Pumpkins aren’t just sold whole this time of year, they are also incorporated into beverages — including beer.
The Local Craft Food & Drink, 150 Giralda Ave. in Coral Gables, has about five pumpkin beers on tap as a part of their rotating menu.
Those beers include Harpoon brewery’s UFO Pumpkin and Post Road Pumpkin Ale from Brooklyn Brewery, which Abel Alicea, 42, drank on a recent visit.
“That was a good one,” said Alicea, a Coral Gables resident. “I usually don’t go for pumpkin beers, but it had a good flavor and was smooth.”
Pumpkin-flavored beer will remain on tap at The Local until the end of the year and ranges in price from about $6 to $8.
While most pumpkin-flavored beverages are seasonal, pumpkin-flavored coffee can be found year-round at the Alaska Coffee Roasting Company, 13130 Biscayne Blvd in North Miami Beach.
Of course, there is a spike in sales this time of year.
Prices for a cup of pumpkin-spice latte range from about $3.55 for a small to about $4.55 for a large.
“It tastes like pumpkin,” said Scotty Brown, 52, who is from the Little Haiti area. “I am a coffee guy, and this is the best I have had.”
The store also sells pumpkin baked goods from a rotating bakery menu to go with the pumpkin lattes.
These treats include pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie and pumpkin muffins — all of which range in price from about $2 to about $5 and are sold seasonally.
When Martha Villalba hosts her Halloween and Thanksgiving parties, she doesn’t go the traditional route and serve her guests pumpkin pie — she gives them pumpkin cupcakes.
“It’s so good. I love pumpkin,” said Villalba, a Pinecrest resident who purchases the treats from Clarabelle’s Cupcakes & Other Creations at 9800 SW 77th Ave., in the Kendall area. “They are so flavorful here.”
Jessica Knopf, creator and owner of Clarabelle’s, said pumpkins trigger fond memories.
“When people smell the pumpkin, they think of brown leaves and fall,” she said, adding that “people tend to be more lenient about their diets and allow themselves to enjoy sweets a little more.”
The bakery sells pumpkin cupcakes, such as a pumpkin-spice cupcake with maple rum buttercream, a pumpkin-chip cupcake with fudge frosting, and a pumpkin-pie cupcake with maple cream-cheese frosting.
The cupcakes sell for about $2.50 for a regular-size cupcake and $1 for a mini. They also sell a pumpkin loaf for about $15.
All products from the bakery are dairy-free and kosher and are on sale now until about January, but the bakery will make them on request any time of the year.
The Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe, 9549 Sunset Dr. in the Pinecrest area, also sells pumpkin-inspired treats during autumn.
Their selection includes pumpkin whoopie pies, which range in price from $2.50-$4, depending on their size.
The bakery also serves various cupcake flavors that incorporate pumpkin, such as the maple pumpkin cupcake, which is a pumpkin-spice cake topped with maple cream cheese frosting, and the “jack o’lantern,” a pumpkin-spice cake with chocolate chips topped with cream cheese frosting. Prices for them start at $1 for a mini cupcake.
“I think people relate this time of year to family; certain flavors trigger those memories, pumpkin especially," said owner Stephanie Diaz-Perez.
Beautified for fall
Eric Vasallo, 43, is among those who get into autumn by incorporating pumpkin into his life.
Vasallo treats himself to a pumpkin facial at the Skin Institute Day Spa, 13499 Biscayne Blvd. in North Miami, when he needs a little more of that pumpkin fix.
“It’s so soothing,” Vasallo said as he got a pumpkin mask placed on his face. “It just calms you and makes you feel like you’re home.”
It turns out that pumpkin has some nurturing qualities.
Sheila Treadway, the director of the spa, said the organic facial will brighten and rejuvenate skin partly because of its concentration of vitamins and beta-carotene, which is an antioxidant.
The spa offers the pumpkin facial year-round, but like the food locations, they see a spike in requests during the fall.
“During the holidays, we do see more requests,” said Treadway. “I think it has something to do with Americana, it makes people think of Thanksgiving with pumpkin pie.”