Drunk Pumpkin Cocktail Recipe

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Drunk Pumpkin Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Drunk Pumpkin is a modern concoction that celebrates the flavors of autumn. It's particularly popular during Halloween and Thanksgiving festivities.

  • Origins
    • The cocktail seems to have originated from the craft cocktail movement, where bartenders sought to incorporate seasonal ingredients into their creations.
  • Popularity
    • Fans of pumpkin spice and those who enjoy sweet, dessert-like cocktails often gravitate towards the Drunk Pumpkin.
  • Occasions
    • It's a hit at fall parties and is often enjoyed as an after-dinner drink.

How Drunk Pumpkin Tastes?

The Drunk Pumpkin offers a sweet and spicy taste profile, with the warmth of vodka complemented by the rich, aromatic pumpkin spice. The tonic water adds a slight bitterness and effervescence, while the orange food coloring gives it a festive look without altering the flavor.

Interesting facts about Drunk Pumpkin

  • The pumpkin spice syrup used in the Drunk Pumpkin is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.
  • Despite its name, there's no actual pumpkin in most pumpkin spice syrups.
  • The cocktail's orange hue is perfect for Halloween-themed parties.


A few good options for Drunk Pumpkin are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose


  • The 2 oz of vodka serve as the strong foundation, giving the cocktail its kick without overpowering the pumpkin flavor. Vodka is clean and neutral, doesn't steal the spotlight from the syrup. If you sway from 2 oz, be mindful not to drown the other flavors or make the cocktail too weak.

Emma Rose

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

  • 1 oz pumpkin spice syrup is what gives our Drunk Pumpkin its soul. It brings in the cozy fall feels. Too much could be like diving into a pumpkin patch, and too little is like autumn never arrived. Other syrups like maple could be an interesting substitute, giving it a more woodsy note.

Alex Green

Tonic Water

  • 2 oz of tonic water adds fizz and a slight bitterness which balances the sweetness from the syrup. The exact measure helps maintain the perfect bubbly texture. Swap it with ginger beer for a spicier kick or club soda for less sweetness.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Food Coloring

  • The 2 drops of orange food coloring are mainly for the looks - to make the drink scream 'pumpkin!' without affecting the taste. If you leave it out, the flavor stays the same, but you'll miss the Instagram-worthy appearance. If you're not into food coloring, a little carrot juice could add a natural orange hue as well.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Drunk Pumpkin Drink

  1. Chill a highball glass.
  2. In a shaker, combine:
    • 2 oz vodka
    • 1 oz pumpkin spice syrup
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake vigorously.
  4. Strain into the chilled glass.
  5. Top with 2 oz of tonic water.
  6. Add 2 drops of orange food coloring and stir gently.
  7. Garnish with an orange twist or a cinnamon stick.
  8. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • Chill your glass: This keeps the cocktail colder for longer and enhances the flavors.
  • Shake well: Ensure the pumpkin spice syrup is fully integrated with the vodka for a smooth taste.
  • Garnish: Don't skip the garnish; it adds to the overall experience and aroma.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese platters: The creamy, rich flavors of brie or mild cheddar contrast nicely with the spiciness of the cocktail.
  • Roasted nuts: Salty and crunchy nuts would balance out the sweetness and add a textural contrast.


  • Pumpkin pie: The cocktail's pumpkin notes will complement the pie perfectly.
  • Cinnamon spiced desserts: The cinnamon will resonate with the pumpkin spice syrup in the drink.

Think Holiday

  • Thanksgiving dinner: This cocktail screams autumn and would fit right in with a Thanksgiving spread.

Other Drinks

  • Coffee: Dark, rich coffee could be a great non-alcoholic pairing for those who want something warm and bold alongside the cocktail.

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What you could change in Drunk Pumpkin

  • Vodka: Any high-quality vodka will do, but for an autumnal twist, consider using a vanilla-flavored vodka.
  • Pumpkin Spice Syrup: If you can't find this, you can make your own by simmering simple syrup with pumpkin pie spices.
  • Tonic Water: Club soda can be used for a less sweet version.

Explore all drinks starting with D here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Pumpkin

  • Switch vodka with mezcal for a smoky version.
  • Add a pinch of smoked paprika to the shaker before shaking.
  • This twist will give an intriguing smoky dimension contrasting with the sweetness of the pumpkin.

Creamy Pumpkin Dream

  • Add 1 oz of Baileys Irish Cream to the shaker.
  • Use ginger beer instead of tonic water for extra spice.
  • This version is lusciously creamy and a tad spicier, like a liquid pumpkin pie.

Spiced Apple Pumpkin

  • Replace the pumpkin spice syrup with spiced apple syrup.
  • Garnish with a slice of dehydrated apple instead of orange twist.
  • The apple twist gives a fruity fall orchard vibe, making it a fresh take on the traditional pumpkin flavors.

In case you forgot basics how to make Drunk Pumpkin

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Drunk Pumpkin

Can the Drunk Pumpkin cocktail be made in large batches for parties?

Yes, the Drunk Pumpkin can be scaled up to serve in large batches. Simply multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you need and mix in a large punch bowl or beverage dispenser. Adjust the amount of tonic water according to your taste and desired fizziness.

Is there an alcohol-free version of this cocktail for non-drinkers?

Absolutely, you can create a mocktail version by omitting the vodka and perhaps adding a bit of ginger ale or sparkling apple cider for additional flavor and effervescence.

What's the best way to store pumpkin spice syrup?

Pumpkin spice syrup should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It typically lasts up to a month when stored properly.

How do I make a clear ice cube that looks good in the Drunk Pumpkin cocktail?

To make clear ice, boil distilled water twice and let it cool. Then pour it into a cooler and place it in your freezer until it's frozen on top. Break the ice into large pieces and use them in your cocktail for a visually appealing presentation.

Why is the garnish important in cocktails like the Drunk Pumpkin?

Garnishes contribute to the overall sensory experience of the cocktail, adding both visual appeal and aromatic notes that complement the drink's flavors.

How does the type of glassware affect the Drunk Pumpkin cocktail experience?

The choice of glassware can influence the temperature of the drink, its presentation, and how the aromas are concentrated. A highball glass is ideal for the Drunk Pumpkin because it showcases the color and allows room for the right amount of mixers and ice.

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