Pumpkin Bourbon Milkshake Header

Pumpkin Bourbon Milkshake

In Cocktails, Food by Erin PetreyLeave a Comment

For three years, my friend Molly and I have wanted to make bourbon pumpkin milkshakes. Each year, as the leaves begin to turn and the temperature begins to drop, we reignite the discussion. “Should we use pumpkin ice cream or vanilla ice cream?” “Should we use canned pumpkin or just pumpkin spice?” The conversation goes on for a week with gentle prods reminding each other that we need to set a date to make our creation. Alas, three holiday seasons have come and gone and nary a bourbony pumpkiny shake to be had. So this year, we decided to make it THE year that we finally committed to our long-standing quest. So here, I give you, the trials and tribulations of the Pumpkin Bourbon Shake.


  • Milk
    • I used 2%, you know, to be healthy. Use whatever you want – obviously more fat will yield a richer shake.
  • Bourbon
    • I used Four Roses Yellow Label but you can use anything you want or have on hand.
  • Ice Cream
    • Pumpkin is the best but vanilla will do in a pinch. I used Turkey Hill’s Pumpkin Pie flavor – it has a molasses ribbon in it!
  • Canned Pumpkin
    • Good ole Libby’s will do but I got a can from Trader Joe’s.
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
    • You can easy make your own blend from nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and allspice.
  • Whipped Cream
    • I usually use freshly whipped cream but didn’t have any handy so I used Reddi-whip.
  • Graham Crackers or Speculoos Cookies for the Rim
    • You can either buy crushed graham crackers – in the baking aisle – or crush up your own.
  • Caramel Drizzle
    • You will use this to secure the rim and place a caramel ribbon/smear throughout the glass. You can make this at home or buy it from the store. I used the Caramel Fleur de Sel sauce from Trader Joe’s.


  1. Combine 1/4 cup pumpkin, half a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, and 1/3 cup milk in the blender (I used my new super-sweet Cuisinart Velocity Ultra Trio Blender) to smooth out the pumpkin.
  2. Then add 3 scoops of pumpkin ice cream, a tad more milk, and another half teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice in the blender.
  3. Pulse a few times until combined.
  4. Stir in 1 ounce of bourbon (I find with adding alcohol to milkshakes you don’t want to agitate it too much as it will cause the ice cream to melt more rapidly).
  5. Take your glass and place a caramel drizzle ribbon or smear inside the glass (see photo).
  6. Then pour some caramel on a small plate (it helps to microwave it for about 10 seconds), rim the glass in caramel, then dip in the graham cracker/speculoos. Pour in the milkshake.
  7. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice on top. Yields one shake.

Voila! Festive AND delicious!

About the Author

Erin Petrey

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Born and raised in the Bluegrass, Erin Petrey has always held an affinity for her home state’s signature spirit: Bourbon. Throughout her world travels (34 countries and counting!), Erin delights in spreading the gospel of Bourbon across the globe, from Spain to Korea and even here at home in the Nation’s Capital, where she also serves on the board of the Kentucky Society of Washington. Frequently, she can be seen giving advice to unsuspecting customers in Bourbon aisles, usually recommending one of her favorite varieties, such as Russell’s Reserve and Elmer T. Lee. Always up for an adventure, Erin also enjoys kayaking, Science Fiction, Craft Beer, and traveling everywhere possible. Read Erin's full profile.

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