We’ve all seen the memes, and we’ve all made fun of the white girl in yoga pants sipping her Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. But let’s be honest: Most of us of still secretly love all things pumpkin, we just don’t want to be that person. So, I’ve done the *very difficult work* of investigating the best pumpkin drinks to bring you everything from ice cream cabinets to very adult beverages, because if there’s anything I’ve learned about this season, it’s that there’s more than one way to drink a pumpkin.
Pumpkin Stout & Pumpkin Cider: As we are in the wake of Beervana, I’m going to address beer lovers first. During my most recent visit to Malted Barley I tried the Great’er Pumpkin, a cask beer from Heavy Seas Brewing, and I was astounded by how much I liked it — and at 10% ABV it packed a solid punch. An unfiltered beer that’s still fermenting in its original vessel, cask beers have a completely different flavor and texture from your typical “ice cold beer.” If it’s available, I highly recommend it. Also keep an eye out for Warlock’s Imperial Pumpkin Stout (another 10% ABV) and DownEast’s Pumpkin Cider. They sound like my dream come true. Malted Barley, 334 Westminster St, PVD
Pumpkin Ale: If you didn’t make it this year to Tilted Barn, mark your calendars for next year. This brewery sells out their pumpkin inventory in one weekend, undeniably because it’s just that good. Made from the pumpkins grown on the farm, this ale is malt-forward, with no spices and just a touch of sweetness from the pumpkins. Follow them on Facebook to stay up-to-date on their releases. Tilted Barn, One Hemsley Pl, Exeter
Pumpkin Russian: The Treehouse Tavern, built in 1860, is one of the coolest restaurants in Rhode Island, from their seasonally inspired décor to two trays of dessert options. And their list of 21 Crafted Autumnal Cocktails will satisfy every autumnal inkling. Their pumpkin offerings include The White Pumpkin (pureed pumpkin and spices, vanilla vodka, almond milk and rose salt — Dude approved) and the Harvest Moon Cocktail (orange vodka, boot lime-ginger, Mescal, pumpkin and orange bitters). I believe bitters are the perfect complement to the sun’s ever-earlier disappearance, and this drink will help ease the transition. Treehouse Tavern, 1094 Centerville Rd, Warwick
Pumpkin Martini: This article is the result of my quest to find a replacement for the Pumpkin Pie Martini I loved so dearly and no longer exists (RIP Kitchen Bar). The good news is I tracked down the former owner of KBar, and he’s dishing out pizzas in North Providence at Zorba’s Pizza & Pub. Although this isn’t the same martini I remember, it was damn good. And while we’re at it, check out the pumpkin martini special at Layali, the establishment that brings you flaming espresso martinis. From fire to whipped cream, their cocktails never disappoint! Zorba’s Pizza & Pub, 1370 Mineral Spring Ave, North Providence; Layali, 36 Weybosset St, PVD
Pumpkin Piña Colada & Pumpkin Margarita: Yes, you read that right. If you think tequila and pumpkin don’t mix, you have not been at the expert hands of Jessie, the bar manager at Tortilla Flats. These were the most heavenly drinks I could have possibly imagined. They were pumpkiny without being bland, and sweet without being too sweet. My friend and I swooned over every sip, and I will definitely be back for more. Look for Jessie on Monday and Thursday nights, and Friday and Saturday days. She’ll take good care of you. Tortilla Flats, 355 Hope St, PVD
Pumpkin Spiked Latte: Your weekend brunch is now complete — coffee + pumpkin + alcohol. The West Side Diner is a classically decorated diner, but with upgraded food AND adult beverages. Also on the menu is a Pumpkin Mocha, a Mocha Madness (coffee, crème de cacao, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur) with pumpkin syrup added. The blend of flavors was a bit odd for me, but I rejoiced in spirit. West Side Diner, 1380 Westminster St, PVD
Pumpkin Cabinet: I just learned after five years of living in Rhode Island that I’d missed out on a staple of New England cuisine: the cabinet. But Delekta Pharmacy in Warren came to my rescue; they have an old fashioned soda fountain and are still serving traditional cabinets! Last week they received their pumpkin ice cream, and this incredible concoction — ice cream, milk, homemade coffee syrup — is so much more than just a pumpkin milkshake. It’s definitely worth the drive.
Delekta Pharmacy, 496 Main St, Warren
Pumpkin Latte: For those of you who just want good ol’ fashioned pumpkin spice with your daily dose of caffeine, I got you covered. My favorite in the city is at the Nitro Bar, posited as their “not so basic” pumpkin spice latte: cinnamon sticks, minced ginger, vanilla beans, pumpkin puree, ground nutmeg and magic. It is fall in a cup … and it’s safe to drink at work.
Nitro Bar, 228 Broadway, PVD