Death is Left-Handed (Pumpkin + Sage Hot Toddy)

Death is Left-Handed (Pumpkin + Sage Hot Toddy)

As the evenings continue to get cooler here in Chicago, we’ve found that we are really starting to crave both warm drinks and drinks highlighting some of our favorite fall flavors. So when we whipped together this Pumpkin + Sage Hot Toddy this past weekend, we quickly found ourselves in fall cocktail heaven! The warming combination of hot water and spicy rye whiskey is the perfect way to warm up after a long day at work, and the addition of unique ingredients not commonly found in a Hot Toddy - including a homemade pumpkin + sage maple syrup and a couple of dashes of black walnut bitters - turns what is normally a relatively simple drink into a complex seasonal cocktail that we’ll be sipping all season long! Seriously though - from the very first sip, we couldn’t get enough of the incredible balance of sweet, spicy, herbal, and savory that this Pumpkin + Sage Hot Toddy brings to the table. So if you (like us!) are starting to get into the fall spirit - or even if you just want a delicious, warming drink to enjoy as the weather continues to grow colder - you absolutely have to give this cocktail a try!


For Cocktail:

  • 1 1/2 oz rye whiskey

  • 1 oz pumpkin + sage maple syrup (see recipe below)

  • 1/4 oz lemon juice

  • 2 dashes black walnut bitters

  • 4 oz boiling water

  • Fresh sage (for garnish)

For Pumpkin + Sage Maple Syrup:

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin

  • 1/4 tsp coarsely cracked black pepper

  • 10 sage leaves


  1. To make pumpkin + sage maple syrup, combine maple syrup, water, roasted pumpkin, black pepper, and sage in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring periodically. When the mixture begins to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Let the syrup cool completely, transfer to an airtight container, and refrigerate - if stored properly, the syrup should keep for up to two weeks!

  2. Bring water to a boil and set aside.

  3. Combine rye, pumpkin + sage maple syrup, lemon juice, and black walnut bitters in a mug (or heat-safe glass).

  4. Top the mug off with boiling water, stir briefly to combine, and garnish with fresh sage.

  5. Enjoy!