Spicing it Up with Pumpkin Spice Syrup

This time of year, without fail, pumpkin and pumpkin spice is everywhere. My favorite way to get this flavor is in pumpkin pie, which is followed in close second by pumpkin spice coffee drinks. I love the warm, nutty, homey flavor that both of these impart, and the cinnamon-ginger spiciness just says "fall" to me.

I haven't been able to make it in for any pumpkin spice latte yet this season. After reading that the syrup was more spice than pumpkin, I thought I might try my hand at making my own so I could add the spicy flavor to tea, coffee, and other drinks and dishes at home without worrying about when the coffee shop might be open. After looking at several pumpkin pie recipes, I settled on a spice mixture and set out to make some syrup at home. On first taste, I was hooked - it has the rich warmth of pumpkin pie spices and fall, and while very sweet (so a little goes far!), it's the perfect addition to teas, coffees, and even other dishes where a little sugar and spice can pump it up.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Prep and cook time: 10-15 mins

Makes Approx 1.5 cups of syrup

*Since Simple Syrup is very hot when first prepared (and during preparation), this recipe is best prepared when you have time to watch over the pot to avoid burns and bubbling over*

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Very scant 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (I added two shakes from my container)

Dash of salt

What to do:

1. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and spices and heat over medium-low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture comes to a slight simmer. Stir often to ensure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the mixture. It is important to ensure you do not leave the room as sugar syrup can get very hot very quickly and you do not want it to boil over.

2. Once the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is fully blended, remove the mixture from heat and allow to cool completely. The syrup will be extremely hot when removed from heat, so be very careful handling it until it has cooled completely to avoid severe burns.

3. Once the syrup is cool, transfer it into a container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks. I like to store mine in a pint-sized mason jar as it allows enough room to shake the syrup to redistribute the spice, and looks cute, too! Add the syrup to coffee, tea, oatmeal - even smoothies - to add warm, spicy flavor to your fall menu.