Fall Cocktail Series 2011

Cocktail #8: Smashing Pumpkin

0 Comments 17 November 2011

By Hairee Lee

Smashing pumpkin cocktail in iittala Essence Tumbler

Looks fabulous you say? It does doesn’t it? The iittala Essence Tumbler with the bright orange peel of the tangerine garnish…sigh. The picture calls to me.

And the name is hard to resist. Reminds me of grade 8 when the alternative rock band fronted by the creepy, fetal looking Billy Corgan, who always made me think of a Tim Burton movie, and the Japanese rhythmic guitarist emoing in the back was topping the charts with their angst-y crooning. So cool. So 90’s.

I wanted to love this drink, especially because it takes a lot of work to make: muddling the tangerines, and before that, peeling the tangerines, opening a can, measuring out pumpkin puree in a jigger, making the damn, pain in the ass simple syrup. And not exactly the most frugal cocktail either with the call for a good bourbon and Grand Marnier.

But Smashing Pumpkin was a disaster. A bust. A train wreck of a cocktail.

I don’t know what the “mixologist” who made this cocktail was thinking, but it sucked. The pumpkin flavor was completely overshadowed by the bourbon; the acid of the tangerine wasn’t strong enough to shine through the bourbon or enhance the pumpkin; the opaque and dull orange color reminded me of carved pumkins puking up their own innards; and if you weren’t careful, the nutmeg garnish hit you palette in that first sip. Rudly.

We ended up tossing it and just enjoying Russell’s Reserve on it’s own. Lovely bourbon, by the way. It warms you up inside with it’s alcoholic coziness and thoughts of my boyfriend of the same name warmed me up even more. Mmmm….

iittala Essence Tumblers great for enjoying a belly warming bourbon

Pumpkin Pie Cocktail
Serves 1


  • 1-1/2 ounces Russell’s Reserve Bourbon
  • 1 ounces pumpkin puree
  • 3 segments tangerines
  • ½ ounces Grand Marnier
  • ½ ounces simple syrup
  • nutmeg
  • ice


    1. Muddle tangerine pieces in Rosle Shaker with simple syrup

Rosle Fruit Muddle/Caipirinha Pestle – long used to muddle the tangerine segments

Measuring out Russell’s Reserve bourbon in the Match Pewter Jigger

Match Pewter Jigger used to measure out the Grand Marnier

Match Pewter Jigger used to measure out the pumpkin puree

In goes the pumpkin puree into the Rosle Shaker

    1. Add remaining ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake. Strain into iittala Essence Tumbler

Straining the Smashing Pumkin into a iittala Essence Tumbler

    1. Garnish with nutmeg and wedge of tangerine.

iittala Essence Tumbler with Smashing Pumkin. Note the nutmeg garnish.

  1. Admire the colors and textures. Sip at own risk.

JOIN US NEXT WEEK FOR FALL COCKTAIL #9: BLACK FRIDAY. (Which, hopefully, is as fabulous tasting as the deals are hot.)

Recipe adapted from nochelatina.com.

Photographs by Nate Brescia.

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