It’s been almost a month since pumpkin spice lattes made their seasonal debut. Like so many others, I get more than excited when they come out every year. However, getting them frequently can become an expensive and unhealthy habit. You can easily make them at home, though, which at least helps with the expensive part. While it may not be healthy, this version is made with all natural ingredients, which has to make it at least somewhat healthier than the Starbucks version.
As far as taste goes, this is unbelievable. It tastes like fall in a glass. I’ve made the syrup two times now, and I adapted it just a bit the second time by increasing the amount of pumpkin and nutmeg and reducing the amount of cinnamon. I prefer nutmeg over cinnamon, so I changed the recipe to suit my tastes. Feel free to adapt this how you like – with more or less spices. Either way you make it will be delicious, and you may even kick your Starbucks habit.
1½ cups water
1½ cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
Combine water and sugar in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar has completely dissolved. Add the cinnamon sticks, then whisk in remaining ingredients. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, but do not let the mixture come to a boil (reduce heat if necessary).
Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Strain syrup through cheesecloth into an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.
To make a pumpkin spice latte, simply add about 1½ to 2 tablespoons of syrup for each shot of espresso. For an iced latte, stir together syrup and espresso before adding desired amount of cold milk. For a hot latte, add about 5 ounces of steamed milk and stir to combine. Taste and adjust syrup accordingly. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.