Cocktails

Make creepy (but tasty) Halloween cocktails

Oct. 31, 2012 at 11:22 AM ET

Lisa Feather /
Use radishes and olives to pop a little "eyeball" in your Halloween cocktail.

We all know that Halloween isn’t just for the kids – these days, it’s quite the elegant adult affair. For your soiree, don’t settle for pouring a regular gimlet or glass of wine. Try these tips to make your signature Halloween drink a scary, gross or just plain bizarre one. 

Halloween-hued drinks

Why would you settle for a clear or pink-colored drink on the scariest night of the year?  This is the night to get campy and have a good time with themes, and using colored liquors is one of the best ways to do that. There are now black vodkas for sale, as well as blood-hued liquors (like black currant varieties), and green ones (flavored with mint or melon). If all else fails, go for some food coloring in your favorite clear booze. Follow Greasy Guide’s recipe for the ominously dark Black Cat cocktail to get you started.

Story: Why candy corn is so loved (but also really hated)

Eyeballs in vodka

Of course, you can stick with a classic martini, and in that case you will have to jazz it up another way. Lisa Feather at My Own Sweet Thyme fixes the boring drink issue by adding radish “eyeballs” into the drink. She peels each radish, digs a pit and stuffs them with pimento-stuffed olives for pupils. Just be aware that the combination of bloodshot eyes and the effect of the alcohol may leave more than one partygoer afraid of her own drink.

My Jello Americans /
Skull Jell-O shots

Grown-up Jell-O shots

These shots, invented by the genius minds at My Jello Americans, are no less than works of art that are surprisingly easy to make. Skull molds are filled with strawberry cream flavored tequila, regular tequila and powdered gelatin before being refrigerated to set. The fully set Jell-O shots are then painstakingly painted with food coloring to create a Frida Kahlo-esque day of the dead mask.  The effect is haunting, nostalgic, and absolutely fun. They might look beautiful, but they taste even better. 

Gross out your guests

Halloween isn’t’ just about being scared, as any kid can tell you. It’s also about being grossed out. Try Geekosystem’s take on the well-known Alien Brain Hemorrhage cocktail. This cocktail includes a a cream-based liquor in a shot glass alongwith a clear liquor. The cream-based liquor separates, making it look like, well, an alien brain hemorrhage. 

Halloween candy cocktails

Have some candy bars around the house?  Crush them, then dip a marshmallow cream lined martini glass in them to create a sweetly rimmed cocktail glass, a perfect vessel for a pumpkin or apple cider-infused cocktail. Or, follow Serious Eats’ candy and cocktail pairing guide to learn what liquors pairs with what candies. Twix with ginger liqueur? Don’t mind if I do. 

Here are a few thematic cocktail recipes from Todd Richman at Sidney Frank Imports to get you started at home:

The Darkest Night

In a shaker combine:

  • 1.5 parts Jägermeister
  • ¾ parts fresh lemon juice
  • 2 parts apple cider

Shake well with ice, strain into a rocks glass and garnish with an orange peel

Eyes of the Ghost

In a shaker combine:

  • 3/4 parts Michael Collins 10 year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey
  • 3/4 parts fresh Orange juice
  • 3/4 parts Cherry Heering Liqueur
  • ½ part Campari

Shake well with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

Trapped in a Cave

In a coffee mug combine:

  • 4 parts Hot Black Tea
  • 2 parts Bärenjäger Honey and Bourbon
  • ½ part Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur

Stir gently and garnish with a lemon wheel.

For more from Sarah Spigelman, visit her blog, Fritos and Foie Gras.

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