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Get Your Pumpkin Drink Fix Locally

By Anthony Todd in Food on Oct 10, 2012 7:00PM

Photo by Louisa Chu.

So, it turns out there's no shortage of official, Starbucks-created Pumpkin Spice Latte syrup. Bully for them. But let's say you want to get your pumpkin latte on but don't want to buy it from the green mermaid? Luckily, two local businesses have solutions to sate your cravings.

Local favorite Jo Snow Syrups has released their fall 2012 limited-edition syrup flavor: Pumpkin Coconut. WBEZ's Louisa Chu ran into syrup impresario Melissa Yen and got the scoop.

"Jo Snow syrup stars in Ipsento's Pumpkin Patch Latte, made with actual pumpkin purée, espresso, whole and sweetened condensed milks, cinnamon, nutmeg and the pumpkin coconut syrup. Milk & Honey created a pumpkin coconut hot chocolate with coconut and whole milks, chocolate and pumpkin coconut syrups and a toasted coconut marshmallow float, finished with pumpkin pie spice and whipped cream."

You can get Jo Snow syrups at a bunch of local food stores around town (City Provisions, Provenance, Southport Grocery) or at Crate & Barrel and Whole Foods.

Julia Kramer at Time Out Chicago brings in another substitute for the mermaid's fall syrup: the pump-quinoa treat at Protein Bar. It's a combination of blended pumpkin, quinoa, spices and pepitas. At first, she thought it was a bit strange, but after a comparison with an actual Pumpkin Spice Latte from starbucks, she came to embrace it's realness. "After the Starbucks pumpkin-spice latté, it tasted less like a surprisingly thick shake and more like dense, liquified food." Her final evaluation: Not bad. As always, her take on the taste test is charming and entertaining - go read it.

So, she didn't love it, but if you're a quinoa fan and want a healthy fix, it's an option. Plus, it actually has pumpkin in it, which the Starbucks does not. Apparently Americans think "pumpkin" tastes like cinnamon and cloves.

If you're looking for a boozier way to get your squash on, Lynn House at Blackbird just announced a new drink. "A Jig and a Flip" will contain Speyside 12 year single malt, apple cider, cloves, a whole egg and Acorn Squash (ok, not quite pumpkin, but close enough). The drink will debut on Friday.