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Go Beyond the Basic Pumpkin Spice Latte This Fall

Go Beyond the Basic Pumpkin Spice Latte This Fall

Kat Torre, October 13, 2020

It’s fall, the season of all things PSL. Here are some ways to make yours extra special.

Why be basic? Anyone can go to their local coffee shop and order the standard fall staple. But it’s really not hard to whip up a version (or eight) at home.

Don’t forget the best part: you can style your drink in fall-colored mugs on your own PSL-themed minibar and be the envy of Pinterest users everywhere.

First, start with the basics

A great homemade pumpkin spice anything starts with real pumpkin. That’s right, the stuff that makes the pie so great. Take the time to use the ingredients in your recipe, and you’ll wonder what they are doing at that famous coffee shop.

The classic recipe for a homemade PSL requires you to heat the pumpkin puree with spices and blend it into a syrup with sugar before combining that mixture with warm milk. Add the pumpkin-milk mixture to pre-brewed espresso or coffee, and you’ve got a fantastic, from-scratch, healthier version of the basic PSL.

But why stop there? There are so many ways to jazz this base up.

Get as fancy as you like

Your PSL can be upgraded in many ways:

  • Two words: whipped cream. Blend with nutmeg and cinnamon or raw sugar to up the ante. If you have an espresso maker, try fooling around with the foam. You could even try foaming your pumpkin-milk puree!
  • Switch up your milk game: Try using coconut, almond, soy, or combo plant-based “milks” to make your drink dairy-free.
  • Experiment with using alternate sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, agave, or other sugar substitutes.
  • If you’re worried about the amount of sugar and fat packed into an original-recipe PSL or would like a vegan version, try these healthy variations of fall’s favorite drink.
  • Make it decaf and boozy: Adults only, try spiking your PSL with bourbon for a fall-flavored nightcap.

Show it off, if only for yourself

Here’s a fun fall project: Transform your summer minibar for the warming drinks of fall and winter. Make a seasonal pivot to hard ciders, brandy-based cocktails, spiked hot chocolates, and all sorts of coffee-based drinks.

Be sure to make PSL the star of the show and take lots of snaps!

For those who prefer store bought

Old habits die hard. Or you may believe, not without merit, that some things like bread baking, hair coloring, and complicated coffee drink making are best left to the experts. There’s a place in this discussion for you. You simply get to take the premade PSL handicap.

You can go full throttle this fall by experimenting with your Starbucks order. In addition to the at-home add-ons mentioned above, here are some tasty variations of the original PSL to try. Please tip your barista for indulging you!

  • Order a SCPSL or a SCPF: Salted Caramel PSL or Salted Caramel Pumpkin Frappuccino.
  • Order off the menu: Try the Cinderella or the Great Pumpkin latte.
  • Add other syrups: Order a pump of cinnamon dolce, mocha, or hazelnut syrup.
  • Make it lighter and simpler: Get a regular drip coffee with a couple of pumps of PS.

If you can live without the fancy syrups and professional milk steaming, you can enjoy a version of these premade special drinks at home. Skip the drive-thru and pick up your favorite Starbucks products (or their many imitators) at your grocery store. Once you’ve got the base layer taken care of, do your own experimenting.

Even more ways to use pumpkin spice

If you enjoy drinking fall’s favorite flavor, you’ll probably love eating the wide assortment of goodies you can create with it. With treats both sweet and savory, from breakfast pastries to soups to main dishes and desserts, why not immerse yourself in pumpkin spice? Throw on your coziest cooking clothes and use up all those ingredients you bought before it’s candy cane season.

Decocrated delivers spice

Add seasonal flair to your home with a subscription to Decocrated. Every three months you’ll get a wide variety of handpicked items right at your doorstep. It’s easier than making your own PSL!

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