Pumpkin Spice Liqueur

My fingernails are orange again. Eventhough I am keeping them real short for playing ukulele, it still looks gross. Ah, the price we pay for homeade pumpkin liqueur 🙂

I started on the pumpkin liqueur tonight since it needs to sit around for a while before drinking. One catch, the grocery store was out of pumpkins! I was counting on them being half-price, halloween being over and all.

Butternut squash was still on sale, and I figure they aren’t that different. I had to buy some more cinnamon sticks and whole allspice berries as well. In the baking aisle, the cinnamon was $7 a jar, and a tiny bottle of allspice was $4! I knew there was a better way, so I headed over to the “international/hispanic foods” aisle where all the spices were 79 cents each. I should have known better to begin with and just gone to the corner store.

I also stopped by the liquor store to get “lemonhart 151 rum” – which I’m not familiar with and which they did not have. (as a side note, the neighborhood liquor store is depressing. I think I was the only person in there that wasn’t either buying multiple scratch-off lotto tickets or buying alcohol for immediate consumption….not that there’s anything wrong with either of those things….but….well, now I sound like an a-hole…sigh). At any rate, I got a bottle of bacardi 151, hoping that they are not that different.

I peeled, diced and dry roasted the butternut squash and gathered the other ingredients:
1/2 cup sliced ginger
1/4 cup crushed allspice berries
1/4 cup crushed cloves
4 cinnamon sticks, broken
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
a few cardamom pods
1 tablespoon vanilla (or a vanilla pod- which I did not have)
8 cups sugar
4 cups water
2 pitchers

The recipe I found online says to take half of the spices and pumpkin (squash) and mix them into the rum. I did this and mixed them in a plastic pitcher (my favorite, clear-green-plastic pitcher), and the wierdest thing happened. I started to hear a sound like ice crackling, and the pitcher started to shatter before my eyes! I quickly poured the mixture into a tupperware and didn’t lose any of it. After a brief google search (possible reactions between 151 and plastic? spices and plastic?), I cannot explain the shattered pitcher. The liquid was neither hot nor cold; I wasn’t stirring “vigerously” or anything. I don’t get it! And I’m out a pitcher….

Moving on….

I then put the sugar, water, and rest of the spices and squash into a pot and set it to boil. I turned the heat to medium and let it simmer for 30 minutes. After it cooled a bit, I put it into another plastic pitcher. (I know, I know…I was tempting fate, but this one was more of a rubbery plastic tupperware type).

Now, I just have to stir each day and wait for at least a week. Then strain each mixture and combine. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I am picturing it with some warm apple cider and a squeeze of lemon!

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