It’s that time of year again: swirling mists, plump orange pumpkins, re-runs of Cujo on T.V and listicles peddling zany Halloween cocktails. But super-sweet syrups, dubious looking food dyes and a zeppelin-load of dry ice don’t actually make for cocktails that taste that great. And don’t forget bizarre titles invented using the Random Halloween Cocktail Name Generator (Wizard Plasma – why not? Vampire Scabies – sure, sounds nice!).
We want to save you the nightmare of trying out these crazy concoctions with a few, less wacky, recommendations of our own. These are cocktail classics: grown-up drinks made using the best ingredients, such as artisan gins, specially blended malt whiskeys and pure-tasting vodka. This way your guests won’t get any scary surprises when they take a sip. Plus you’ll actually want to keep the ingredients hanging around for sharing at Bonfire Night, Christmas and beyond. Sound good? Read on…
A cocktail that you’d drink with your eggs Benedict at a fancy brunchery may not sound that scary, but if you’ve ever played the Bloody Mary game as a child you’ll know that it can be very creepy indeed. All together now, stand in front of a mirror in a darkened room, say ‘Bloody Mary’ three times and just maybe the ghost of a Protestant-burning Tudor queen will turn up to steal your cocktail. And who could blame her when it tastes this good?
Make a Bloody Mary – you’ll need:
- 150ml tomato juice
- A generous glug of vodka (2 shots should do it)
- Juice of ½ a lemon
- Worcestershire sauce to taste
- Tabasco sauce to taste
- A pinch of salt and pepper
Use a tall tumbler and put your ice cubes in first before adding the vodka. Next add in the rest of the ingredients, giving it a good stir. Season to taste and adjust the tabasco/ Worcestershire sauce ratio as you see fit.
Zombies should be terrifying, but aren’t because they move slower than me at a self-service checkout and have very poor hand-eye co-ordination. Nevertheless, George A. Romero and Sam Raimi have embedded the zombie into Halloween lore with their Night of the Living Dead and Evil Dead films respectively, so we think the Zombie cocktail earns its place on the table. Just one sip and you’ll develop an insatiable craving for pastry witches’ fingers and fondant-eyeball cupcakes rather than human flesh, we hope.
Make a Zombie (serves 4) – you’ll need:
- 100 ml Ron Barceló Imperial Rum
- 30ml lime juice
- 2 dashes grenadine
- 100ml orange juice
- Lots of ice
- Orange slices to serve
Add the lime juice, grenadine and rum to a cocktail shaker and give it a good shake. Fill four highball glasses with ice and then pour over the mix. Add slices of orange and a maraschino cherry for a touch of Tiki-style magic.
The classic Old Fashioned is far more spooky than you’d think: old-fashioned things include penny farthings, shell suits and other undeniably scary items, after all. If that’s too much of a Halloween-themed stretch, then this deliciously autumnal blend of Ezra Brooks bourbon – packed with tempting honey, baked-pear and spice flavours – is perfect for warming up post-firework party on November 5th.
Make an Old Fashioned – you’ll need:
- 60ml Ezra Brooks Bourbon
- 1 sugar cube
- 2 dashes of Angustora Bitter
- A few of ice cubes
- A splash of water
Add your sugar cube to a short tumbler with a dash of water and stir until dissolved. Add the bitters and ice cubes before splashing in the Bourbon. Stir and garnish with a slice of orange and a maraschino cherry for extra retro cool points.
Gin and Pomegranate Fizz
‘Mwahaha, welcome to my castle – ignore the various torture devices scattered around and settle yourself on the spiderweb-embellished chaise longue while I mix you up a devilish…. Pomegranate and Gin Fizz’. No, doesn’t sound very scary we grant you. But the ombre-crimson hue is evocative of a freshly bitten neck and it tastes so delicious that no one will care that it doesn’t have a creepy name. Plus it’s made with our exceptional London Dry Gin, made with organic coriander, angelica and orris which add layers of spice and complexity. Our building of origin, The Royal Albert Hall proudly emblazons the label, which is haunted (probably).
Make a Gin and Pomegranate Fizz – you’ll need:
- 75ml The Society’s London Dry Gin
- 150ml pomegranate juice
- 300ml The Society’s Prosecco
Fill Champagne flutes with the gin, topped up with pomegranate juice (equal proportions in each glass) before topping up with Prosecco. Simple!