pumpkin juice

This post originally appeared over at Cooking the Book.

It’s Thirsty Thursday, which is the happiest of days, but the backstory here is a little heavy. Feel free to skip the next couple paragraphs, if you want. I will not be offended in the slightest.

Jump to Recipe

How it all began

A little over 16 years ago, I was in the hospital. I was 38 weeks pregnant, had preeclampsia, and was in labor. In what quickly became the worst day of my life, I learned that we had lost the baby and I was going to be staying in the hospital while they worked to get me stabilized. It was a terrible nightmare of an experience, but through it all, there was a bright spot.

Besides my family, the one person I saw consistently for the three days I was in the hospital was my night nurse. She was about my age and was the only hospital employee who talked to me about anything other than my health or the loss I had just experienced. It was a comfort that someone outside my immediate family could still see me as a person and not just as a set of symptoms or a devastated mother. It was the very first step to moving forward after my life’s sudden detour.

During one of the long nights when she had to wake me up every hour to take my blood pressure, she asked me if I had read Harry Potter. I had not, although the first two had been released in the states by that time, and several people had recommended them to me. My nurse told me that the first one had really helped her through a tough time in her life and that she thought I should check it out. Within a few months, I had read the first two and was anxiously awaiting the third.


Harry has now been with me through that tragedy, divorce, and remarriage. My oldest son has read every book and seen every movie. Harry and all his friends (and enemies…and frenemies…) have traveled full circle with me. I’ve never seen that nurse again. If she’s out there somewhere, I hope maybe she reads this and remembers and knows that I still think of her from time to time. She made a difference and I hope Harry still brings her as much happiness as he brings me.

pumpkin juice

Cool Story, But What About the Food?

But why am I telling you all of this? Well, the Harry Potter series is full of food references. There are recipes galore on the interwebs for anyone who goes looking. Last summer, my family went to the Universal Orlando Resort where Harry Potter reigns supreme. You can eat at The Three Broomsticks or grab yourself a Butterbeer from a “street” vendor. The folks at Universal have created two amazing worlds and I highly recommend you make the trip if you can. If you can’t, well, I can help you out with part of the experience (the food part…but you probably realized that.)

I have plans to try out many of the foods and drinks mentioned in the series, but today I’m starting with Pumpkin Juice. My version is not too sweet and can be served hot or cold. It takes a few minutes, but taking the time to simmer it really deepens the flavors and makes your house smell all fallish and lovely. I based it off the ingredient list for the pumpkin juice you can buy at Universal and I think I got pretty close. At any rate it’s delicious. Whip some up for your next Harry Potter marathon, be it book or movie!

Pumpkin Juice for Young Wizards and Witches

Fall in a glass.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Drinks
Keyword: Juice, Pumpkin
Servings: 8


  • 4 cups apple juice or cider
  • 3 cups peach nectar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves


  • Add apple juice, peach nectar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves to medium saucepan and bring to boil.
  • Reduce heat and add pumpkin puree and vanilla.
  • Simmer 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve warm or chill and serve cold.

If you would like more information about preeclampsia, please visit the Preeclampsia Foundation. Knowing the signs and symptoms can save lives.

*Disclaimer-I claim no ownership to media mentioned in this post. The Harry Potter series and all related items belong to J.K. Rowling, Warner Brothers, and all respective entities. Commentary is my own.*

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