Pumpkin spice typically consists of just ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves, but, for tens of millions of Americans, the blend has come to mean so much more than just a hodgepodge of ingredients. Whether sprinkled on a latte or incorporated into a beer, pumpkin's annual reintroduction into the marketplace marks the line between summer and fall, or, more accurately in Sarasota, suggests that the end of summer may be in sight.
Plenty of local coffee shops, bars and breweries are putting pumpkin flavorings to good use right now. Here's where the spice flows:
975 Cattlemen Road, Sarasota, (941) 371-2939, bigtopbrewing.com
Big Top's Pumpkin Stiltskin ale is flavored with actual baked pumpkin, cinnamon, honey, brown sugar and vanilla beans, and is served both at its tasting room and at bars all over town. Check the beer tracker website Untappd to find where it's being poured right now.
1310 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 416-4343, breakingwavecoffee.com
Using Holy Kakow's organic pumpkin spice syrup, Breaking Wave can add a dash of fall to lattes or any other drink you like.
1289 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota, (941) 356-8940, buddybrew.com
This popular downtown coffee shop, part of a small chain based in Tampa, makes a killer "spiced pumpkin" latte.
6530 Gateway Ave., Sarasota, (941) 806-5909, theclevercup.com
Our favorite Gulf Gate coffee shop mixes pumpkin syrup with pumpkin spice and will add the concoction to pretty much any drink on the menu, from a latte to a chai tea. They even dress up their pumpkin spice drinks in an elegant, seasonally appropriate orange sleeve.
2480 Stickney Point Road, Sarasota, (941) 923-8640; 8211 Tourist Center Drive, Bradenton, (941) 358-8182; cropjuice.com
Pumpkin drinks aren't limited to coffee. CROP's two locations are whipping up a thick, rich "Great Pumpkin Smoothie" made with pumpkin puree, chopped pumpkin, pumpkin spice and more.
1487 Second St., Sarasota, (941) 203-8971; 8317 Market St., Bradenton, (941) 351-1551; 1308 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey, (941) 932-8388; kahwacoffee.com
We always love Kahwa's cold brew, and this time of year, the shop adds a pumpkin pie cold brew to the mix. Or go for a traditional PSL.
1014 Ninth St. W., Bradenton, (941) 567-6218, motorworksbrewing.com
Motorworks' Hiya Gourdie can be found in cans, at bars that carry Motorworks products and at the brewery itself. The beer is made with pumpkin puree and galangal, a root similar to ginger. Check Untappd to see where you can find it.