Cocktail recipes: What to do with leftover Halloween pumpkin

So the little kiddies have left with their candy stash, leaving you with a super spooky-pumpkin on your doorstep. But don’t throw it out! Recycle that gourd, turning its orange-hued pulp into a couple different, rich and luscious pumpkin-based cocktails like these:

Pumpkin Martini

2 ounces vanilla-infused vodka (making your own is better** but you can use vanilla vodka)
½ ounce cream liqueur (like Bailey’s)
½ ounce pumpkin puree*

Pour the cream liqueur and vodka into a shaker filled with ice. Add the pumpkin puree. Shake again. Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Pumpkin Smash

1 ¼ ounces Frangelico Hazelnut Liquor
1 ¼ ounces Flor de Cana Grand Reserve Rum (or another aged rum)
¾ ounce pumpkin puree*

In a martini shaker, add all ingredients and some ice. Shake hard and strain out into a martini glass. Garnish with sprinkle of ground clove or nutmeg.

*Pumpkin Puree

Take 1 pumpkin, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff, lie face down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 350°F until soft, about 45 min to an hour. Cool, scoop out the flesh and puree in blender along with 2 Tablespoon of ground cinnamon, 1 Tablespoon ground ginger, 1 Tablespoon ground cloves and 16-28 oz of simple syrup (can be adjusted according to desired sweetness). Store in the fridge. Freeze whatever you don’t use for future use.

** Vanilla-Infused Vodka. Use a good vodka (like Russian Standard — those folks gave me the recipe).

In an airtight container, combine a 750-ml bottle of vodka and two vanilla beans to. Allow to infuse for approximately 24 hrs.  Strain beans and re-bottle vodka in original container.  Store in fridge.

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