Easy Halloween-Themed Drinks & Cocktails
Forget those sickly-sweet kiddie drinks with candy corn, marshmallow ghosts and chocolate dripping all over the place.
These hauntingly good cocktail recipes are decidedly more sophisticated with flavors of the fall season (including pumpkin), yet they’re easy to make and ideal for Halloween or any time of year you feel like scaring up some tasty spirits.
1. Black Cauldron
Scare up this brooding cocktail at Halloween or any time you want a moody libation.
The charcoal gives the drink its dark-as-night hue as well as a light, smoky flavor. Bwahahahaha!
1 1/2 parts Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila
3/4 part fresh lemon juice
1/4 part agave syrup
1/4 part sage simple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 capsule activated charcoal
Method: Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with a lemon slice.
2. Blood and Sand
Named after the 1922 silent film where leading man Rudolph Valentino finds himself bleeding on the sand of a bullfighting ring, the morosely monikered Blood & Sand is a smooth and drinkable classic cocktail that withstands the test of time.
1 oz. Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel
1 oz. orange juice
3/4 oz. Cherry Herring Liqueur
3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
Method: Shake and strain over ice. Serve in a chilled martini or coupe glass. Garnish with flamed orange zest.
3. Corpse Reviver
Ready for a drink so potent it can raise the dead?
Okay, so it might not be that serious, but this favorite first appeared in Harry Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930. Although most folks today enjoy this cocktail after dark, Craddock recommended imbibing before 11 a.m. or whenever a little energy boost was needed.
3/4 oz. gin
3/4 oz. Cointreau
3/4 oz. Lillet Blanc
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 dash absinthe
Method: Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake vigorously with ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.
4. Dark ‘N Stormy
There’s only one official way to do a Dark ‘N Stormy and that’s with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum from Bermuda.
It’s perhaps the simplest drink to make, yet one sip and you’ll understand why this scary-good drink proves that less is more.
1 1/2 oz. Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer
Method: In a tall glass filled with ice add 4 to 5 ounces of Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer and top with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. Garnish with a lime wedge.
5. Oaxacan Trails
This creepy critter cocktail was created by Eric Johnson of Juniper & Ivy in San Diego, California.
You can use any mezcal of choice, but the recipe recommends La Niña del Mezcal Espadin. That might leave a bit more of a dent in your wallet, but Johnson assures the sweet, citrus and spicy notes pair perfectly with the toasty cricket bitters and crisp bite of the celery syrup.
2 oz. mezcal
1/4 oz. celery syrup
5 dashes of Critter Bitters
Method: Add the mezcal and syrup to a dry mixing glass. Fill the glass with ice and use a bar spoon to stir until the mixing glass feels ice cold (about 20 to 40 seconds). Strain into a rocks glass over fresh cubed ice. Add 5 dashes of Critter Bitters to the top of the drink, and enjoy the toasty aroma as you take your first sip.
6. Spiced Orange Pumpkin Bowl
It wouldn’t be a proper Halloween cocktail list without a pumpkin drink. Impress at any party with this orange ale that’s squashingly better than the PSL.
1 medium size pumpkin
4-8 bottles of Crabbie’s Spiced Orange Alcoholic Ginger Beer
2 oranges, sliced
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon allspice
Method: Hollow out a medium size pumpkin and fill halfway with ice. Depending on the size of your pumpkin, pour in 4 to 8 bottles of Crabbie’s Spiced Orange Alcoholic Ginger Beer. Top with sliced oranges.
Loaded with fruit juices and a rum base, this sweet cocktail (invented in 1934 by Donn Beach of “Don the Beachcomber”) sneaks up on you fast, so keep that in mind lest you end up walking around like its namesake.
2 oz. Bacardi Superior
1 3/4 oz. Bacardi Gold
1 oz. Triple Sec liqueur
2 parts orange juice
1 oz. lime juice
1 oz. simple syrup
1/4 oz. grenadine
Method: Pour all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice and shake it up. Strain and pour into a highball glass filled with ice. Stir and garnish with a cherry and orange slice.