This Pumpkin Kentucky Mule is "autumn in a glass"... Pumpkin butter (homemade or purchased), bourbon, ginger beer, and cardamom bitters get garnished with a cinnamon stick and candied ginger. This simple cocktail is so easy to make, it may become your new fall favorite!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Halloween and Recipe Inspiration
I have a love/hate relationship with Halloween! Memories of 4 little boys crazed with sugar, the incessant barking of our dogs at the doorbell, running out of candy because we lived in a somewhat affluent neighborhood and were part of a "circuit" of vehicles and trick or treaters... but THE FUN.
Back in the day, I loved to sew, and sew I did. Our 4 boys always had the award-winning handmade costumes - Peter Pan, Roman soldiers, every type of animal. My tradition was always to make a pot of homemade soup or stew, and my renowned pumpkin pie. We LOVED meeting the children at the door, though we knew that candy would soon result in a sugar high at another house! What fun!
In the spirit of Halloweens past, I created this Pumpkin Kentucky Mule with Ginger and Spice. After I made a large batch of Instant Pot Pumpkin Butter, I had to find ways to use it. 😆 I couldn't have it "go bad" in the fridge, so we've had a few. My pumpkin butter recipe focuses on pumpkin and ginger rather than "pumpkin pie spices."
Two of my other amazing recipes to try are my Chicha Morada and a tasty homemade chamoy recipe.
🍸 What Makes this a "Kentucky" Mule?
Wondering why "Kentucky" mule? Bourbon of course. A "Moscow" mule contains vodka; a "Kentucky" mule contains bourbon. Bourbon and pumpkin are made for each other.
I am not a fan of pumpkin recipes with noticeably absent pumpkin flavor. Those spices pack a punch, and can overpower the pumpkin. I found the pumpkin butter provides exactly the right amount of sweetness and pumpkin flavor with just a hint of spice. A few shakes of cardamom bitters and a cinnamon stick complement rather than overpower the key flavors.
I think you're going to love this cocktail (unless you hate cocktails, but how can that be?). If you have neither the time nor the inclination to make your own pumpkin butter, use a commercially prepared pumpkin butter that focuses on pumpkin rather than spice. The ginger beer used to top off your mule will provide the ginger flavor. Feel free to use a non-alcoholic or alcoholic ginger beer. We love Crabbies Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer.
📋 Ingredients Notes
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- pumpkin butter - You can use homemade pumpkin butter or commercially prepared pumpkin butter. Look for one with all natural ingredients!
- bourbon - It's okay to go "middle shelf" or even "lower shelf" (don't use the gut-rot stuff on the bottom!) on the bourbon.
- ginger beer - We like Crabbie's Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer, but if you're looking to reduce alcohol content, an excellent non-alcoholic choice is Bundaberg's. If we're really watching calories we get the Bundaberg's Diet Ginger Beer.
- cardamom bitters - I keep Fee Brothers Cardamom Bitters on hand. Other spice-based bitters (like cinnamon) could work too.
- garnishes - candied ginger and/or cinnamon sticks
- Make the cocktail - To a cocktail shaker with ice: Add the pumpkin butter and bourbon. Shake vigorously. Strain into a "rocks glass" with a couple of "rocks." (I only put 2 cubes to save room for ginger beer).
- Finish the cocktail - Add the bitters, then top with ginger beer. Garnish with cinnamon stick and slivered candied ginger as desired. Enjoy!
About the ice - If you like a lot of ice in your cocktails, you may prefer to make this in a highball glass. We use a generous rocks glass, place 1 large ice cube per drink, add the strained pumpkin butter and bourbon mixture, shake a few drops of bitters, and finish by filling the glass with ginger beer. It's the perfect amount for both my husband and me. You may want to play with it a bit, and that's okay!
About ginger beer - Ginger beer and ginger ale are 2 VERY different ingredients! Ginger beer has a much stronger ginger flavor. I sometimes use the alcohol-free Bundaberg diet ginger beer, and sometimes I use the Crabbie's with alcohol.
🧂 Useful Stuff
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With Halloween just 8 days away, you may need additional inspiration to create a fun and festive time for family and/or friends. I've got you covered!
If you're carving a jack-o-lantern, and need inspiration for using the seeds, take a look at these pumpkin spiced pepitas or these candied pepitas. They make great healthyish snacks!
Check out this amazing Virtual Pumpkin Party. My blogging bud Sara at Cake Over Steak organized this #virtualpumpkinparty features nearly 100 blogs and an array of sweet and savory pumpkin recipes. What are you waiting for? Time's a wastin'!
Pumpkin Kentucky Mule
- 2 tablespoon pumpkin butter
- 3 ounces bourbon
- 4 shakes cardamom bitters
- ginger beer
- candied ginger - garnish
- cinnamon sticks - garnish
- To a cocktail shaker with ice: Add the pumpkin butter and bourbon. Shake vigorously.
- Strain into a "rocks glass" with a couple of "rocks." (I only put 2 cubes to save room for ginger beer).
- Add the bitters, then top with ginger beer.
- Garnish with cinnamon stick and slivered candied ginger as desired. Enjoy!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
Sara @ Cake Over Steak says
Now this sounds like my kind of drink! Thanks for this fun contribution. 😀
It was fun Sara! I am still amazed at all the creative contributions for pumpkin!
The mule has been my go to drink this year so it's nice to have a holiday version. Looks delicious! Thanks!
Thanks MJ! My husband and I enjoyed them until my supply of pumpkin butter ran out... I need to make another batch!
Connie Witt says
OH...MY...SOUL!!!! Yes, please!!!!
Haha! Come see me darlin'! I'll make you one. Love you!
This sounds just delicious! I love mules and your creative spin sounds amazing, my friend! Anything with pumpkin butter gets my vote!
Thank you so much Annie! Yes, the pumpkin butter (especially when homemade) really brings out the pumpkin flavor, without adding much sweetness. It's very well-balanced!