DAVID WOLOWIDNYK'S 'PIE' COCKTAIL
(David is the Bar Manager of West Restaurant Vancouver.)
Infusion Ingredients and Measurements:
1 small organic sugar pumpkin
1 fresh vanilla bean pod
1 cinnamon stick
12 cardamom pods
1 liter vodka
2 liter jar with a tight closing lid
Infusion Preparation Method:
1. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the pulp and seeds from the inside. Do not discard the pulp and seeds.
2. Slice the pumpkin into long strips, and remove the outer skin with a sharp knife, then cut the pumpkin flesh into small pieces.
The small pieces increase surface area of the pumpkin for maximum contact with the vodka and a slightly faster infusion.
3. Place half of the sliced pumpkin into the infusion jar.
4. Take the vanilla bean and make an incision down the length of the pod then insert it into the infusion jar with the pumpkin pieces, next add the cinnamon stick, cloves, and cardamom pods.
5. Separate the pulp from the seeds and put the pulp into the infusion jar.
(Roast the seeds in the oven with a little seasoning salt, they make a great snack and are loaded with zinc)
6. Add the remaining cubes of pumpkin and fill the jar with your favorite vodka.
7. Time to let it sit for approximately 2 weeks at room temperature; occasionally gently stir the mixture with a spoon. The Vodka will preserve the ingredients so refrigeration is not necessary. During the infusion time the flavor of the spices will evolve and color will be extracted. The color desired is a brownish orange.
Once time has passed and the infusion complete…
1. Line a colander with a single layer of cheesecloth and place it in a large bowl to strain the pumpkin infusion. Press the pumpkin with a muddling stick or the back of a spoon to remove some of the vodka that has absorbed into the pumpkin.
2. Re-strain the vodka through a new single layer of cheesecloth to remove some of the sediment. The resulting color of the infusion is held in the small amount sediment that is left.
3. Funnel the infused vodka back into an empty bottle and store in the refrigerator indefinitely. I always keep one bottle from the previous year so that I can start serving this cocktail as soon as the season’s first pumpkins are ripe and this years infusions are working their magic.
Cocktail Ingredients and Measurements:
2 oz pumpkin vodka
½ oz simple syrup
3 ginger snap cookies ground into crumbs
1 slice of orange (for moistening the rim of the martini glass)
1 nut of nutmeg and a fine grater
Freshly whipped cream
Cocktail Preparation Method:
1. Moisten the outer rim of the chilled martini glass with the slice of orange and coat the rim by placing the glass upside down into the cookie crumbs. Lifting the glass and holding it upside down still take a napkin to remove any crumbs from the inside rim to prevent them from falling into the cocktail and disrupting the appearance of the drink.
2. Fill a cocktail mixing glass with ice and add 2oz of the Pumpkin Vodka.
3. Next add ½ oz of simple syrup.
4. Shake vigorously until well chilled.
5. Taste & adjust the sweetness if necessary to balance the flavors.
6. Strain into the prepared martini glass.
7. Top with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg.
Whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg.
Smells and tastes just like pumpkin pie with a hit of alcohol. The whipped cream helps to add texture and also hold the nutmeg so that the initial nose carries the freshly grated nut to the senses.
The inspiration came from a lovely couple visiting the restaurant from Vernon BC, who said they had been playing around with an infusion of pumpkins and would serve them to their visiting guests in the fall and winter months. I started playing around with the infusion just as soon as I could get my hands on a couple of ripe organic pumpkins.
Martini Glass (chilled)