IMBIBE: Witch-Crafty Cocktails

By on October 27, 2015

Ghoulish, not ghastly, drinks are de rigueur for Halloween.

151028ImbibeJackson, WY – We are inundated these days by “craft” cocktails. You can’t shake a rosemary sprig or maple shrub without running into one. But for Halloween, the standard craft cocktail just isn’t going to fly. You’re going to want to serve your adult party guests witch-crafty cocktails that are a little spooky and ghoulish. Here are a handful of my favorites. Feel free to experiment with them and make them your own. Drizzle in a little Type A, for example?

A big bowl of punch on All Hallows Eve is just the ticket. And here is a Halloween punch that packs a punch, called Blood of Innocence. In a large punch bowl combine the following: 1 liter Caliche Rum, 16 ounces Ruby Port, 12 ounces Curaçao liquor, 12 ounces fresh-squeezed and strained orange juice, 12 ounces unsweetened pineapple juice, 8 ounces fresh-squeezed and strained lemon juice, and 8 ounces light agave nectar. Stir well and refrigerate for a minimum of four hours. When ready to serve, add 1 large block of ice, gently stir in 1 bottle Martini & Rossi Prosecco, and garnish with 1 cup of hulled and sliced strawberries, 2 pitted and sliced large lemons, and a handful of mint leaves.

Here’s a really easy and delicious Dracula-inspired cocktail called Vampire’s Weakness (a.k.a. Blood Orange Spritzer). With ice in a shaker, combine 1 1/4 ounces light rum, 4 ounces Merlot wine, and 2 1/2 ounces blood orange soda. Shake and serve in a wine glass or Champagne coupe.

Or, for another take on vampires, here’s how to make Bloody Vampire Punch: Combine 4 cups white rum with 4 cups orange juice, 6 cups pomegranate juice and one-half cup fresh-squeezed lime juice in a big punch bowl or hollowed-out pumpkin. Refrigerate until serving time. When you’re ready to serve the punch, add 1 liter chilled seltzer, preferably pomegranate flavored. For added creep-out factor, toss some gummy vampire fangs, spiders, eyeballs and such into the punch.

Here’s an interesting cocktail created by renowned mixologist and writer Eric Alperin, of The Varnish speakeasy in Los Angeles. It’s called the Holland Razor Blade, a variation of sorts on a Genever Sour. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 2 ounces Genever, 3/4 ounces simple syrup and 3/4 ounces fresh lemon juice. Strain into a couple glasses and sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne pepper. Serve garnished with a razor blade if you dare! (The razor blade is my touch, not Eric’s, who’s more responsible than that.)

There are a number of cocktails called Corpse Revivers. This one—the Corpse Reviver 2—is considered by many to be the tastiest. I don’t disagree. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1 ounce gin, 1 ounce Cointreau or triple sec, 1 ounce Lillet Blanc, and 1 dash absinthe. Shake and strain into a chilled glass and garnish with orange peel.

I like to have Screamin’ Jay Hawkins playing in the background to greet trick-or-treaters at my house on Halloween. Here’s the perfect cocktail accompaniment: I Put a Spell on You, created by Ran Duan of the Baldwin Bar at the Sichuan Garden II in Woburn, Massachusetts. Duan was the 2014 North American Winner of the Bombay Sapphire Most Imaginative Bartender Competition. I Put a Spell on You is a descendant of the Ramos Gin Fizz, but without soda, egg white or cream. So, maybe not-so-like a Ramos, after all. In a shaker without ice, shake together 1 1/2 ounces Bombay Sapphire Gin, 3/4 ounce lemon juice, 1 bar spoon of Greek yogurt, 10 drops orange blossom water, and 1 ounce Earl Grey syrup. Strain into an ice-filled Collins glass and prepare to be bewitched. PJH

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