromatic, and flavor herb plus a high-proof alcohol. We encourage you to experiment with different herbs, but here’s a favorite combo we love in bourbon drinks, like our Pumpkin Pie Spice Old Fashioned (recipe above).
1/3 cup organic, dried orange peel
1/3 cup organic cardamom pods
1/3 cup organic blue vervain or other bitter herb
2 cups 151-proof grain alcohol (such as Everclear)
1 cup 101-proof bourbon (such as Wild Turkey)
3 8 oz. mason jars
Glass, stainless steel, or ceramic mixing bowl
Place one herb in each of the mason jars. Add 1 cup of grain alcohol to the jars with the orange peel and cardamom. Then, to the jar with blue vervain, add the bourbon. Shake each jar vigorously and set aside in a cool, dark, dry place for up to 4 weeks. Check jar regularly (every other day or so) and shake each time you check the jar. Taste as you go along, and once the flavor pleases you, strain herb through cheesecloth and pour liquid back into mason jar. Compost the herbs. The amount of time needed for tincturing each herb will depend on the botanical used and your taste preferences.
Once all three herbal tinctures make your taste buds happy and have been strained, combine them a little at a time into a mixing bowl. We like to taste as we combine. Once it’s perfect, use a funnel to pour completed bitters into amber dropper bottles and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year (or more). Don’t forget to label what’s inside!