Hello, Great Pumpkin

Kate’s Kitchen, Washington, D.C. — We’ve conjured so many Thanksgiving dinners over the years that the routine is down pat (maybe not as much as that of the Italian family we spent a couple of holidays with, where the kitchen was spotlessly clean even before dinner, and the turkey and trimmings were presented as the third course) .

But still, we find ourselves with time on our hands on our baking and prep day, and creativity to spare.  The result is our early contribution to Thanksgiving 2010, The Great Pumpkin Cocktail, a refreshing take on pumpkin pie that combines all the flavors of the traditional favorite without the heaviness. We plan to greet guests at the door with a small glass.  Enjoy!

The Great Pumpkin

2 oz. spiced rum (or for a richer experience, fine aged rum)

3 1/2 tsp. pumpkin purée

1 Kaffir lime leaf (optional)

3 tsp. simple syrup (we used the excellent Sonoma Syrup Co. Cinnamon Infused Simple Syrup)

Pinch each ground nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, ginger

1/2 tsp.  lemon juice, freshly squeezed (recommend the orange-y taste of Meyer lemons)

Splash heavy cream

Stir  pumpkin purée into rum until smooth. Add optional Kaffir lime leaf. Shake with remaining ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into cordial glasses. Garnish with cranberries and/or candied ginger.

For an extra special presentation, rim glasses with cinnamon and sugar.  Mix cinnamon and sugar to taste. Dip glasses into lemon juice and then cinnamon-sugar mix. Use a match to flame and crystalize sugar for final finish.

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