Somewhere along the way, Starbucks invented the Pumpkin Spice Latte and was summarily handed the keys to Fall, with its presence beating out equinoxes, leaves turning, and the smell of campfires in the air as the official herald of autumn.
The upside of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is that it is indeed delicious even in its ubiquity, the kind of thing you want to reject on principle because it’s nearly mandatory to rave about it, but you can’t, because it tastes so freaking delicious.
The downside, of course, is you have to usually go to Starbucks for anything approximating a Pumpkin Spice Latte, as making one at home seems a daunting task that just really will never hope to cut it. Nothing wrong with Starbucks per se, but I know I tend to get itchy heading in there because there is always an argument with the barista, all of whom seem to have a visceral opposition to making my drink of favor, the Starbucks Venti Doubleshot, and adding pumpkin to it.
(A ten minute long debate about ordering a latte and adding shots instead always ensues, ending in the barista admonishing me and letting me know I can order it, but I am not allowed to have any milk.)
In any event, making a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte at home is possible, I discovered after my last Doubleshot begging session. (Shut up and take my money, Starbucks!)
If you’re just Starbucks avoidant, you can purchase the actual specific syrup online from Starbucks — and it isn’t even that expensive. For $21.95, you get a massive 63 fl. oz. container, which has to make at least several dozen Pumpkin Spice Lattes… if you are not psyching yourself out and using Folger’s drip as a base. Don’t be an amateur.
But you’re not here because you want to buy syrup to make a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte at home… you’re here because you want a copycat recipe, to hack the famous fall drink. And that’s okay, we won’t judge you.
CopyKat has a recipe for a Pumpkin Spice Latte, calling for nutmeg, pumpkin, ginger, and espresso. (We personally use the Hario Mizudashi cold brew carafe.) Another has similar ingredients, but with superfine sugar and cinnamon sticks. TheKitchn also takes a crack at the PSL puzzle, and they’ve usually got a good handle on this stuff.
Truthfully, when all is said and done, investing in a strong brewing system and the official syrup is probably less costly than obtaining all the ingredients and possibly winding up with a cut-rate home version of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, but Pinterest seems optimistic.
Have you been able to recreate the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte magic at home, via a pre-made syrup or your own recipe? Have you considered it in the event of another possible PSL shortage?