5 Halloween cocktails that aren't completely tacky. Maybe.

It’s time to break out the cardboard ghosts and plastic vampire teeth because that most sacred of novelty calendar dates is finally upon us. WoooOOOooo, etc.

Halloween is a great time if you are a child, a parent of a child or a student at a university where the party dorm next door are due to host one of their legendary Monster Mash Balls. I have experience of two of those things, and am pretty sure I’ve seen the other one happen a lot in TV shows, so I know that Halloween can be very exciting.

But for a mixologist? Or pretend mixologist? Or a guy who likes to blog about things he has shaken in a tin? Halloween can often be a time for tackiness. Blood red sugar syrup dripping everywhere, skull-shaped ice cubes, literally the word ‘boo!’ cut out of lemon peel... you name it, if it visually says ‘Halloween’, it’s going in the glass.

And we should embrace it.

Here are a few ‘craft cocktails’ I created that are the equivalent of a cheap Dracula costume in a party shop.


60ml Kraken Rum
30ml Lime Juice
15ml Orange Syrup
2 dashes of Orange Bitters
Blood Orange San Pellegrino

Method: Shake the first four ingredients with ice and strain into a tall glass. Top up with the San Pellegrino and garnish with lime slices and VERY REAL SPIDERS Mwah-ha-ha-hahahaha.
Here’s a really simple riff on a Dark And Stormy, but using Kraken’s Black Rum because MONSTERS and blood orange flavoured San Pellegrino because... blood? I don’t know, but it sounds Halloween-y and that's all that matters.

Pumpkin Spiced Alexander

45ml Pumpkin-Spice-Infused Vodka
30ml Creme De Cacao
25ml Single Cream
Egg white

Method: Shake the first three ingredients with ice, strain into the shaker, add the egg white and shake again without ice. Strain into martini glass and sprinkle cinnamon and grated nutmeg on top.
Here’s an Alexander made with pumpkin-spice-infused vodka and posed next to some #pumpkins because I like to stick to a theme.

Fright For Sore Eyes

45ml Crystal Head Vodka
25ml Ruby Blue Spirits Wild Blueberry Liqueur
15ml Gabriel Boudier Lychee Liqueur
15ml Sugar Syrup

Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with inventive eyeballs and vaguely spookily shaped bottles.
I wish I could say that I thought about these flavours working together and put a halloween spin on them, but actually I just really wanted to make this blueberry-in-lychee eyeball garnish and worked backwards from there. Including using Crystal Head Vodka for extra anatomical ghoulishness.

Brockmans Halloween Cocktail

40ml Brockmans Gin
10ml Drambuie
25ml Lemon Juice
20ml Honey and Heather Syrup
50ml Pineapple Juice
3 Drops of Black Food Colouring

Method: Shake all ingredients and serve over cubed ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge fan, and spray of edible gold glitter on the outside of the glass.
This drink - created by Brockmans Gin - is a delicious mix of tropical fruit, spice and herb with a dramatic, spooky twist for Halloween. It helps that the Brockmans bottle design already looks totally metal, of course.

Bloody Ne-Groan-i

30ml Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin
30ml Amaro Montenegro
30ml Sweet Vermouth

Method: Build the drink in the glass over ice, express orange peel and stir. Garnish with your second attempt at carving an orange peel into the shape of a bat while being grateful that no one will ever see the first one.
Sometimes, when planning a themed cocktail, life just gives you an ingredient that’s almost too easy to choose. Which is why I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to make at least one Halloween cocktail with Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin. I mean, it’s there in the name.
There we go. Now I don't need to worry about novelty drinks for a whole yea... oh, wait. CHRISTMAS.

Tags: Halloween, Calendar Dates

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