Skip to Content

Does pumpkin spice liqueur have alcohol?

Pumpkin spice liqueur is a popular fall drink that captures the flavors of pumpkin pie in liquid form. With notes of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and other warming spices, pumpkin liqueurs provide a sweet and spice flavor profile perfect for the autumn season. But one question many people have about pumpkin spice liqueur is – does it contain alcohol?

The Short Answer

Yes, pumpkin spice liqueurs do contain alcohol. They are liquor-based drinks with an alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage typically between 15% to 30%. So while their flavor may remind you of a cozy slice of pumpkin pie, they are alcoholic beverages designed for adults.

What is Pumpkin Spice Liqueur?

Pumpkin spice liqueur is a cream-based cordial that offers the sweet and spicy taste of pumpkin pie in liquid form. It is made by blending liqueurs, distilled spirits, milk or cream, and pumpkin pie-inspired flavors like:

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Ginger
  • Allspice
  • Cloves
  • Vanilla

The most popular brand of pumpkin spice liqueur is Pumpkin Spice Pinnacle Vodka. Pinnacle tastes like a blend of vanilla vodka and autumn spices. Other brands like RumChata Pumpkin Spice liqueur blend Caribbean rum with fall spice flavors. The blend of liquor, dairy, and cozy baking spices creates a sweet and creamy liqueur reminiscent of pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin Spice Liqueur Contains a High Alcohol Content

While pumpkin spice liqueurs mimic the flavor of pumpkin pie, they differ from the dessert by containing a significant amount of alcohol. Most brands of pumpkin spice liqueur contain between 15% to 30% alcohol by volume (ABV). For comparison:

  • Beer: 4% to 6% ABV
  • Wine: 9% to 15% ABV
  • Spirits: 35% to 50% ABV

So at 15% to 30% ABV, pumpkin spice liqueurs pack quite a bit more alcohol than beer or wine. Their alcohol content comes close to that of straight spirits like vodka, rum, and whiskey.

The combination of creamy dairy ingredients and potent liquor gives pumpkin spice liqueur a deceivingly smooth drinkability. The sweet flavor profile helps mask the high alcohol content. But despite their cozy flavors, these seasonal cordials are still alcoholic beverages meant for adult consumption.

Pumpkin Spice Liqueur Makes Use of Fall Spirits

So what types of hard liquor go into making pumpkin spice cordials? Some of the most popular base alcohols include:

  • Vodka: Vodka’s neutral flavor allows the pumpkin pie spices to take center stage. Many pumpkin spice liqueurs like Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka use vodka as their alcoholic base.
  • Rum: Spiced and dark rum offer complementary notes of vanilla, caramel, and warm baking spices. RumChata combines rum with fall flavors.
  • Whiskey: Bourbon whiskey’s vanilla and oak notes pair well with pumpkin spices.
  • Brandy: Brandy made from distilled wine contributes rich fruit and vanilla flavors.

These liquor bases get sweetened with sugar and blended with dairy products like milk, cream, or Irish cream. Finally, fall-inspired spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice replicate the taste of fresh pumpkin pie. The result is a comforting, dessert-like liqueur with a high proof.

Cocktail Recipes with Pumpkin Spice Liqueur

Pumpkin spice liqueur can be enjoyed on its own, either straight or poured over ice. But it also shines when incorporated into delicious autumnal cocktails. Here are some popular cocktail recipes that use pumpkin spice cordials:

Pumpkin Pie Martini

  • 2 oz vanilla vodka
  • 1 oz pumpkin spice liqueur
  • 1 oz half-and-half or cream
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • Pumpkin pie spice rim

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass rimmed with pumpkin pie spice mixture. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Spiced Pumpkin Old Fashioned

  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 oz pumpkin spice liqueur
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 Demerara sugar cube
  • Orange twist garnish

Place sugar cube in old fashioned glass and saturate with bitters. Add a splash of water and muddle. Fill glass with ice cubes and add bourbon and pumpkin liqueur. Stir to combine. Garnish with orange twist.

Pumpkin White Russian

  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 3/4 oz pumpkin spice liqueur
  • 3/4 oz coffee liqueur
  • 1 oz heavy cream
  • Pumpkin pie spice for rim

Rim glass with pumpkin pie spice if desired. Add vodka, pumpkin liqueur, coffee liqueur and heavy cream to cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into glass over fresh ice. Dust with cinnamon or garnish with cinnamon stick.

Making Homemade Pumpkin Spice Liqueur

Want to try your hand at making homemade pumpkin spice liqueur? With some basic ingredients and a little patience, you can craft your own personalized pumpkin spice cordial right at home. Here is a simple recipe to try:


  • 1 cup vodka or rum
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice


  1. Combine all ingredients in a glass jar. Shake or stir vigorously to dissolve sugar.
  2. Allow to steep for 1-2 weeks, shaking jar occasionally, until flavors have fully blended.
  3. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth.
  4. Bottle final liqueur and store in refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Feel free to experiment with different liquor bases, spice blends, and steeping times. Customize it to match your flavor preferences. Just be sure to allow time for the alcohol and flavors to properly fuse.

Health Considerations with Pumpkin Spice Liqueurs

While delicious in cocktails and fall drinks, it’s important to keep in mind that pumpkin spice liqueurs do contain a high alcohol percentage. Drinking them comes with similar health considerations as other alcoholic beverages:

  • Impaired coordination and judgment
  • Potential long-term liver damage
  • Negative interactions with medications
  • Addiction risk for some individuals

Anyone choosing to drink pumpkin spice liqueur should do so responsibly. Pay attention to serving sizes, and be careful not to overindulge. People with alcohol abuse disorders or health conditions should avoid high alcohol drinks. And as with any liquor, it should be kept away from children and those under the legal drinking age.

For those who can safely consume alcoholic drinks, pumpkin spice liqueurs provide a tasty way to imbibe during the fall season. Just be sure to account for their higher alcohol content compared to beer, wine, and mixed drinks.

Non-Alcoholic Pumpkin Spice Options

Good news for those looking to avoid alcohol – you can still enjoy the flavors of pumpkin spice liqueur without the high alcohol percentage. Some non-alcoholic options include:

  • Pumpkin Spice Creamer: Add the taste of pumpkin pie to your morning coffee or tea.
  • Pumpkin Spice Syrup: Stir into milk, cream soda, oatmeal, or non-alcoholic cocktails.
  • Pumpkin Spice Powder: Sprinkle on desserts, pancakes, or in a protein shake.
  • Pumpkin Pie Soda: Find seasonal flavors from brands like Jones or Henry Weinhard’s.
  • Pumpkin Spice Tea: Sip fruity, cinnamon-flavored tea from brands like Tazo and Celestial Seasonings.

Going alcohol-free doesn’t mean you have to miss out on indulging your pumpkin spice cravings. With a little creativity, you can enjoy the flavors of fall in kid-friendly mocktails, coffee drinks, and more.


Pumpkin spice liqueur allows you to sip the essence of autumn in liquid form. But behind its cozy, comforting flavor lies a significant alcohol content. Most pumpkin spice cordials contain between 15% to 30% ABV – on par with many straight spirits. So while their pumpkin pie taste may seem harmless, it’s important to account for their high proof when drinking. Enjoy pumpkin spice liqueur responsibly in moderation, and opt for non-alcoholic versions if avoiding alcohol entirely. Either way, pumpkin spice liqueur captures the comforting flavors of fall in every sip.