Let me start out by saying—put down your dukes. Have you read the news? This is a heated subject—Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Put out your hand. Mine’s out too. Let’s shake. We’re all still friends here no matter how we take, or don’t take, the PSL. Agreed? Agreed. I’ve been using my mom voice a lot lately. It’s weirding me out too.
I must come clean—I used to be a PSL hater. I didn’t get it. It wasn’t until last year, my 29th year of life, that I figured out that I liked, no loved, Pumpkin Spice Lattes. But not just any PSL. I liked Pumpkin Spice Lattes with pumpkin. I didn’t realize you could have one without. A cheeseburger without cheese?
I tried the one during our first trip back to the farmers market after Hal arrived. I remember it well. It was near the end of October, I’m guessing her 7th week of life. We tried to go every week before then but never made it out the door before the market closed at 1. We got an extra bunch of free kale that week because one of the farmers wanted to make sure my teeny tiny baby had plenty. I said thank you and ate a lot of kale that week. On a whim, I tried a PSL from the coffee shop down the block from the market. Nothing was predictable during that time of life. Not even my latte choice.
I fell madly, deeply in love and took every free chance (yet there were far too few with a new baby) to get out of the house and buy one. Once they ran out of syrup late November, I figured it was time to make my own. I tweaked the recipe a bit this season to include maple as the sweetener, the same way I take my pumpkin pie. Oh, the earthy flavors of pumpkin paired with the spices of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, presented in the form of a latte—I’m not sure there’s a better way to use my dukes than by cradling one of these.
All these years I thought I was a PSL hater until I had a PSL with real pumpkin last fall. I’m a changed woman. This syrup is sweetened with maple, like I prefer my pumpkin pie. It’s earthy and spicy and takes the chill off of fall. Now all you need is a shot or two of smooth espresso and frothy milk.