As classic as it is popular, this fall-favorite iced pumpkin spice latte is easy to make at home with a mix of espresso, pumpkin pie spice syrup, and milk.
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Table of Contents
- About Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte
- How do you brew espresso at home?
- Syrup vs Sauce in drinks: which should you use?
- Will this taste like Starbucks?
- Can you add alcohol?
- Notes & tips for this pumpkin latte
- More delicious pumpkin recipes
- Other great drinks to make
- How to make an iced pumpkin spice latte
- Recipe Details
About Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte
You know fall is officially on the way when local coffee shops start making pumpkin spice lattes.
Because really, what better way is there to usher in cooler weather than a delightful drink? And especially a drink that single-handedly embodies so much of what is great about fall, from the sweet pumpkin flavor to the whipped cream topping to the little caffeine jolt that’ll help you get through all the holiday festivities.
And with this recipe, you can skip the drive-through line entirely and make this classic drink at home for a never-ending supply of fall comfort.
How do you brew espresso at home?
A classic latte is made with espresso, so to recreate this classic drink, you’ll need to brew some up at home. There are a few ways you can do this:
- First and foremost, an espresso machine is your best bet. If you love getting lattes like this from coffee shops, investing in one will save you money in the long run.
- A Nespresso (or similar coffee-making system) that can brew espresso will work as well.
- You can also use a french press with a bold, rich roast. It will be coffee and not an espresso, but the bold flavor should be comparrable.
- And last but not least, you can prepare and use some instant espresso.
Syrup vs Sauce in drinks: which should you use?
We’ve likely all come across sweet flavored syrups and sauces at some point, and in many cases, they’re interchangeable. Syrup can freely be used as a sauce and vice versa – so long as they’re the same flavor, of course.
But when it comes to drinks, which should you use – syrup or sauce?
In many cases, it depends on the temperature of the drink. Or to be more specific, it depends on how cold the drink is. Heat is one of the key elements in mixing and blending ingredients, so the less heat there is, the harder it will be to blend flavors together – especially if the consistency is thick.
Sweet sauces tend to be thicker than sweet syrups, and because of this, they can be harder to mix in cold drinks. Sauces simply need a bit of heat to become more fluid, allowing them to blend easily with other ingredients. That’s not to say you can’t use a sauce in a cold drink – people do all the time and it still comes out delicious – but there are some instances, or some specific sauces, that can leave an odd texture when mixed cold because the sauce never fully dissolves into the liquid; it just breaks down into tiny bits within the drink, leaving a visible residue. This phenomenon can happen even if you mix the sauce warm and then cool it down.
Sweet syrups, on the other hand, are not nearly as thick as their sauce counterparts. They are already pretty fluid at room temperature, making it easier for them to blend with other liquids without any assistance other than the mix of a soon.
So what does all this mean? Well, in short, it means that you can use sauces or syrups in hot drinks, but it’s best to use a syrup in cold drinks.
Will this taste like Starbucks?
The quick answer to this is no… and yes.
This drink will be slightly different than the Starbucks version, as they use a pumpkin sauce made of sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and pumpkin puree for their lattes. I’ve tried making this at home and the texture the sauce gave the drink was… not so great. But then again, as stated above, sauces are not ideal for cold drinks, so this result wasn’t surprising. Plus, this type of sauce is not shelf-stable, leaving you with either too much sauce or having to whip up tons of smaller batches.
Starbucks uses Torani syrup for most of their other flavors, so it felt like a good compromise to use Torani’s pumpkin spice flavoring syrup to get a similar flavor profile while still having a smooth, delicious drink.
Can you add alcohol?
Yes, you totally can!
To best compliment the flavors in this latte, I would recommend using one or two tablespoon of vanilla vodka AND one or two tablespoons of cinnamon whisky. Start by adding a tablespoon of both and adjust to your tastes from there.
Notes & tips for this pumpkin latte
- If you’re a diehard sauce fan and would prefer to use a sauce over a syrup, I recommend Torani puremade pumpkin pie sauce.
- If you’re unable to find the Torani’s pumpkin spice flavoring syrup, you can mix three tablespoons of simple syrup with 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice extract.
More delicious pumpkin recipes
Other great drinks to make
How to make an iced pumpkin spice latte
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – Fill a tall glass halfway with ice, then add the brewed espresso and pumpkin pie spice syrup.
Step 2 – Pour in the milk and give the drink a good stir.
Step 3 – Garnish with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice.
Step 4 – Serve and enjoy!
Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte
- In a tall glass filled halfway with ice, add the brewed espresso and pumpkin pie spice syrup.
- Pour in milk and stir well to combine.
- Serve immediately with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice as garnish (both optional).
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.