For pumpkin freaks and coffeeholics, it doesn’t get much better than a rich and creamy pumpkin spice latte. The only way to improve on its near-perfection is to slip in a little hooch, which is exactly the fiendishly slurpable tactic employed at the JW Marriott Scottsdale Camelback Inn Resort & Spa’s flagship bar. Topped with a cloud of whipped cream, the tequila-based Southwestern Pumpkin Spice is assembled with coffee and pumpkin syrup supplied by the inn’s on-site Starbucks. It drinks like an “adult milkshake” tailored for a nippy evening by the chiminea.
Unless you have a Starbucks kiosk in your kitchen, a home version of the cocktail will never precisely mimic the one at Rita’s, but you can come pretty close. Combine 2 oz. Cazadores Tequila Blanco, 1 oz. pumpkin spice syrup*, ½ oz. vanilla coffee creamer and ½ oz. cold coffee in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain and pour over fresh ice in a glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and whipped cream for extra sweetness. And fire up the chiminea.
*Boil ½ cup water and ½ cup sugar and stir until clear. Lower heat and add 2/3 cup pumpkin purée, 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk, ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice and ¼ tsp. salt. Strain and store in the fridge.
Rita’s Cantina & Bar
5402 E. Lincoln Dr., Paradise Valley