Pumpkin Martinis

Pumpkin Martinis: Non-Shaker and Shaker Pumpkin Versions of a Holiday Treat

When I moved to the east coast I learned that for pumpkin aficionados, the holiday can be anywhere between Labor Day and Christmas. In New England especially, pumpkin martinis are everywhere. I like pumpkin martinis, so I had to learn to make them myself. And being a small galley cook, I had to learn to make a non-shaker version.

The non-shaker pumpkin martini is for the non-conformist with a very small galley and no room for a shaker. The shaker version is for the martini traditionalist with a bigger galley that has room for a shaker. But then, what martini traditionalist would make pumpkin martinis in the first place?

No Shaker Version


  • 1 Tbs canned pumpkin (Do not use pie filling!!!)
  • 1 tsp sugar – white or brown
  • 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (or mix of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger)
  • 1/4 cup milk – half and half can be used for a more decadent, desert-like treat
  • 3 Tbs Vodka (because you don’t have a shot glass aboard) Also try ginger vodka.
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • Ice


Mix the sugar with the spices in a shallow dish.
Wet the rim of a highball glass with a little milk (or if you’ve set aside the space for unbreakable stemware, a martini glass) and upend the glass in the sugar mix to coat the rim.
Mix the pumpkin and ¼ cup of milk in the glass. Add the vodka and remaining sugar mixture. Stir.
Add ice and stir again. Remove ice. Serve.

Shaker Version

Prepare the rim of the glass as above.

Mix the pumpkin and ¼ cup of milk in shaker. Add the vodka, remaining sugar mixture and ice. Shake well.
Pour into prepared glass and serve.

Best Serving Condition: At Anchor

Martinis are best enjoyed at anchor. Those martini glasses are shallow and slippery and it’s easy to lose a few precious drops. And because these go down so easy, the helmsman could have two inside before you know it. Alcohol and navigation don’t mix very well. So drop that hook before you serve and remember to drink responsibly.

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