If there’s one holiday that gives anyone an excuse to dress up as their favorite superhero or villain, gorge on candy, dance the night away and watch scary movies with glee, it's Halloween. It may be known as the scariest day of the year, but it can also be the most fun, especially if you’re throwing a haunting Halloween party that will surely frighten the pants off any guest. To jumpstart the festivities, why not prepare some spooky spirits with ghoulish garnishes that are creepy and downright eerie? While our favorite Halloween cocktails are dangerously delicious, some are more menacing than others. However, each conjures up monsters from your nightmares and reveals tales of doom and gloom. Whether you’re looking to satisfy a vampire, witch, or zombie at your bash, here are the top Halloween cocktails that’ll have patrons howling from delight.
Best Halloween Booze: Sour Witch
There’s no need to wave a wand to make the Sour Witch come to life. Made by cocktail guru Jonathan Pogash, this Sour Witch will leave you feeling as if you’re flying away on a broomstick, but beware, this elixir isn’t as sweet as Harry Potter. The Sour Witch is no laughing matter because it packs a powerful bitter punch, all thanks to tangy cherries that will leave you aching from pain and perhaps even pleasure if you’re brave enough to drink it all the way through. Don’t be fooled by its soft baby pink hue and elegant champagne flute glass, this drink features hypnotic absinthe that, according to legend, can cause hallucinations beyond your wildest imagination.
1 1/2 oz. Absinthe (We used Lucid)
3/4 oz. Almond Syrup
1/2 oz. Lime juice
3 or 4 Pitted sour cherries
Sparkling wine or champagne
In the bottom of a mixing glass, muddle the sour cherries in the lime juice and almond syrup. Add absinthe with ice and shake very well. Strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine or champagne. Garnish with grated nutmeg for some added spice.
Best Halloween Booze: Goblin Ghoulade
Halloween is the only holiday of the year where you can scare your friends to death and let’s face it, tricks are for kids. If you’re looking for a unique way to frighten guests, don’t settle on spending hours learning how to apply plastic wounds from the 99 cent store. Goblin Ghoulade is so easy to make that it's mind boggling, especially because tart cranberry juice and sweet black raspberry liqueur can make any cocktail look like blood. For some added effect, an “eyeball” made of radish and blueberry is added on top, warning visitors of what can happen to them if they leave your party early. Do you dare to take the first taste?
1 oz. Vodka (We used Finlandia)
1 oz. Black raspberry liqueur (We used Chambord)
1 oz. Roses lime juice
1 oz. Cranberry juice
Pour all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake. Strain drink into a martini glass. To create the eyeballs, peel 1 radish per glass and leave some red skin to form veins. Hollow out center of radish and place a small blueberry to form the eye. Serve eyeball floating or on a drink skewer.
Best Halloween Booze: Vampire Martini
Vampires are all the rage this season. From the tween favorite Twilight, to the steamy Jennifer’s Body, everyone is hooked on these blood-sucking creatures of the night, possessing ghost white skin that’s colder than death and mesmerizing crimson lips. Don’t miss your chance to quench your thirst with a bloody drink that drips red sugar into champagne, vodka and black raspberry liqueur. Party until sunrise with this delicious, sinful treat!
1 ½ oz. Chilled vodka (We used Finlandia)
1 ½ oz. Champagne (We used Korbel)
¾ oz. Black Raspberry Liqueur (We used Chambord)
Red food coloring
Wax vampire teeth (Optional)
Rim a martini glass with sugar dipped in red food color. You can also drop in a set of wax vampire teeth for a real surprise. Pour vodka and half of black raspberry liqueur in martini glass. Top with champagne and pour the remaining black raspberry liqueur over the back of a spoon to make it float.
Best Halloween Booze: Jack-o-Lantern Punch
No Halloween festivity is complete without a scary Jack-o-Lantern to warn guests of what can happen if the devil takes captive of your soul. This year, change things up by serving a delish (or shall we say devilish) rum punch right inside a pumpkin. Originally designed by mixologist Phil Ward of Mayahuel in New York City, the Jack-o-Lantern Punch can be prepared at home and then taken to your Halloween destination for a special treat. It’s as easy as pumpkin pie! Best of all, the right rum can unite hints of caramel and vanilla notes with cloves and apple juice, making the Jack-o-Lantern the ultimate Halloween party punch.
