Can’t you just hear the festive tune? Seriously. It’s pumpkin spice madness out there, I tell you. I’m pretty sure someone will be coming out with pumpkin spice insoles soon. But can I let you in on a secret…?
I don’t like pumpkin spice lattes
There, I said it. I don’t like pumpkin spice frappuccinos, either. I love pumpkin pie. I do. I might even love pumpkin spice fudge, if anyone wants to make me some to try. But there’s something about the vegetal flavour of pumpkin spice syrup in my coffee that I really don’t care for. The thing is, every year I would get excitedly swept up in the pumpkin spice latte madness, and every year I’d drop way too much money on one, only to remember that I’m not a fan. I tried. I really did.
I do love autumn spices
Truth be told, the thing that appeals to me about this autumn treat is the spices. I like the gingerbread lattes that come out closer to Christmas, for example. But they don’t quite have that autumnal warmth that comes from a nice spice blend. And often I find them too sweet (though my friend, Ruth, clued me in to asking for them “half-sweet.” Much better).
Homemade is always better
Since I vowed to not give in to disappointing temptation again this year, I set my sights on making my own syrup. Something flavourful that would bring the warmth of autumn to my mug without the hefty price tag. I have some roasted Saigon cinnamon from McCormick that is amazingly fragrant and rich. That and the ginger were the base of my blend. Allspice and clove lend a deep, earthy warmth and coriander seed bring a bright note. I also opted for dark brown sugar for a deep, luscious flavour.
Autumn Spiced Syrup
1 1/4 cup water
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (roasted Saigon if you can get it)
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed, lightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
pinch of salt
In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients over low heat until the sugar fully dissolves. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool and steep for 10-15 minutes. Strain through a double layer of damp cheesecloth into a clean jar with a tight fitting lid and store in the fridge for up to a couple of months.
Sweeten your coffee, tea or latte to taste. This is also good in a shot of brandy or whiskey. Seriously.