Pumpkin Spice And Everything Nice

It’s that time of year again. The temperature slowly starts to go down day by day and you are met with crisp, cool mornings. The harvest season begins and brings forth apples, corn, and pumpkins. Pumpkins! It wasn’t too long ago that the only things you would associate with pumpkins were Halloween and Pumpkin Pie but there is a new contender. Pumpkin Spice is everywhere! Pumpkin spice lattes, muffins, and even Spam. Yes, the Spam in a can. So where did this craze come from? Is it a passing thing or will we continue to pump out everything pumpkin spice when fall comes around every year. There have been no signs of slow down but only time will truly tell.

A History of The Spice of Pumpkin

The first thing I have to get out of the way is a shocker. There isn’t actually any pumpkin in pumpkin spice. I know! I was surprised too. It’s actually a mixture of several spices. The general recipe includes nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. These are all spices that we have enjoyed for a long time. However, recently Archeologists found some pottery shards in Indonesia. These shards were 3,500 years old. The kicker, they contained traces of nutmeg on them. It’s possible that pumpkin spice may have been around much longer than we thought. It’s likely that it was only the nutmeg that was used 3,500 years ago, but hey! You never know.

Spices ruled the trade market for thousands of years. Having a more limited view of agriculture and how to cultivate crops it was thought that some spices were only able to grow in some areas of the world. This caused humans to start spice trading. It was even the catalyst for Europeans to sail to and discover the Americas. Spices are clearly important and it’s amazing that Nutmeg was used as far back as 3500 years ago. It’s especially telling when you consider that pumpkin spice is a half-billion dollar a year industry in today’s society.

The Recent Craze Start and Its Roots

The same vocal group that declares their hate for all things pumpkin spice, probably won’t like associated reason for how the craze all started. Starbucks. Starbucks was in a huge expansion period 13 years ago when they introduced the Pumpkin Spice Latte. It can’t be 100% verified but until Starbucks introduced the drink it was not a huge hit. Now every fall there is a slew of new and proven products that bear the pumpkin spice name. There are a lot of things that make sense to have a pumpkin spice flavored twist. Pumpkin Spice Bread, Pumpkin Spice Flavored Lattes and Coffees, and Pumpkin Spice Flavored Cookies.

The craze may have gone a bit too far as it is being produced in things that have no business being pumpkin spice flavored. I mentioned before that there is a pumpkin spice spam. It’s true. There are also some really absurd things that are pumpkin spiced as well. They have products like Cheerios, smoothies, doggie treats, cream cheese, and marshmallows. You have to admit, fan of pumpkin spice or not, these are some odd things to be flavored that way.
If you are a fan of pumpkin spice though, you can’t get enough. The oreos, ice cream, bagels, coffee creamer, and candies that are all pumpkin spiced are amazing. You would simply keep the pumpkin spice flavor coming year round. If this is you, then you can informally thank Starbucks for creating a drink so delicious and so popular that it spawned a thousand products.

The Lists of Pumpkin Spice

We’ve gone over a few of the weird products that come in pumpkin spice flavor, and we’ve also done the same for delicious products that make total sense to be flavored with pumpkin spice. Just for a good laugh, I’m going to make a list of the worst foods possible that are pumpkin spice flavored. Then, for you big time fans, I’m going to make a list of the best Pumpkin Spice products. Here’s the worst:

  • Pumpkin Spice Extra Gum – Imagine the flavor of Pumpkin Spice in your mouth…for hours.
  • Muscle Egg Pumpkin Spice Protein Drink – There aren’t a ton of options for protein, but c’mon?
  • Harvest Pumpkin Tortilla Chips – What kind of salsa could possibly pair with this?
  • Pumpkin Spice Sweet Burrito – How dare they destroy the good name of the burrito?
  • Pumpkin Spice Roasted Garbanzo Beans – I don’t even know why you would think of this.
  • Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn – making bad, worse. 
  • Pumpkin Spice Fettuccini – Seriously, do you serve this with Marinara or Alfredo?
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles – Nope. That’s not a typo.
  • Pumpkin Spice M & M’s – You know what, I’m ok with this one. It’s still weird.
  • Cedar’s Pumpkin Spice Hummus – I guess you could dip the pumpkin spice tortilla chips in it?
  • Peeps Pumpkin Spice Latte Flavored – Peeps are a hard sell for anyone, so this is a hard “no”.
  • DTQ Pumpkin Spice Beard Oil – I can’t think of anything less I would want to put on my face.

Here are some of the Best things you can get that are Pumpkin Spiced:

  • Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte – Obviously, it started it all.
  • Blue Diamond Pumpkin Spice Almonds – These sounds amazing. Check them out here.
  • Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Black Tea – This sounds like a good pick me up on cold fall morning.
  • Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea – I’m here for this. 
  • Pumpkin Spice RX Bar – A healthy, nutritional bar that tastes great. 
  • Pumpkin Spice Muffin – A little cake of heaven
  • Pumpkin Spice Raisin Bread – Already cinnamon based, this is a logical next step.
  • Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream – Everyone makes one of these, no joke.
  • Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer – Check it out here on Amazon.

Pumpkin Spice Drink You Can Make

Would it even be an article on hmmwhat2drink.com if it didn’t contain some kind of alcohol related recipe? The answer is no. It wouldn’t be. So, in the spirit of fall here are the best drink based around the pumpkin spice craze. All of these cocktail recipes are available on thespruceeats.com.

Pumpkin Spice Ginger Cocktail

  • 2 ounces ginger vodka
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce pumpkin purée
  • 1 splash honey syrup
  • Garnish: ginger slice

Pumpkin Old Fashioned

  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
  • 1 ounce​ maple syrup
  • Dash aromatic bitters
  • Garnish: orange peel or rosemary sprig

The Great Pumpkin Cocktail

  • Pumpkin Infused Scotch
  • Ginger Liqueur
  • Lemon Juice
  • Simple Syrup
  • Ice
  • Garnish with Cinnamon

Pumpkin Martini

  • 1 1/2 ounces bourbon whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce Grand Marnier
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
  • 1 ounce​ maple syrup
  • Dash aromatic bitters
  • Garnish: orange peel or rosemary sprig

It’s safe to assume, whether you love it or hate it, that pumpkin spice is here to stay for the foreseeable future. Peter Stearns writes in Consumerism in World History: The Global Transformation of Desire, consumerism can still be defended. “New goods provide new levels of comfort and diversion, and arguably even beauty, into ordinary life.” I mean, what’s the harm? It only comes around once a year so my advice is to take advantage of it while you can. As always, get a DD, get some drinks and have a fun time. Cheers!

Here at hmmwhat2drink.com, we strive for a commitment to excellence. We enjoy our beers, spirits, and specialty drinks as much as the next, but we urge you to drink responsibly. These articles and recipes are intended for adults and as such, should be used in the proper context. So have fun, relax, but do it responsibly in your home or with a designated driver. If you have any suggestions please email us at hmmwhat2drink@gmail.com.

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