Let’s get honest about something - Halloween is fun for us older folks (and that’s anyone who is over 21) because of the drinkable treats (and still the candy.) From candy corn cocktails, to zombie cocktails, to Jekyll & Gin, Halloween spirits only add to the excitement.
Boo-sy fun begins with scary spirits. Both Crystal Head Vodka and Outer Space Vodka have bottle shapes that add intrigue and excitement to your bar (and once emptied, can become a permanent Halloween decoration), but there are also Death’s Door Gin, Sugar Skull Rum, Ghost Tequila Blanco, Rogue Dead Guy Whiskey and Jim Beam’s Devil’s Cut Bourbon that round out your Halloween hosting with numerous spirited options. Spend a little time exploring your favorite ABC and you might be shocked at all the diabolical possibilities, enough to awaken anyone’s palate, alive or dead.
If you do a quick search on the web you will also find an amazing array of scary cocktails, some of which seem to come with special effects (often just a little bit of dry ice to give a mystified misty appearance). One of my least favorite Halloween candies makes some of my favorite cocktails: candy corn. Create a cocktail with layers that mimics the design of candy corn. Just get some martini glasses and your cocktail shaker. Regular vodka works, but I prefer Pinnacle Whipped flavor vodka, about 1 1/2 ounces, combined in a shaker with 3 ounces of sour mix, 2 ounces of pineapple juice and ice. Shake that thing hard enough to wake the dead and pour into your martini glass. Slowly pour a ½ ounce of grenadine syrup to settle at the bottom and top with whipped cream. If you are careful you get the perfect layers that match a candy corn and not some horrible bloody mess.
Zombies are still all the rage, and the drinks are pretty darn good too. Take some of your Sugar Skull Tribal Silver Rum, decorated like something out of “The Day of the Dead” in Mexican tradition, 1 ounce of Bacardi Light Rum and 1 ounce of Bacardi Black Rum and add to a shaker with 1 ounce of apricot brandy, 2 ounces of orange juice and a dash of lime bitters. Pour over ice in a tall glass and float 1/2 ounce of 151rum on the top. Garnish with a blood orange slice or a cherry.
Another special effect drink requires a black light and some Death’s Door Gin. Sometimes called a Jekyll & Gin (or a Jekyll & Hyde) this drinks uses Q tonic water, which magically glows in the dark under a black light. Get that shaker and add 3 ounces of gin, ½ ounce of lemon juice and a teaspoon of grenadine, give it shake and pour into a tall glass with ice and top the glass off with tonic water. You can garnish with a glow stick and serve under black light to get a spooky effect from the quinine.
Be creative and maintain your devilish sense of humor. Halloween parties are all the rage so plan ahead, set your bar with some spooky bottles, create some creepy concoctions, and party like it’s 1999.