Transform Your Next White Russian With A Simple Pumpkin Spice Swap

Ever feel like fall cocktails tend to be a little ... serious? Sure, that moody Manhattan is dripping with sexy intellectual intrigue, and that mug of steaming mulled wine is impossibly sophisticated. But, if you're thirsty to let your fun flag fly this fall, get playful with a pumpkin spice White Russian. All it takes is one simple ingredient swap: Switch your heavy cream for pumpkin spice coffee creamer. 

Your new favorite fall digestif might be as close as a quick trip to the grocery store. Dunkin, Starbucks, Coffee Mate, Natural Bliss, Califia Farms, Silk, International Delight, and more make pumpkin spice creamers that can be found in most dairy aisles.

To make it, simply combine your vodka, coffee liqueur, and pumpkin spice creamer, shake over ice, and strain into a rocks glass — that's it. Just keep in mind that the addition of the pumpkin spice coffee creamer is going to up the overall sweetness of your cocktail's profile. If a sweeter sip is your thing, right on. But, if the strong, slightly bitter profile of a classic White Russian is more your style, opt for a coffee liqueur with minimal sweeteners. You could try out Mr. Black, Galliano Espresso, or St. George NOLA coffee liqueur brands; Kahlúa and Tia Maria might be a little too sugary here.

Pumpkin spice up your home bar

The type of vodka you select will also make a difference in the overall profile of your cocktail. We recommend opting for a neutral variety to let the flavors of the coffee liqueur and the pumpkin spice creamer shine. Tito's and Smirnoff keep it classic and strong, doing heavy lifting ABV-wise while remaining in the background. If you prefer an extra kick of complementary flavor, Absolut Vanilla or Smirnoff Kissed Caramel vodkas would round out the profile. Or, for fall fever fanatics, Pinnacle makes pumpkin spice vodka. You can thank us later.

Feel free to get creative with the garnishes, as well. A generous dollop of whipped cream with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice would make a delicious finisher. You could also garnish with a cinnamon stick, star anise, or whole clove for a spiced autumnal finish. If you have a favorite limited-edition pumpkin spice breakfast cereal, a sprinkle on top would make a fun textural garnish. To transform your pumpkin spice White Russian into a coffee dessert for the ages (or, at least for the season), you could even stir a spoonful of pureed pumpkin pie filling into your cocktail with an immersion blender. Bonus points if you enjoy this pumpkin spice White Russian after a seasonal meal like butternut squash soup, pumpkin and sage pasta, or turkey pot pie.