Inspired by Harry Potter, this pumpkin juice is wonderful chilled and tastes like fall.
Today is inspired by Harry Potter…because I’m too obsessed for my own good.
Every summer, I reread the Harry Potter series and every summer I catch something I didn’t notice before. One thing never changes, though–Rowling somehow makes pumpkin juice sound like both the most refreshing and the most comforting drink in the universe.
Ever since The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in Orlando, I’ve been dying to go and try all of the food and drinks mentioned in the book. In the meantime, I thought I’d try my own recipe.
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First, I started by doing a little research. Do I actually juice a pumpkin? Do I add spices? Boil it like cider? I needed to know. So, naturally, I looked up pumpkin juice in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s shop. I actually did this because I wanted to see how much it would cost to have some mailed to me. Maybe I could taste it and then figure out the recipe on my own? That shouldn’t be too hard to do with a beverage.
I decided not to buy it, though. For one thing, $30 is way too much for a 4-pack of pumpkin juice (though the bottles are adorable). Also, when I read the description, I realized they have a list of ingredients. Woo! So I went off of that.
What are the ingredients? Let me explain!
Ingredients are always listed in order of how much was put in the recipe (so most juices would have “water” as the main ingredient). The ingredients for pumpkin juice are: water, apple juice concentrate, pumpkin puree, apricot puree, sugar, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid, acesulfame potassium, and sodium benzoate.
A lot of that is self-explanatory…but then we get to citric acid. Citric acid is a preservative found in citrus fruits (lemons, oranges, etc.). Acesulfame potassium is a sweetener (mixed with the sugar that’s also listed, I’m going to go out on a limb and say these drinks are VERY sweet). You might recognize this sweetener by its more common names–Sunette or Sweet One. Finally, sodium benzoate is a preservative. To simplify, it’s a type of salt.
Knowing all of that told me what I needed, which also allowed me to make a few changes. Here’s what I wound up with.
- 2 cups of water
- 1 (12 oz) can of apple juice concentrate
- 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup of frozen sliced peaches
- 1/8 – 1/4 cup of lemon juice
Step 01: Add the peaches and the water to a blender. Let the peaches thaw in the water for a few minutes and then puree them. Add the apple juice concentrate, the pumpkin, and the lemon juice. Puree until well-blended.
Step 02: Strain the mixture in a fine mesh strainer, cheese cloth, or a nut milk bag (I use this one, but this one gets fantastic reviews). I’d even recommend going through a mesh strainer first, because it will be faster. And then fine strain it with the nut milk bag.
I use my nut milk bag by pouring the liquid in, tying the draw string around my cabinet knob, and hanging it over a bowl. This way, I can clean up while it’s straining. However, you will need to massage the bag every once in a while. (Writing this post just gets more and more awkward….)
Step 03: Once the juice has been strained, pour it into a container and enjoy! This recipe makes about 5 cups of juice.
I wound up using peaches for two reasons.
- I couldn’t find apricot puree. I even checked the baby food aisle, since baby food is just pureed everything. But the only kind they had was mixed with apple. It probably would have been fine (and could have substituted for the apple juice, possibly), but I went with this instead.
- Zach hates apricots. Every time we left a store without apricot puree, he looked relieved. When I finally asked if I should just suck it up and puree my own, he said, “No, get peaches.” So I went with that. 😛 Even though peaches aren’t anything like apricots (aside from how they look), it came out wonderfully. The peaches complemented the pumpkin really well, which I did not expect.
- I have tried making this with peach juice concentrate, but it tastes too much like peaches and nothing like pumpkin. So I don’t recommend that.
I wound up not needing any extra sweetener. The apple juice concentrate and the peaches made it sweet enough. I added the lemon juice so it would keep longer…but we sucked it down within a couple of days, so there was no need. 😛
This juice is my new favorite drink. It’s refreshing and it tastes like fall. It made me really miss Morgantown, though, because all I could think of was how awesome this would be to take to a tailgate during football season and drink ice cold (and possibly spiked 😛 ). Mmmmm.
I also used this to make pumpkin beer cocktails (beermosas) for Growing Up Gabel. Check it out!
Are there any foods or drinks from Harry Potter that you’d like to see come alive? I would LOVE to do more of them!