The pumpkin spice martini is a seasonal sipper in the middle of the holiday swing. While the drink certainly taps into the spirit, the taste seems more akin to lazy Saturday mornings and drinking the leftover milk from your cereal than the classic pumpkin pie.
Born from the mind of Cattoor’s bartender Frank Rhum, the pumpkin spice martini is one of the new downright indulgent drinks being rolled out at The Ridgemont in Windsor Heights, Cattoor’s on Grand and The Keg Stand in West Des Moines, a trio of bars that share the same management.
Pinnacle’s pumpkin pie vodka is a twist on the dessert vodka craze. While the liquor can be drank by itself or on the rocks with its high alcohol and decadent sweetness, it works best when mixed with some of fall and winter’s most well-known favorites: cranberry, apple cider and cinnamon.
What makes this particular drink work is that the sweetness of the pumpkin pie flavor is met with its natural sidekick, whipped cream, or at the very least, its closest alcohol equivalent, RumChata.
I had the drink at The Ridgemont in Windsor Heights, but it is available at all three of the local bars. Bartender Lindsey Wathen, 25, starts with a shot of RumChata, the spiced, rum-based creme liqueur, two shots of Pinnacle pumpkin pie vodka and two shots of half and half. The ingredients are shaken together. The concoction is then poured into a chilled martini glass and topped with ground cinnamon.
While definitely sweet and certainly noticeable, the pumpkin pie was actually the faintest of the three flavors. While the cinnamon was somewhat strong, it was mostly the half and half and the cream of the RumChata that dominated — almost like putting a sliver of pumpkin pie directly in a tub of whipped cream.
The hint of pumpkin is what makes this a drink wholly different from just your normal RumChata.
While not a huge favorite just yet, Wathen mentioned the drink debuted at the recent wine and food expo, where it was a huge hit. The drink is one of many new sweet martinis on the menu, featuring flavored martinis such as carrot cake, liquid s’mores and banana nut.
Pumpkin Spice Martini
Find it: The Ridgemont, 7460 Hickman Road, Windsor Heights.