Screw Starbucks: Get Your PSL Fix the Boozy Way with a Pumpkin Spice Latte Cocktail

Where are all my pumpkin spice latte loving friends at??

Vertical image of a pumpkin spice coffee cocktail topped with whipped cream, with a spiced sugar rim, and a white plastic straw with gold stars on it, on a gray cloth background with two decorative plastic pumpkins, scattered with whole cloves and cinnamon sticks, printed with orange and white text.

I am sure you all are totally down for a PSL to start off your fall morning on the right foot.

If you aren’t, you either hate fall, or you have never had one before. Either way, you should work on your pumpkin love right now.

For those of you who love pumpkin spice, this is the cocktail for you.

It’s essentially like an iced pumpkin spice latte, with a boozy kick that is ideal for your fall happy hours or cocktail parties.

Pumpkin spice latte with a spiced sugar rim, whipped cream, and cinnamon garnish, in a glass mug on a cloth surface, with decorative light and dark orange pumpkins in the background, and scattered cinnamon sticks and whole cloves.

The recipe starts with an easy pumpkin spice flavored simple syrup that you make from scratch. Don’t worry, it’s not a difficult recipe, and you will have extra left over so you can make this drink again and again.

The combination of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger infuses the syrup with just the right amount of warming flavors. It is an excellent simple syrup to keep on hand to spice up other traditional drinks as well, like old fashioneds or even margaritas.

Plus, it’s made with real ingredients that you probably already have in your spice rack or pantry at home, and without any artificial dyes, flavorings, or preservatives.

Top-down shot of a pumpkin spice coffee cocktail topped with whipped cream, in a glass mug with a handle, with a white straw printed with gold stars, on a gray cloth background with two plastic pumpkins, cinnamon sticks, and whole cloves.

When you combine the flavored syrup with the coffee, heavy cream, and vanilla extract, it transforms into a delicious beverage that’s just like the flavorful coffee drink you know and love. We love using our homemade natural pumpkin flavored creamer for our coffee on those chilly fall mornings.

But we’re going to give our autumn drinks a boost! Tequila brings a nice boozy kick at the end of each sip, but it isn’t so overpowering in flavor that it drowns out those traditional autumn flavor notes.

If you aren’t a fan of tequila in your cocktails, this drink can also easily be made with vodka instead, in an even swap.

It’s an easy enough recipe to whip up at home, and the flavor dances over your taste buds in a creamy and refreshing way. Even though fall can be the start of warming drinks season (mulled cider, anyone?), I like the coolness of this cocktail.

Pumpkin spice latte coffee cocktail in a glass mug, garnished with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick, with a paper straw, on a gathered gray cloth, with two decorative plastic pumpkins in soft focus in the background, and scattered whole spices.

There is still some heat in the early fall, so when you want to beat those random spikes in temperature, this is the drink to bring out whenever you’re in need of some pumpkin spice comfort without the hot coffee drink.

I highly suggest putting together a cocktail party with this cocktail as the star. The drink pairs well with both sweet and savory recipes, especially ones that feature a pumpkin element.

You can even scale the recipe up to make a bigger batch, and serve it chilled in a pitcher for friends and family at your party to enjoy. Just be sure to leave the ice out of the pitcher, and keep the pitcher itself in the refrigerator to stay until you need it cold. That way, the drink won’t get watered down at all.

Pour over ice just before serving instead, or offer a glass sans ice for the slow sippers.

Let me get to the point: you deserve a boozy treat after a long week, and this is just the drink you should be reaching for. So go ahead and be extra nice to yourself this evening. Kick back with this cocktail and recharge so you can hit the gas pedal when you need to next week.

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A glass is filled with a creamy coffee cocktail, topped with whipped cream and cinnamon, with a white paper straw printed with gold stars, with two decorative orange pumpkins in the background, on a gathered gray cloth, with scattered whole cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Cocktail

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cocktail, 1 cup simple syrup 1x


Wouldn’t it be nice to end the day with a boozy version of everyone’s favorite fall beverage? Try our pumpkin spice latte cocktail, with homemade flavored simple syrup!



For the Flavored Simple Syrup:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • One 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled

For the Cocktail:

  • 1/2 cup cold coffee
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup silver tequila
  • 2 oz pumpkin spice syrup
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

For the Garnish:


To Make the Flavored Simple Syrup:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cover. Let steep for 25 minutes.
  2. Remove whole spices from the syrup, transfer to a jar or squirt bottle, and let cool completely. Syrup may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

To Make the Cocktail:

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredients for the cocktail to the shaker, and shake well.

