How to: Make Pumpkin Purée
This purée is a great addition to a holiday-friendly spiked eggnog, as a garnish to ice cream or in a mezcal flip, like the Calabaza por la Cabeza.
Remove the skin from a small pumpkin, then cut it in half and scoop out the seeds and innards. Cut the halves into ¾-inch cubes. Sprinkle a mix of 1 part cinnamon, ½ part nutmeg and 2 parts brown sugar over the cubes.
Lay the cubes on a nonstick baking sheet or foil and place in a preheated oven set to 375˚F. Roast for 15 minutes, then flip the cubes and roast for 10 more minutes. Make sure the pumpkin cooks evenly; it should be fairly mushy.
For every cup of pumpkin cubes, add 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of cane sugar into a blender. Blend well and strain through a fine strainer. Refrigerated, the purée should keep for a week.
Calabaza por la Cabeza
Recipe courtesy Justin August, mixologist of Evelyn Drinkerie, New York City
This take on the mezcal flip is large enough for two. Share with a friend by serving into Port glasses or teacups.
1½ ounces Fidencio Classico (or your favorite mezcal)
½ ounce pumpkin purée
½ ounce heavy cream
½ ounce orange curaçao
½ ounce lemon juice
Ground cinnamon, to top
Pinch of cayenne pepper, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker filled with cracked ice, combine the mezcal, purée, cream, curaçao, lemon juice and egg. Shake vigorously for about 25 seconds. Double strain the mixture into your choices of cocktail glasses, dust with cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Serves 2.