Monday, 21 September 2015

Monin Pumpkin Spice Syrup & Cocktails

Photo Credit: Monin UK
It's pretty much an unwritten rule, but as soon as all the coffee chains (namely the big green one that rhymes with bar-lucks) start dishing out the spiced lattes, summer is no more *sigh*. Well, spoiler alert, it's only bloody happened hasn't it? Pack away the sunnies, dig out the knitwear from the back of the wardrobe, maybe even stick the heating on; autumn has arrived.

If you have the tendency to be a bit of a coffee snob, a sweet spiced latte is probably not your thing - you might want to read Phoebe's excellent 'how to cope' post - but don't disappear just yet. Monin's new Pumpkin Spice Syrup, the one that's gracing all of this year's seasonal coffees, is much more versatile than you might think. To prove this, they very kindly sent me over a few samples to play around with, along with some bright pumpkin-orange Halloween goodies; no tricks, just treats!

Made with actual pumpkin juice - that's right, no artificial flavours or additives - Monin Pumpkin Spice captures the earthy, autumnal flavour of pumpkin with a warm kick of spice from cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. It's an instant hit of the American classic, pumpkin pie (though a damn sight less calorific), and it evokes memories of walking through a sea of fallen copper-coloured leaves, early evening darkness, and the crackle of an open fire. Romantic huh?

Like all Monin products (they have a range of over 140), this new syrup is a wonderful ingredient in cocktails and mocktails, as well as the obvious coffees and hot chocolates, and I imagine it'd be very welcome in the kitchen too... Pumpkin Spice roasted plums perhaps?

A few recipe ideas accompanied the samples - a (sp)Iced Tea and a Pumpkin Spice Mule - but as nice as they sounded, following the suggested serves is not my bag; it was time to experiment!

In the spirit of the season, and with bonfire night in mind, I decided to concoct a smoky, spicy, whisky sour, which would be a perfect pre-or-post-dinner-drink. Citrusy with sweet Pumpkin Spice undertones, the use of Chase Smoked Vodka alongside whisky adds a dry element to the otherwise velvety cocktail, and having cracked black pepper on the top gives it an extra punch.

Alternatively for those moments where you just want to snuggle up in your PJs with a hot drink, I've boozed it up with a cream floated Hot Toddy (inspired by the Hot Gin & Tonic I had in Stockholm). Keeping with the American vibe of Monin Pumpkin Spice, I used bourbon along with orange and lemon juice, and a fresh grating of nutmeg. A naughty indulgence for any night of the week!

Sugar, spice and everything nice might have been used in the creation of The Powerpuff Girls, but Monin have taken it on board too. If you want the new syrup in your extra-hot-triple-shot-almond-milk-latte, or whatever lengthy coffee you like, then go for it; it'll be delicious! However, if you'd like to spice things up, try it out in the cocktails below.

You can find where to buy Monin Pumpkin Spice on their website or via Bennett Opie Ltd. You can also buy a 70cl bottle online from Next Day Coffee for £5.49

(serves 1)

  • 1 Egg White
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
  • 35ml Monin Pumpkin Spice Syrup
  • 35ml Whisky (nothing too peaty - I used Great King Street Artist's Blend) 
  • 20ml Chase Smoked Vodka 
  • Ice
  • Cracked Black Pepper (to garnish)


  1. Put a cocktail glass in the freezer. 
  2. Into a shaker, add the egg white, lemon juice and syrup. Whack the lid on and shake vigorously for a minute to build up some foam. 
  3. Now add the whisky, smoked vodka, a handful of ice, and shake for another minute. 
  4. Remove your glass from the freezer and strain the cocktail into it. You should have a nice foamy top. 
  5. Using a pepper mill, crack some black pepper over the top to finish it off. Enjoy!

Bourbon & Spice Toddy
(serves 1)

  • 1 Orange (juice only)
  • 1/4 Lemon (juice only)
  • 35ml Monin Pumpkin Spice Syrup 
  • 50ml Bourbon 
  • 75ml Double Cream
  • Nutmeg (to garnish)


  1. Squeeze the orange and lemon juice into a pan, add the syrup and heat gently for 5 minutes, making sure it doesn't boil. 
  2. When it's hot, remove from the heat, add the bourbon and stir. 
  3. At this point stir the double cream in a bowl until it thickens slightly (using a whisk can overdo it in an instant). 
  4. Pour your hot bourbon mix into a glass and float the cream on top. 
  5. Grate some nutmeg over and serve. 

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