Pumpkin and pumpkin spice are two very different things. One highlights the taste of the pumpkin fruit. The other leans into the spices commonly used with pumpkin - cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. This pumpkin infused vodka is about the fruit.
This is the perfect recipe for pumpkin lovers with a little extra puree left in the can from making other pumpkin goodies.
We're skipping the spices and letting pure pumpkin hanging out with vodka for a few days before straining it and using that pumpkin vodka in a couple very different pumpkin cocktails.
Pumpkin is a vegetable with a delicious, savory flavor all its own if it's allowed to shine. Usually the spices paired up with it - cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger - take over and overwhelm the flavor of the pumpkin itself.
If you can find pumpkin vodka in the store, it's most likely going to be full of cinnamon. Which means cinnamon is automatically a flavor component in any drink you make. I like to control what flavors are going into all of my drinks, so making my own pumpkin vodka solves that.
What You Need
- Your favorite vodka - Use whatever plain vodka you like.
- Pumpkin puree - Either canned or homemade pumpkin puree work great. Just make sure it's 100% pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Quart mason jar + lid - I like wide mouth mason jars for liquor infusions.
- Cheesecloth - This is to remove the pumpkin puree from the vodka.
- Fine Mesh Sieve - A fine mesh strainer will help with removing the pumpkin puree.
- Coffee Filters (optional) - If you want to remove every bit of pumpkin puree from the vodka, you'll need coffee filters for the final step.
How to Make Pumpkin Vodka
Combine the pumpkin puree and vodka in the mason jar.
Screw the lid on tightly and give the mixture a gentle shake.
Let it sit in a cool, dry place for 5 days. (It will naturally turn the bright orange color you see in these photos.)
How to Remove Pumpkin Puree from Vodka
Place a fine mesh sieve over a medium bowl. Line the sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth.
Give the vodka mixture one final shake, then slowly pour it through the cheesecloth-lined strainer.
Strain the vodka mixture through the cheesecloth.
Dispose of the cheesecloth or rinse it out, hand wash it, and air dry the cheesecloth for reuse.
NOTE: At this point there will be a little bit of pumpkin puree left in your vodka. It's fine to leave it there and store your vodka in the refrigerator. If you want zero puree sediment in your pumpkin vodka, continue with the directions below to remove it.
Replace the cheesecloth in the strainer with a coffee filter and pour ½ of the vodka through the filter.
Replace the filter and pour the remaining ½ through the second filter.
(Be patient! It’s going to take a few minutes for all of the liquid to strain through.)
Store the vodka in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
What Cocktails to Make with Pumpkin Vodka
What kinds of pumpkin cocktails can you make with pumpkin infused vodka? I have two martinis for you to try! My pumpkin ginger martini is bright and fresh and has zero warm, fall spices in it. This one really lets the vegetal flavors of the pumpkin come through.
Pumpkin vodka is also a main ingredient in my pumpkin pie martini, which is made without any dairy or creamy component so it's sweet without being too rich and thick.
FAQs and Substitutions
Yes. Letting the vodka infuse for at least 5 days will ensure a good pumpkin flavor. You can let it infuse for up to 10 days if you’d like.
Unlike most of the flavored vodkas you buy in stores, DIY liquor infusions like this pumpkin vodka don’t contain any sugar or other sweeteners. You’ll add the sweetness when making the cocktail itself, instead of using pre-sweetened vodka.
The cheesecloth will get out most of the pumpkin puree, but not all of it, so it’s strained twice to remove as much pumpkin puree as possible. You can skip straining the vodka a second time through the coffee filters if you don’t mind a little pumpkin puree in your vodka. If you decide to leave some puree in your vodka, be sure to store the vodka in the refrigerator.
How Long Does Pumpkin Vodka Last?
When stored in your liquor cabinet or pantry, the strained pumpkin vodka will last up to 6 weeks. If you store it in the refrigerator, your pumpkin vodka will last up to 4 months.
Looking for More Homemade Infused Liquors?
Making your own homemade liquor infusions is super easy and takes minimal time and effort. You'll get a better flavor with less sugar than what you buy at the liquor store.