Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte

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It’s fall so I’m bringing you a Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe this week! Have you ever ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks and thought, “Damn I wish this had alcohol in it.” Me too readers, me too.

I use to frequent Starbucks all the time in Chicago because they opened a branch on virtually every block. Starbucks has several locations throughout Portland but none are in my vicinity. If I crave a Pumpkin Spice Latte I have to make it myself. Fortunately, Pumpkin Spice Latte’s are a cinch to make! And, if I’m making a latte at home over the weekend, I might as well through some booze in it 😀

If you’re not a big drinker, omit the alcohol in this recipe. You’ll still get a delicious fall, pumpkin coffee treat!

Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte

Before I talk about the Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte it’s time for a special Kieran and Christina news flash…

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Selling my Chicago condo was stressful AF. My buyer’s loan was denied because too many unit owners were behind on their association dues. Luckily for me he didn’t back out of his offer. However, as a result, the buyer began to question the integrity of the condo association board since they didn’t take action against the delinquent owners. Honestly? After dealing with this board for the past 10 years, I felt the same.

The treasurer of our condo board is unpleasant to work with. To protect her identity I won’t use her real name. I’ll refer to her as Buttface. Buttface was sweet to your face but fire and brimstone behind a key board. In Buttface’s defense, I wasn’t the easiest person to deal with either. I’m a spaz.

I was the condo secretary a few years ago. During that time, turmoil existed between the board and management company. As a result, the board was trying to decide whether we should mange the building ourselves, or hire another company. I volunteered to make a spreadsheet listing the “Scope of Responsibilities” of our current management company, so we could judge if the workload could be managed by the condo board. I even obtained quotes from competing management companies so we could compare and get the biggest bang for our buck, if we decided self management wasn’t the way to go.

When I was almost done with my assignment, I sent an email to the board, asking for feedback. I wanted to ensure I was organizing the information to their preference. Rather then give me constructive criticism, Buttface replied, “It’s a waste of my time to review work that isn’t finished yet, thanks.”

Buttface continuously told board members their actions were a waste of her time. Rather than coach, encourage, or teach people her preferred methods of handling responsibilities, she would belittle us. None of us enjoyed interacting with her. I avoided her as much as possible since she made me feel like shit.

During a board meeting Buttface was adamant we self manage the building to save money. We didn’t work well together as a team, therefore I knew self managing the building would be a disaster. I verbalized my concerns but was eventually talked into the decision. Shortly thereafter my concerns became reality. Buttface was unpleasant to work with so the board stopped helping and let her spearhead the responsibilities. Consequently, this lead to her resenting us. Was everything Buttface’s fault? No, but if she was nicer, maybe the unit owners would have been happier to help out.

spiked latte

I’m going to be happy when I tell you about the Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte…sooooon.

I quit the board a year later and moved to Portland. During my absence, over the course of almost 2 years, the board had maybe, 2 meetings? The silence of the board members was deafening. No one seemed to know what was going on with the building and the board didn’t volunteer any information. In the spring of 2016 I put my condo on the market and accepted an offer. Suddenly the board sent the building an email saying they were hiring a management company ASAP. That’s odd, I thought. Buttface HATED wasting money on management companies. I wondered why she changed her mind so quickly.

Soon thereafter my buyer’s loan was denied because of the delinquent unit owners. Ahhh, I thought, that’s why Buttface changed her mind. Fortunately, the new management company did something the board should have done a LONG time ago, sent the delinquent HOA dues to collections. Unfortunately, my buyer now questioned the integrity of the board. This resulted in an onslaught of questions from my buyer. He wanted to know who was behind on their HOA dues. The board refused to answer. Were any of the board members behind on their dues? The board refused to answer. Was Buttface (the treasurer) and condo president the ones behind on their dues. The board refused to answer.

I take that back. Buttface did answer me once, but instead of saying, “I’m sorry Christina, there are legal reason why we can’t answer your question, have your attorney call ours,” she emailed me with her usual bitchy bullshit.

Finally, my buyer said the board either answers the question or he would back out. I was livid. Buttface knew the answer because she was responsible for the financial health of the building and collecting dues. I called the new management company and reached their voicemail. I left a message, bawling and begging, for them to answer the question. My attorney sent the board a stern email saying someone, he didn’t care who, needed to answer the question. The management company answered the question a few hours later, as a result, my sale was scheduled to close.

