Halloween is the time for fright and fun, and your cocktails should follow suite. Whether you’re hosting a full-blown costume party or sinking into the couch for a thrilling movie marathon, the Halloween season calls for ghastly libations that are scary good. A mix of tricks and treats, give these show-stopping and delicious drinks a try throughout the month to add a spooky touch to any gathering.
This cocktail is a trick and a treat because it looks like a pumpkin but doesn’t taste like one. The “trick” comes from the pumpkin-topper garnish made with an orange slice and a lime peel “stem.” Underneath is a mix of brandy, orange liqueur, and fizzy ginger ale for a refreshing, slightly vanilla flavor that’s as fun to look at as it is to drink.
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake 1½ ounce cognac, ½ ounce brandy-based orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier), and 1 ounce orange juice.
- Strain into a tumbler glass over fresh ice and top with 2-3 ounces ginger ale.
- Twist a lime-peel slice into the center of an orange wheel and float on top.
Vampire Kiss Martini
This stunning, semi-sweet cocktail gets its blood-red hue from a mix of vodka, raspberry liqueur, and Champagne—and the sparkling bubbles do all the mixing for you, no shaking required. Adding a red sugar rim gives the concoction a dazzling yet frightful finishing touch. Drop wax or gummy vampire teeth into the martini glass for a special surprise.
- Dip a martini glass in a shallow dish of raspberry liqueur (such as Chambord), then roll in red sugar until evenly coated.
- Pour 1½ ounces vodka and ¾ ounce raspberry liqueur into the glass. Top with 1½ ounces Champagne (or sparkling wine).
- Pour another ½ ounce raspberry liqueur over the back of a spoon so it floats on top.
Swamp Water Surprise
This pleasant mix of rum, curaçao and citrus juices takes a creepy turn with the addition of a colorful, gooey “slime” made from vodka-spiked gelatin. You can customize your swamp’s color tone based on the choice of curaçao, with blue curaçao resulting in an eerie aqua glow. Orange curaçao and blue Jell-O slime will give the drink a murkier, more sinister effect.
- In a mixing bowl, dissolve 1 (3-ounce) box of flavored gelatin in boiling water. Stir in ¾ cup vodka and set in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Stir with a whisk to form loose lumps before the gelatin sets up completely.
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour 2 ounces rum, ¼ ounce blue or orange curaçao, ½ ounce lemon juice, and 1 ounce orange juice.
- Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Carefully spoon in 2 tablespoons of “slime.”