Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Other Cocktails

Harvest Nog

white and creamy Harvest Nog cocktail in a textured double rocks glass, with grated nutmeg on top / Tim Nusog

You’re unlikely to find acorn squash in a typical cocktail. You’re even less likely to find two different acorn squash preparations in a cocktail. But the Harvest Nog squashes (sorry) that notion by combining the gourd with vanilla ice cream and Drambuie liqueur, yielding a dessert-like drink that’s perfect for consuming during the fall and winter seasons.

The recipe comes from drinks pro Vance Henderson. He employs two different approaches to prepare the acorn squash, allowing the vegetable to flex its muscles in a couple of different directions. Green acorn squash is combined with sugar and allspice to make a cordial, while white acorn squash is studded with cloves, roasted in the oven and then blended.

If you’re vegetable-cocktail skittish, don’t fear: The allspice and cloves help the drink to retain a more traditional “nog” flavor profile. The Drambuie—made from scotch and honey—will keep spirits high. Then you’ve got the sweet and creamy vanilla ice cream, and come on, everyone loves ice cream.


  • 1 1/2 ounces Drambuie liqueur

  • 1/2 ounce green acorn squash cordial*

  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream

  • 1 ounce roasted white acorn squash puree**

  • Garnish: nutmeg, freshly grated


  1. Add the Drambuie, green acorn squash cordial, vanilla ice cream and white acorn squash puree into a shaker and shake vigorously.

  2. Double-strain into a double-rocks glass over ice, and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

*Green acorn squash cordial: Add 1.5 cups of squash puree, 1 cup granulated sugar and .5 tsp of whole allspice into a saucepan, and bring to a simmer, stirring slowly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cool, strain through fine-mesh cloth into a clean bowl. Stir 1 cup of vodka into the mixture until combined. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

**Roasted white acorn squash puree: Quarter and deseed a whole squash, then pierce the squash flesh with 10 to 12 cloves, depending on the size of the squash. Roast at 400°F in an oven-safe pan until the flesh is tender. Allow to cool and remove the cloves. Place the cooled squash in a blender, and pulse until smooth, streaming in cold water until the desired puree consistency is reached. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.