September 7, 2016 my attorney emailed me with the finalization of the sale. I SPRUNG from my chair and happy danced around my home office. I’ll never have to talk to Buttface again. I feel sorry for my buyer, that poor unlucky son-of-a bitch has no idea what he’s in for.

So, because my condo sold I wanted to celebrate with a boozy treat! I popped into the kitchen and whisked together a Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Like most chicks, I’m obsessed with pumpkin spiced anything this time of year. I enjoy Pumpkin Spice Latte’s from Starbucks but since I don’t live near a Starbucks, I figured I better learn how to make it myself.

I’m glad I researched the recipe because Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte’s are simple to make! Before you go to the grocery store to purchase pumpkin spice, check your spice rack for the following ingredients: ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, all-spice, and ground cloves. If you have those on hand you can make your own pumpkin spice mix! Try this recipe, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon all-spice, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.

You’ll notice the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract. I agree, that seems like a lot of extract. The result will give your Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte the same syrupy taste found in the Starbucks version. The extra vanilla wasn’t overwhelming, it worked well.

I love this recipe because it calls for REAL pumpkin puree, I think Starbucks still uses that artificial shit. This recipe only calls for 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree, therefore try to plan this recipe around another that also uses pumpkin, otherwise 98% of the can will go to waste.

Let’s talk about booze. I read an article to find out which type of alcohol pairs best with a Pumpkin Spice Latte. The author did a taste test using chocolate liqueur, Kahlúa, and peach schnapps. The least favorite paring was the Pumpkin Spice Latte and chocolate liqueur. The 2nd runner up was Kahlúa. To the author’s surprise, peach schnapps paired the best.

I own a book called The Flavor Bible written by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. The Flavor Bible is an amazing resource for home cooks. The book is a recipe index which lists ingredients by alphabetical order, followed by a list of OTHER ingredients that best pair with it. For example, if you look up “dates” you’ll see it pairs with almonds, apples, apricots, Armagnac, bacon, bananas, brandy, ect. In order to make the perfect Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte I resorted to my book. Voila! The book states orange liqueur, especially Grand Marnier, pairs with pumpkin. Grand Mariner tasted amazing, it was an excellent choice!

The book also says pumpkin pairs well with rum and coconut hence Malibu Rum would make a logical pairing too. In fact, I happened to have a bottle of Malibu Rum on hand! As much as I enjoyed the Spiked Pumpkin Latte with Malibu Rum, I preferred Grand Mariner.

Spiked Pumpkin latte

Finally, if you’re not feeling the booze or you’re pregnant, omit the alcohol, the drink is still enjoyable even if it’s not spiked. If you’re craving a Pumpkin Spice Latte, spiked or not, you’re going to love this sweet fall treat.

Thanks for stopping by,


Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte

Spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
  • ½ tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup milk
  • Shot of Grand Marnier
  • Shot of hot coffee (as strong as you like it)
  • Garnish (optional) whipped cream, cinnamon stick, and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.


  • Heat the pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat for a few minutes. Continue heating until the pumpkin is hot and fragrant.
  • Slowly whisk in the vanilla and continue whisking until the ingredients are well combined.
  • Next, slowly whisk in the milk.
  • Continue to simmer the milk until it's hot and steamy, but be careful, if the heats to high it will foam up and make a mess. Once the milk is hot and steamy vigorously whisk it until it's frothy. You can use a blender if you can't get the mixture frothy enough for your liking.
  • Pour a shot of coffee and Grand Marnier into a coffee cup. Top with the milk mixture until the glass is full. Stir.
  • Finally garnish (optional) with whipped cream, a cinnamon stick, and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.


Calorie Breakdown

2 tablespoons canned pumpkin…13
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice… 0
2 tablespoons brown sugar..104
2 tablespoons vanilla extract… 76
3/4 cup milk…. 98
Shot of Grand Marnier… 114
Shot of hot coffee… 0
Total calories: 405
For 2 large latte’s: 202.50
For 4 smaller latte’s: 101.25
Not included in calorie count:
Garnish (optional) whipped cream, cinnamon stick, and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
*Note, I am not a nutritionist, nor am I pretending to be. I found the calorie counts by reading the nutrition labels on the food I purchased, searching Google, and using my Lose It! app on my phone.

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