A lot of autumn pumpkin drinks out there are made with fake pumpkin flavoring, but this easy homemade liqueur uses the real thing. Make a pumpkin-spiced syrup by steeping canned pumpkin with sugar, spices, and water, then strain it and add some aged rum. Give it a few days for all of the flavors to come together, and you’ll have a bottle of pumpkin nip to add to coffee or whipped cream for topping a ginger cake, or to give away as a Christmas gift.
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 (15-ounce) canpumpkin purée (not pie filling)
6 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
2vanilla beans, split lengthwise
2 cupsaged rum, such as Appleton or Flor de Caña
Place the water and sugars in a medium saucepan, whisk to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and vanilla beans, whisk to combine, and return to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the syrup is infused with flavor, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line a medium fine-mesh strainer with a 13-by-15-inch piece of ultrafine cheesecloth and place it over a large heatproof bowl.
Pour the pumpkin mixture through the cheesecloth and let it drain undisturbed until most of the liquid has passed through and only a thick paste remains. Gently press on the paste with a rubber spatula to release any remaining liquid, then discard the contents of the strainer. (You should have about 2 cups of infused syrup.)
Add the rum and stir to combine. Transfer to a 1-quart container and set aside to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
Seal the container tightly and store it in a cool, dark place for at least 2 days and up to 3 months before serving.