I got inspired to create this drink when we owned a coffee shop in Boulder Colorado. That year a certain large coffeehouse ran out of pumpkin spice syrup. My manager David, who was one of my former culinary students, said to me, “Dude we so got this!” We set out for the local grocery store and picked up a case of canned pumpkin and several jars of pumpkin pie spice. Little by little we kept adding and writing down everything and finally ended up with a 5-gallon bucket of a pumpkin pie latte base. Even when that coffee company got their pumpkin pie spice syrup back we still sold 5-7 gallons worth of pumpkin pie lattes and pumpkin chais almost every day during pumpkin season. I’ve continued to improve the recipe since then, including adding the essential oils.

Pumpkin Latte Base

1 cup milk or milk substitute

¼ cup canned pumpkin pie mix

3 packets Splenda or any non-sugar sweetener of your choice

½ teaspoon vanilla

10 drops Pumpkin Spice Essential Oil Blend (see below)

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher using an immersion blender. Put in a jar with tight lid and refrigerate for about an hour before using. Shake well before each use. This will last about 10 days in the refrigerator if using a milk substitute.

To serve: Mix ¼ cup pumpkin latte base and ¼ cup milk or milk substitute and heat slightly in microwave. Add 2 shots of espresso.

For coffee, mix one cup coffee (I would make it strong) with one cup of pumpkin latte base. You can also make this with cold brew for a cold pumpkin spice latte.

Pumpkin Spice Essential Oil Blend

Note: When using essential oils for internal consumption, use only essential oils approved for such use. Many essential oils that you buy, especially ones on the lesser expensive side, will specifically tell you “not for internal consumption”. Don’t use these for internal consumption! Believe the label! There may be additives or adulterants (yes, even if the label says 100% essential oil) that wouldn’t be good to use internally. There are only a few brands out there that are FDA approved for using in cooking and they will say as much.

4 drops Cinnamon essential oil

2 drops Ginger essential oil

1 drop Clove essential oil

4 drops Cardamom essential oil

4 drops Nutmeg essential oil

3 ml MCT liquid unflavored oil.

Combine all ingredients and put in clean essential oil bottle with dropper cap on.

Written by Chef John O'Neil