Forget Pumpkin Spice, Nutmeg Is Timeless

Pumpkin spice may be sprinkled into everything you hold dear these days, but nutmeg, with its subtle flavor and rich history in cocktails should really be the star of the show, writes M. Carrie Allen of the Washington Post.

Coupling particularly well with brandy, rum and tiki cocktails, nutmeg has an indescribable quality that can transport you “somewhere exotic, surrounded by blue waters and fringed with orchids and jasmine,” when it’s not providing warm autumnal sensations. That’s because the spice, which is grated from the the seed of the nutmeg fruit, has a lineage in tropical locales.

Nutmeg was one of Western European trading companies’ most valuable commodities; they would sell it at a 60,000 percent markup upon bringing it back to England and the Netherlands from the Banda Islands of Australia where it was available for less than a tenth of a cent per pound. This value, along with the spice’s notable flavor, is likely what led to its incorporation into many of the drinks which originated in the East Indies, including the punches we all know and love.

Beat that backstory, pumpkin spice. [The Washington Post] [Photo: Flickr/Simo Ubuntu]