To Garnish:

  1. Combine the pumpkin pie spice and sugar in a shallow saucer, wet the rim of a frosty glass, and swirl to coat the rim.
  2. Strain the prepared drink into the glass, and garnish with whipped cream and a cinnamon stick.


Nutrition facts below are for 1 serving of this beverage, and do not include the total calorie count or nutritional information for an entire batch of flavored simple syrup.

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Category: Cocktails
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Fall

Keywords: pumpkin spice latte, cocktail, pumpkin spice, fall

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Chill Glass and Make Flavored Simple Syrup

To frost a glass for the ultimate chilled beverage experience, rinse in cold water and place in the freezer 30 minutes to an hour before you will need it. I like to use a large glass mug for this drink.

Wash and peel a piece of ginger with the back of a spoon.

Top-down shot of an enameled saucepan filled with water, a piece of fresh ginger, a cinnamon stick, and whole cloves, on a beige wood background.

Combine sugar, water, the cinnamon stick, whole cloves, and ginger in a small saucepan, stirring to combine.

Place over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and cover.

Let steep for 25 minutes, then strain out the cinnamon stick, cloves, and ginger. Transfer syrup to another container to cool completely, then chill (about 10 minutes in the freezer should do it).

Step 2 – Make Rimming Sugar

Two small glass bowls of pumpkin spice and sugar, on a dark brown wood background.

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and and pumpkin pie spice and place in a shallow dish or saucer.

A small glass bowl of pumpkin spice sugar, on a dark brown wood surface.

Wet the rim of your cocktail glass.

A glass mug with a handle is inverted onto a saucer filled with cinnamon sugar, on a dark brown wood surface.

Invert and twist to rim the mouth of the glass.

A glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar and a saucer of the mixture, on a brown wood surface.

Set aside.

Step 3 – Make Cocktail

Fill a cocktail shaker and your rimmed glass with ice.

Top-down shot of one small square glass bowl of vanilla extract beside five small round glass bowls of cream, tequila, coffee, and flavored simple syrup, on a dark brown wood background.

Add the cold coffee, heavy cream, tequila, pumpkin spice syrup, and vanilla extract to the shaker.

Top-down shot of a metal cocktail shaker filled with milk, coffee, and ice, with the lid beside it, on a brown wood surface.

Shake to combine, and strain into your rimmed cocktail glass.

A glass is filled with a creamy coffee cocktail, topped with whipped cream and cinnamon, with a white paper straw printed with gold stars, with two decorative orange pumpkins in the background, on a gathered gray cloth, with scattered whole cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Garnish with fresh whipped cream and a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

Or you can replace the whipped cream with a big scoopful of our pumpkin cinnamon ice cream. Why not go ALL in with the fall flavors?!

How Do I Store the Extra Simple Syrup?

When you make this drink, you will end up with some extra flavored simple syrup. Once you have cooled it down and used what you need, you want to make sure that you save the leftovers.

I personally love to store my simple syrup in airtight glass bottles that I can label with my label maker with the name of the syrup and the date that it was made.

Every time I make a new batch throughout the season, I can just wash out my dedicated container and fill it up with the new syrup, so I’m ready to make a cocktail whenever the mood strikes. And of course, this flavored syrup is perfect in morning lattes as well!

A glass mug of a coffee cocktail with a spiced sugar rim, garnished with whipped cream and a whole cinnamon stick, with a white paper straw printed with gold stars, on a gathered striped gray and blue cloth, with two light and dark orange decorative pumpkins in the background, and scattered whole spices.

If you don’t want to invest in glass bottles, you can use airtight plastic tupperware to store your simple syrup instead, or mason jars. Just be sure to use a piece of duct tape or masking tape on the lid so you can label it.

Plain simple syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for about a month, whereas flavored simple syrups can be preserved this way for about 10 days, or 2 weeks at the most.

If you notice any separation or discoloration, toss it. Otherwise, you should have no problem using up this flavored elixir before it’s past its peak freshness.

Looking for more tasty autumn inspired cocktails and drinks? Then you’ll love these:

And stay happy and perky with even more caffeinated cocktails, like espresso martinis!

Do you like making your own simple syrups at home? Tell us about some of your favorites in the comments below, and be sure to rate this cocktail recipe once you try it.

Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Based on a recipe originally published by Mike Quinn on July 3, 2015. Last updated: October 9, 2020 at 3:24 am. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Meghan Yager

Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.

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