Pumpkin Spice Old-Fashioned Cocktail

This Pumpkin Spice Old-Fashioned Cocktail is filled with fall flavor. Real pumpkin, fall spices and Kentucky bourbon are a winning trio, and homemade pumpkin spice syrup is the secret to this fabulous fall drink.

closeup of a pumpkin spice old-fashioned on a white background with a jar of pumpkin spice syrup

It’s pumpkin season! One of my favorites and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

It’s also the time of year when I enjoy fixing an old-fashioned cocktail for myself at the end of a long week.

Sipping on an old-fashioned this time of the year is the perfect way to unwind. The combo of whiskey, orange zest and a little bit of bitters never let me down.

I especially love an old-fashioned for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Spice Old-Fashioned Cocktail recipe

So why not combine the two? Pumpkin spice and bourbon are a really lovely match, trust me.

Something about sweet pumpkin, fall spices and brown sugar just go so beautifully with Kentucky whiskey.

Don’t believe me? See my pumpkin spice Moscow mule for extra proof.

This old-fashioned cocktail uses pumpkin spice syrup, which gives it both sweetness and spice. (And everything nice.)

two pie pumpkins with a pumpkin spice old-fashioned

What is an old-fashioned?

Oh friend, if you haven’t had an old-fashioned before, this is a great one to start with.

Old-fashioned cocktails are spirit-forward, meaning they are heavy on the whiskey. They don’t have any mixers like sour mix or soda.

It’s whiskey with merely small amounts of added flavor, usually in the form of orange zest, a cocktail cherry, some kind of bitters and a sugar cube or simple syrup.

This one uses pumpkin spice syrup and cinnamon bitters, which adds tons of fall flavor. We’ll also skip the cocktail cherry so we can focus on the pumpkin flavor, but feel free to add one if you like!

a hand holding a gold spoon dripping pumpkin spice syrup into a jar

Ingredients

You can make your own pumpkin spice old-fashioned with just a few ingredients.

Pumpkin spice syrup

Most old-fashioneds call for simple syrup or a sugar cube, but we’re going to make a pumpkin spice syrup for this one.

Let me first recommend that you can make your own homemade pumpkin spice syrup for your cocktails with pumpkin puree, cinnamon, clove and other fall spices. These flavors are what give this drink its inviting warmth.

I prefer to make my own pumpkin spice syrup for my coffee drinks and cocktails (hello, pumpkin spice latte!), but you can also buy it. Check out this Torani pumpkin sauce or this Monin pumpkin spice syrup, but you can make it so much faster!

Quality bourbon

If you have a favorite bourbon, use it here! I love Old Forester for its sweet caramel flavor it brings to a drink at a good price, but there are many more options out there that would be equally delicious. My cinnamon whiskey would also be really delicious in this cocktail. Check out my Bourbon 101 guide if you need help picking a brand to buy.

Orange zest

The pièce de résistance is a piece of orange peel. This not only gives our old-fashioned a bit more orange color, but also the citrus flavor pairs beautifully with the pumpkin spices. I like to use a vegetable peeler to get a 2- to 3-inch piece of peel, but you can also use a knife. Try to peel lightly so you don’t get as much pith (the white part underneath the peel) which will give off a bitter flavor in your drink.

Bitters

You can use any bitters that sound good. I used cinnamon bitters in this cocktail, but you’re welcome to use Angostura aromatic bitters. Orange bitters or clove bitters would also be fantastic. Check out my favorite bitters brands for more ideas.

Ice

Ice is always an important piece of any cocktail. For an old-fashioned, I recommend a large cube or sphere because they take longer to melt than lots of little ice cubes. This will keep your drink from getting diluted quickly, as spirit-forward drinks need to be sipped more slowly than an easy sipper like a mojito.

top view of a pumpkin spice old-fashioned with a cinnamon stick on top, next to four pie pumpkins and a jar of pumpkin spice syrup

How to make a pumpkin spice old-fashioned

Making a pumpkin spice old-fashioned is easy!

  1. Make or buy your pumpkin spice syrup ahead of time.
  2. Add some pumpkin spice syrup to a rocks glass (affiliate link). Top with bourbon.
  3. Carefully spoon in your ice cube. I do this last so the ice doesn’t melt as quickly when I pour the bourbon into the glass.
  4. Add a dash or two of bitters.
  5. Garnish with your orange peel. Give it a little twist over your drink to let any oils fall in, then drop it into your drink, wedging it up against your ice cube.
pumpkin spice old-fashioned with pie pumpkins and a jar of pumpkin spice syrup on a white background

Fall old-fashioned cocktail recipes

If you love old-fashioneds in the fall as much as I do, then there are lots of options beyond this pumpkin spice old-fashioned.

This chai old-fashioned cocktail uses chai tea ice cubes to infuse extra spice flavor.

A peanut butter cup old-fashioned is made with peanut butter whiskey and I recommend it for an adult treat on Halloween.

My maple old-fashioned is sweet and perfect for sipping at Thanksgiving dinner. (Or if you prefer a maple Manhattan, I’ve got you.)

An apple butter old-fashioned uses real apple butter to sweeten the cocktail. I bet it’s oh so dreamy!

Let me know if you end up making this pumpkin spice old-fashioned! Leave a review on the recipe card below or tag it #feastandwestrecipes on Instagram.

two pie pumpkins with a pumpkin spice old-fashioned

Pumpkin Spice Old-Fashioned Cocktail

Yield: 1 cocktail
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Make a pumpkin spice old-fashioned to sip on while you enjoy the fall weather!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 ounce pumpkin spice syrup
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • ice sphere
  • 2 dashes cinnamon bitters
  • 1 piece orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a rocks glass, add pumpkin spice syrup and top with bourbon.
  2. Carefully spoon in the ice cube or sphere.
  3. Add a dash or two of bitters, to taste.
  4. Garnish with an orange peel and cinnamon stick.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 237Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g

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