Pumpkin Chiffon Martini

I love a challenge almost as much as I love a really good cocktail! So when my bff asked me to create a Thanksgiving Inspired Adult Concoction, I was more than happy to help out, besides, what are friends for?

This tasty task was sure to be fun, but it did come along with a few guidelines.

  • Not too filling, fattening or sweet
  • easy-do-ahead batch recipe
  • creative rimming on glasses

‘Pumpkin Martini’ was the very first image to flash through my brain when recruited. I knew it had to be creamy and a little sweet to truly get the effect I was going for. Pumpkin Pie, Meet My Shaker! Here is where a little innovation and a trip down memory lane happens. See, back in the late 80′s and early 90′s I had a lot of practice in the art of creating cocktails. Serving up Boston’s Finest for 7 years through several venues, I have a few tricks up my sleeve.

Taking from the gorgeous natural surroundings New England offers, this Thanksgiving Signature Drink is easy to style. Bold Beautiful Bittersweet is the palette, rimming the glasses with graham cracker and red and yellow sugar is easy and can be done ahead of time!

Festive Rimming. Here’s how.

  • Set your glasses out onto a large tray and polish them up nicely.
  • Next, using three plates,  pour about 1/4 cup of each red sugar, yellow sugar and graham crackers crumbs onto a plate. Pour 1/4 cup evaporated milk into a shallow bowl wide enough to fit the rim of the glass.
  • Working one glass at a time dip rim in evaporated milk first, pull glass from milk and let it hang over the bowl until drips stop.
  • Gently press rim into graham cracker crumbs, give it a very light swish. Go back to the evaporated milk and dip ever so slightly without washing of the graham cracker (a little will come off, no worries)
  • Now dip in the red sugar and finish with the yellow.  Place back on the tray and continue to the next! This can be done earlier in the day and will send your holiday sass over the top!

Making Martinis requires several different ingredients in forms of dashes and jiggers, and as we all know serving up a large group can create quite a mess! Make a batch or two ahead of time to keep the bar clean and the host holiday-ready! Mix it up in the morning and store it at the back of the fridge; cocktails will take no time at all when guests arrive.

Creating a martini low in fat and calories was probably the biggest challenge; not an arena I hang out it very often. Incorporating the right ingredients to achieve creamy, slightly sweet and not too filling was key. A blend of pumpkin puree, molasses, sugar free french vanilla coffee mate and evaporated milk turned out to be very drinkable, not too filling at all, and relatively low on the rector scale considering vodka alone adds 100 calories!! Let’s be honest.. cocktails by nature are never low in calories, hey, it’s the holidays and it’s not eggnog, that’s all I need to know! Happy Thanksgiving, and please drink responsibly.

photography by jeff stiles | styling by wendy powell

Pumpkin Chiffon Martini A perfect Pairing for your Thanksgiving Feast

One at a time serves 1

  • Shaker with ice
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • ¼ teaspoon molasses
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • Pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ jigger’s vanilla vodka
  • 1 jigger sugar free French vanilla liquid coffeemate
  • 1 jigger evaporated milk – not to be confused with sweetened condensed milk!


  • Fill shaker 2/3 full with ice.
  • Add all ingredients to shaker, secure lid and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.
  • Let martini stand in shaker for a moment before pouring through shaker strainer into graham cracker and sugar rimmed martini glasses.

Pumpkin Chiffon Martini Party Pitcher serves 8

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons molasses
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar free French vanilla liquid coffeemate
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup vanilla vodka


  • Place pumpkin puree, molasses, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large spouted mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
  • Add coffeemate and evaporated milk, whisk. Stir in vanilla vodka and pour into an airtight container until ready to serve, refrigerate.
  • Set your bar with graham cracker and sugar rimmed martini glasses. Select a festive, preferably glass, pitcher to transfer the martini mixture.
  • Have a shaker or two handy with plenty of clean drinking ice.
  • Fill shaker 2/3rds with ice, pour approximately ½ cup of martini mix over ice. Secure the lid and shake for 30 seconds. Let martini rest for a moment before pouring into ready rimmed martini glass.