It's no secret that alcohol makes perfect things seem, well, even more perfect, and yes, that goes for your pumpkin spice latte, too. I mean, I know the PSL is pretty flawless to begin with, but with a shot (or two) of the right liquor, you can transform your favorite drink into the best pick-me-up ever. So go ahead and spike your pumpkin spice latte. I'm going to show you how.
Adding a shot of liquor to your PSL isn't hard — all you need is a shot glass, your favorite brand of PSL (or a batch of your own brew), and/or a really good eye for pouring. I chose three liquors that seemed like they might complement the spicy sweet drink — Godiva Mocha Chocolate Liqueur, Kahlúa, and peach schnapps. Then, I gave them each a try to see which one made the perfect match. I rated my taste tests on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best. For each liquor, I added two shots to a full cup of PSL that I grabbed from the Dunkin' Donuts next door to my house.
Pretty soon, Starbucks is going to roll out their festive red holiday cups, and pumpkin spice lattes are going to be a vague thing of the past. So make the most of your PSL while you still can, OK? A toasty PSL with a shot of liquor always does the trick.
1. PSL + Godiva Mocha Chocolate Liqueur
Chocolate is one of those ingredients that you think will never do you wrong. Everything can be made better with a touch of chocolate — even bacon, right? However, this is one of those cases where the chocolate touch just doesn't hold up. Once I took a sip of my concoction, it was very reminiscent of an old Tootsie Roll. Gross. I couldn't continue drinking it. Don't get me wrong — Godiva Mocha Chocolate Liqueur is good for a lot of things (s'mores martini, anyone?), but keep this away from your PSL.
Taste: Stale Chocolate
2. PSL + Kahlúa
You don't need me to tell you that Kahlúa is pretty magical. The Mexican coffee-flavored rum-based liquor tastes like a sweet vanilla dream, and is a key ingredient for White Russians and B-52s. So does it hold up when paired with a cup of PSL? Short answer: Yes. It's like drinking a sweet, pumpkin vanilla cookie — I didn't even realize the Kahlúa was there, though I could feel the warm buzz shortly after. Long answer: While it was a good match, it also was a bit too sweet. If you're pairing it with a homemade PSL, though, it might not be such a sugar rush.
Taste: Warm Pumpkin Cookie
3. PSL + Peach Schnapps
OK, OK. Before you turn up your nose at the choice of adding peach schnapps, think about most traditional holiday deserts: they usually include dried or candied fruits. You know, like fruitcake. And while fruitcake isn't my favorite desert, I'd like to think that maybe it could be better if it was in drink form.
Anyway, when I poured some peach schnapps into my PSL, the result was way better than expected. It was a like a spicy, warm peach and pumpkin cobbler. With the schnapps' 15 percent alcohol content, each drink sent warm tingly feelings down my throat. Sometimes life surprises you in pleasant ways. This is absolutely one of those instances.
Taste: Sweet Fruity Cobbler
If you're going to try spiking your PSL, I would definitely recommend getting a small bottle of peach schnapps. But also, don't be afraid to experiment. The possibilities are endless, and even something like a spiced rum might be worth it. Other liquors that might work are Baileys Irish Cream or Crème de cassis. And honestly, at the end of the day, the PSL is one of those rare things of beauty that will taste great no matter what. So go forth, be bold, and get those creative juices flowing. I wasn't kidding — it's only a matter of time before the red cups come out, and you're going to want to know how to spike that peppermint mocha.
Images: Haniya Rae