2 oz. Rum (We used Flor De Caña 7-year Grand Reserve)
4 Sugar cubes
3 oz. Club soda
2 Whole cloves
1 Pinch of nutmeg
1 oz. Lemon juice
2 oz. Apple juice
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Dissolve the sugar cubes in 1 oz. of club soda. Muddle the cloves with the sugar cubes. After the sugar cubes and cloves dissolved, add the rest of the ingredients one at a time and stir as added. Then, add ice once all of the ingredients have been added and stirred. After that, stir the punch until it is chilled. Strain the punch into a glass, punch bowl, or carved out pumpkin depending on the size of the portion. Top punch with 2 oz. club soda and garnish with apple slices, cinnamon sticks, and pumpkin seeds.
Best Halloween Booze: Black Cat Martini
Now here is one kitty we wouldn’t mind passing by. While black cats have often been associated with bad luck, in some parts of the world they symbolize the opposite. With a drink like the Black Cat Martini, we can understand why. The Black Cat Martini is from Elegant Affairs, a five-star event planning service that works with countless celebrities and socialites. As a result, holding a Black Cat Martini means that you’re rich enough to host a star-studded Halloween bash that requires a password for admission. If you can’t even afford a white sheet to dress up as a ghost, no fear because this Black Cat will certainly make you feel lucky.
1 part Black vodka
1 part Chambord
Shake ingredients over ice and strain into a martini glass.
Best Halloween Booze: Poisoned Apple
Double, double toil and trouble-that’s exactly what you should expect if you’re brave enough to take on two Poisoned Apples. This isn’t a fantasy from Walt Disney, but it would surely make any Snow White pass out if swallowed in full. The Poisoned Apple looks seemingly harmless with its enchanting jade hue and fresh herbs floating in the elixir, but a concoction of wine, brandy, Southern Comfort, and nectar from the plant used for tequila can only cause mayhem if enjoyed too leisurely. Sip with caution!
1 oz. Licor 43
1 oz. Apple Juice
1/2 oz. Southern Comfort
1 oz. Cabernet (We used Yellow Tail)
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass except Cabernet. Shake with ice and strain over ice in a tall glass. Top with cabernet. Stir before drinking.
Best Halloween Booze: Spider’s Kiss
The black widow spider may be tiny, but never underestimate its size or experience a fate worse than death. Unlike most spiders, female black widows thrive at night and when provoked, a single bite can cause pain throughout the entire body. Isn’t it bad enough that they eat the males after they mate? Make your friends jump out of their skin with a ghoulish green Spider’s Kiss, a haunting treat made by award-winning mixologist Victoria D’Amato-Moran that’s a blend of melon liqueur, vodka, and zesty lemon juice. With swirls of chocolate drizzling on the glass, you’ll lure patrons like the vicious insect it honors.
1 part Melon Liqueur (We used Midori)
1 part Vodka (We used SKYY)
1 Orange slice
Draw a chocolate web into a martini glass. Place in freezer and chill for a ghostly effect. Shake all ingredients and strain into glass. For a blood effect, drizzle grenadine down the side of the glass. Garnish with a chocolate dipped orange slice.
Best Halloween Booze: Corpse Reviver
There are many variations of this classic cocktail that go as far back as the late 1800’s, yet it continues to awaken spirits to this day. According to legend, if one were to drink four Corpse Revivers in a row, the dead would come back to life. Whether it means a zombie apocalypse will occur or if it’s just merely hinting that you’ll feel revived for more drinking, the Corpse Reviver’s powerful punch with a faintly sweet finish is just too sublime to resist. It’s also strangely coincidental that this recipe comes from the Ritz-Carlton in Boston Common, not far from where the infamous Salem witch trials occurred over a hundred years ago. Forget Ouija boards, the Corpse Reviver is all you need to liven up souls.
1 part Bombay Sapphire
1 part Cointreau
1 part Absinthe (We used Kubler)
Splash of Lemon juice
Splash of Lillet Blanc
Shake ingredients over ice and strain into a martini glass.