Let’s get serious, people. Pumpkin drinks are everywhere right about now, and since this only happens once a year, we need to be very meticulous in our drink selections. Don’t waste the fall season drinking sub-par beverages when you can delight your pumpkin-deprived taste buds with utter deliciousness.

If you like pumpkin as much as I do, you recognize that is serious business indeed.

The key to finding the best pumpkin drinks is to find a place where they use fresh ingredients and don’t rely on ten thousand pounds of sugar to give the beverage its flavor. I humbly suggest that you head to a locally owned place if you really want the best options. I’m not necessarily saying that the huge chains that are peppered all over the United States (and beyond) can’t deliver an excellent pumpkin drink, but I guess what I’m saying is that – pause while I phrase this in a delicate way – in my experience, it’s the locally owned places that will really delight you.

If you’re ready to get serious about finding the best pumpkin drinks, consider my three favorite places to visit during the fall months to get my pumpkin drink fix.

Scooter’s Pumpkin Smoothie

There are some people I know who wait all year long for Scooter’s pumpkin smoothie. Sure, they’ll tide themselves over with other smoothies, but it isn’t until fall begins and the pumpkin smoothie is again available that these folks feel as though they’re truly living.

The pumpkin smoothie tastes a lot like sucking a pumpkin pie through a straw. That may not sound like the most elegant way to enjoy pumpkin, but my goodness, it’s amazing. Just pace yourself so you don’t wind up with a brain freeze.

I would give you the address to Scooter’s, but seriously, they’re everywhere. Just get in your car and start driving; you’ll find one, even if you leave the state. And that’s a good thing for this business that started in Bellevue.

Dundee Double Shot’s Pumpkin Spice Chai

I like chai and I like pumpkin. So the gods must have been smiling upon me when they whispered into the ear of whoever comes up with drink ideas at Dundee Double Shot because as far as I’m concerned, combining chai and pumpkin into one beverage is perfection.

This is a good one for those of you who like to add chai spices upon your pumpkin spices. While that may seem like an awful lot of spices, you’ll likely discover that the flavor is quite nice. Whether you go through the drive-thru or stop inside to stare at the fish tank for a while, Dundee Double Shot is a good place to indulge in some pumpkin beverage goodness.

Dundee Double Shot: 118 North 50th Street

Tripointe Coffeehouse’s Albino Pumpkin Latte

Tripointe Coffeehouse in downtown Papillion is my go-to coffeehouse when I’m on deadline for a couple reasons. First off, the conversations that take place there are always really interesting to listen to, and secondly, the coffee is quite good. I have to wonder what my face looked like when the barista told me that they’re offering an albino pumpkin latte for the fall season. I imagine my eyes bugged out and perhaps my jaw dropped a little. Did I mention I really like pumpkin?

Like most of the other coffeehouses I’ve mentioned, Tripointe offers a bunch of different pumpkin drinks, so if a pumpkin latte isn’t your thing (although it really should be), ask the barista to make you a smoothie or whatever you have a hankering for.

They also offer car-side service, so call ahead and they’ll bring the drink out to your car.

Tripointe Coffeehouse: 138 North Washington Street, Papillion

What comes after fall and pumpkin drinks? Winter, of course, and for me that means chocolate mint drinks. As far as I’m concerned, it’s one of the consolations of enduring sub-zero temperatures and piles of snow.

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