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Want a pumpkin cocktail? Try the Pumpkin Old Fashioned! It’s a cozy slow sipper with bourbon and hints of vanilla and spice.

Pumpkin Cocktail Pumpkin Old Fashioned
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Looking for a pumpkin cocktail that’s sippable and not too sweet? Try our new favorite fall drink: the Pumpkin Old Fashioned! This one is for bourbon-lovers: it’s a nuanced slow sipper with notes of vanilla, maple and spice. It’s barely sweet and bourbon-forward, ideal for sipping by the fireside or any fall occasion. While it’s bright orange, it tastes just like the Classic Old Fashioned you love…only cozier.

What’s in a Pumpkin Old Fashioned cocktail?

This Pumpkin Old Fashioned cocktail is 100% Old Fashioned, with a hint of pumpkin spices. It’s a great contrast to most pumpkin cocktails, which tend to be on the sweet and creamy side (like this Pumpkin Martini). This one has just the right finish from the pumpkin spices, but it’s still very bourbon forward. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bourbon
  • Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Vanilla

The ingredients might make it seem like a sweet drink, this Pumpkin Old Fashioned is anything but! Take a sip and it tastes like bourbon on the front end, but the finish has a distinct nuance of spice.

Pumpkin Cocktail Pumpkin Old Fashioned

Use pure maple syrup or simple syrup

Don’t have pure maple syrup? This pumpkin cocktail uses pure maple syrup, not the synthetic kind! You can substitute honey or simple syrup if you don’t have it on hand. Even better, make a batch of Brown Sugar Syrup! It takes just 5 minutes and all you need is brown sugar. The flavor is even deeper and more caramel than maple syrup.

How to make a Pumpkin Old Fashioned

The method for making a Pumpkin Old Fashioned cocktail is different from the typical Old Fashioned. For the classic, you muddle a sugar cube with bitters, then add the bourbon right in the glass. For the pumpkin version, you’ll have to shake it! Here’s why:

  • Shake the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. This is unconventional for an Old Fashioned. But it’s necessary to integrate the pumpkin puree into the drink. It makes a beautiful orange color!
  • Strain into an ice-filled glass. When you’re making an Old Fashioned, a big ice cube is key. Make a batch of Clear Ice for the best results.
  • Garnish! This pumpkin cocktail looks great with a rosemary branch and orange peel, evoking the colors of…you guessed it, a pumpkin.
Pumpkin Cocktail Pumpkin Old Fashioned

More pumpkin drinks

There are so many tasty ways to add pumpkin to your drinks! From smoothies to cocktails, we’ve got you covered. Try these delicious pumpkin drinks:

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Pumpkin Old Fashioned Cocktail

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
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Want a pumpkin cocktail? Try the Pumpkin Old Fashioned! It’s a cozy slow sipper with bourbon and hints of vanilla and spice.


  • 2 ounces* bourbon whiskey
  • 1 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • ½ tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (purchased or homemade)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Ice, for serving (try clear ice!)


  1. Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add 1 handful ice and shake until cold.
  2. Strain the drink into an ice-filled lowball glass. Garnish with rosemary and an orange peel, if desired.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Victoria Knox says:

    Do you use a particular brand of pumpkin puree? :)

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Any should work!

  2. Deb says:

    I like the fall pumpkin flavors in this drink! The only substitution I made was to use brandy instead of whiskey. I’m in Wisconsin and couldn’t bear not to use brandy. After taste testing, it seemed just a little too heavy, so I topped it off with club soda, and it did the trick! Is that wrong? 😬

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hah! Sounds perfect.

  3. Ryan says:

    This is my second time making this – it’s really good! The first time, I followed the recipe exactly. The second time around, I accidentally doubled the maple syrup by adding a tablespoon instead of half. For the bourbon lovers, the full strength is attenuated but the extra sweetness of the maple brings out all the other wonderful flavors. For my palate, I’d adjust the recipe with 3/4 to a weak tbsp of maple syrup. Either way, this is a great autumnal take on the classic old fashioned, one of my fav cocktails!

  4. Shachi says:

    How do I make pumpkin puree? I have a pumpkin at home and was hoping to use it!

  5. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!

    1. Maggie says:

      With the ingredient vanilla….
      do you mean vanilla extract or grind vanilla sticks to get a quarter teaspoon worth?

      1. Alex Overhiser says: