Scary Good, But Not Scary Sweet

Do most candy-sweet Halloween cocktails make you scream? There are so many other great aspects of the holiday - the ghosts, the ghouls, the scary movies and spooky tales, not to mention an excuse to dress up in costumes and disguises, escape reality for a spell. As adults, we should have outgrown the need for so much sugar (OK, maybe a peanut butter cup or good piece of dark chocolate to celebrate), but we haven't outgrown our fascination with things that go bump in the night.

We should be drinking adult cocktails! But really cool ones.

Here are three cocktails for Halloween, or any occasion, really, that are all dressed up, but taste delightful, not frightful.

Wake In Fright
Wake In Fright

Wake In Fright

by Patrick Halloran, the Jakewalk

After more than two, that's what you will do....

  • 2 oz (60ml) Green Chartreuse
  • 1 oz (30 ml) Wray and Nephew rum
  • 1 oz (30 ml) Bank's 5 Island White Rum
  • 1 oz (30 ml) fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz (30 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • .5 oz (15 ml) cinnamon syrup (1:1 simple infused with 2 cinnamon sticks)
  • .5 oz (15 ml) simple syrup
  • pinch salt
  • Dash each of Angostura, Bitterman's Elemakule Tiki Bitters, Hellfire bitters
  • Fernet Vallet  (use Branca if you can't find Vallet)

Combine all ingredients except Fernet in a shaker with ice. Shake until well-chilled. Strain into rocks-filled Collins glass. Using a barspoon, float a layer of the Fernet over the top of the drink, letting it ooze downwards. Best drunk through a straw, to experience the layer of flavors as the Fernet settles into the drink, otherwise it's all you taste upfront!

The Warlock's Hat
The Warlock's Hat

The Warlock's Hat

This recipe comes from David Wondrich, as prepared by Timothy Miner. It's a festive, delicious flaming drink you'll want all winter round.

Add all ingredients except lime and rum to a cocktail shaker and shake with ice until well-chilled. Strain into a coupe of cocktail glass. Float the lime peel side down in the glass and very carefully pour the rum into it. Set on fire. Amaze your friends! Just don't burn the place down, eh?

The Sexy Pumpkin Creampie

by furchtbar

furchtbar's note: The Pumpkin Brew within is deep and heavy, calling for a spirit that can stand up to it and balance the sweetness, so Maker’s is the obvious choice. The intense bourbon aromatics go great with the mixture of sweet

The Pumpkin Creampie, in costume as a brick wall! Trick or Treat!
The Pumpkin Creampie, in costume as a brick wall! Trick or Treat!

pumpkin, with the binding addition of red wine. Though before your gums get to enjoy this pleasure your nose will get a lovely whiff of hibiscus, whilst your lips savor a lingering kiss of the creamy Hibiscus Mix.

Not too stiff, not too shallow, just right to enjoy while some weird kids run about raising hell.

  • 1.5 oz  (45 ml) Maker’s Mark Bourbon (or another intensely flavored bourbon)
  • about 3/4 oz (25ml) Supercalifrigalisticexpialidocious Pumpkin Brew*1
  • about .7 oz (20ml) Hibiscus Mix*2
  • 1 tsp dark chocolate splinters

Method: pour Bourbon and Supercali… Pumpkin Brew in a Boston shaker on ice and shake hard, strain in a pre-chilled coupe, layer foamed Hibiscus Mix*3 on top and sprinkle dark chocolate splinters over it.

*1: Cook up 3 parts of 1:1 pumpkin pulp and water (canned puree also does the trick, but where’s the fun in that?), 2 parts red wine (something medium dry and very rich) and 1 part sugar. Let cool down. Strain through a sieve layered with papertowel.

*2: equal parts Sorel Hibiscus liqueur and heavy cream

*3: either stir up with an aerolatte or put in a Boston shaker with a spiral (the spirally wiry thingamajig from a Hawthorne strainer) and shake the living hell out of it.