Gore is more when it comes to Halloween cocktails.
From classics like bloody mary to new-fangled libations inspired by the trend for all things vampiric, mixologists are seeing red for the annual celebration of things fun and ghoulish.
Chef Richard Garcia of 606 Congress at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront likes to play on the classics with his "Ghost of Mary," a drink where the "blood" of the tomato juice swirls around in the glass.
He uses vodka mixed over ice with his own special "ghost mix" of tomato-vegetable juice cocktail, lemons and seasonings, then strained to create an effect of blood swirling around in the glass. For a shortcut, you can just buy some bloody mary mix and strain it in a coffee filter to remove some of the solids.
"Ghost of Mary is bloody good fun," says Garcia. "It's a drink with enough kick to haunt you, just the kind of Bloody Mary you want to drink by the full moonlight."
At BANK Cafe and Bar in Napa, bartenders will be making a "blood and sand," a classic cocktail that is believed to have gotten its name from the 1922 bullfighter movie of that name starring Rudolf Valentino. The red of cherry brandy brings the "blood" to this drink, which also includes scotch, sweet vermouth and orange juice.
BANK bar manager Lou D'Angelo looked forward to mixing up a few for Halloween revelers, especially those who emulate the vampires so popular in movies and TV shows.
"It makes a really nice-looking Halloween cocktail. It's not quite red and it's not quite orange, it's just got that blend of in between. It's a fun cocktail," says D'Angelo.
And if All Soul's Day should find you feeling like the ghost of your former self, there's always the "corpse reviver," a drink featuring, among other things, gin and absinthe.
"It's just one of those cocktails," says Jeff Fairbanks, lead bartender at EPIC Roasthouse in San Francisco. "It's a classic. It's got a lot of history. It tastes great, and it was intended to be drunk before noon."
BLOOD AND SAND
Start to finish: 5 minutes
3/4 ounce Johnnie Walker Black Scotch
3/4 ounce cherry liqueur
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce orange juice
1 thin strip orange zest
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the scotch, cherry liqueur, vermouth and orange juice. Strain into a martini glass, then garnish with the strip of zest.
(Recipe from BANK Bar and Cafe in Napa, Calif.)
Start to finish: 5 minutes
1 ounce gin
1 ounce Lillet (blanc)
1 ounce triple sec
Juice of half a lemon
5 drops of absinthe
1 thin slice orange
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the gin, Lillet, triple sec, lemon juice and absinthe. Strain into a martini glass, then garnish with the orange slice.
(Recipe from Epic Roasthouse in San Francisco)
Start to finish: 5 minutes active, plus steeping
Makes about 1 liter
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup pomegranate juice
750-millileter bottle vodka
In a blender combine all ingredients. Pulse several times to just chop the fruit. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to several days.
Pour the vodka and fruit mixture through a mesh strainer. Press the solids to extract as much liquid as possible, then discard the solids. The infused vodka can be sipped straight, chilled, or cut with apple cider, ginger ale or coconut cream.
(Recipe from AP Food Editor J.M. Hirsch)