A classic cocktail if ever there was one. I like to start with a glass full of ice, a good glug of vodka and a decent-quality tomato juice. Everyone has their favourite seasonings but I tend to go for a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce, a touch of Tabasco or some horseradish – fresh, grated if possible, then a pinch of celery salt and a crack of black pepper. Ideally, I like to garnish with a huge stick of celery as well as a large wedge of lemon.
A ghoulish rum-based punch made with a blend of dark and white rum (often overproof), topped up with pineapple juice, and a couple of good squeezes of lime and/or pink grapefruit, a touch of pastis and a dash of grenadine. Garnish with cherries and mint.
Toffee Apple Sour
I always think Calvados is a great autumnal spirit and would be a good idea for a grown-up treat for Bonfire Night too. Shake the Calvados with egg white, lemon juice, and a squeeze of agave syrup, golden syrup or toffee sauce and serve in some chic glasses for lovely warming treat.
Pumpkin Spiced Old Fashioned
I love to make an old fashioned with plenty of bourbon, stirred over ice and a simple syrup (dissolve a lot of dark brown sugar into a small amount of water), with a few shakes of angostura bitters, garnished with a twist of orange peel. At Halloween, however, I might swap the bitters for a more spiced orange-based bitter, add a cinnamon stick and possibly a dash of pumpkin spiced syrup (now widely available for coffees).
A twist on a gin martini – shake gin with both red and dry white vermouth and a little triple sec. Lengthen with a dash of orange juice (blood orange juice looks great) and serve with citrus-peel garnish.