Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour plus 6 weeks
Yields: About 1 quart
Equipment you'll need
- 1 1-quart wide-mouthed jar
- 1 6-cup wide-mouthed jar
- 1 plastic funnel
- Cheese cloth or unbleached coffee filter
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 cinnamon sticks, cracked
- 6 whole allspice
- 6 whole cloves
- 3 inches fresh ginger, halved
- Pinch ground nutmeg
- 2 to 3 lb. organic sugar pumpkin, cubed
- 4 cups mid-priced vodka
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, optional
- 2 tablespoons bourbon, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To make syrup, bring water to boil in heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add sugar. Stir and reduce heat. Add vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, clove, ginger and nutmeg. Stir and remove from heat. Allow syrup to cool, about 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prep the pumpkin. Scrub and place on cutting board or counter lined with newspaper. Using a sharp chef's knife remove stem, then cut pumpkin in half. Scoop out seeds and scrape pumpkin flesh to remove pulp and any seeds that remain. Reserve seeds for other food and garden projects. Cut pumpkin into 1-inch cubes.
- Place cubed pumpkin on baking sheet. Cook until tender about 40 minutes. Remove from oven to cool.
- Toss cubed pumpkin into the 1-quart jar. Pour vodka over cubes. Add 1 cup syrup. Seal and gently shake contents. Refrigerate for up to 1 week, shaking daily. At week's end, add maple syrup to sweeten and bourbon to taste, if needed.
- Strain contents through funnel lined with cheesecloth into a 6-cup jar or decanter. Seal and store in a cool dark place for up five to six weeks. Shake periodically. Strain contents into a clean bottle. Age liquor up for up to one year to drink neat or to pour over dessert.