10 Terrifyingly Tasty Halloween Cocktails
Mix up a “Bloodthirsty Mary”, “Zombie Punch”, “Polterghost” and other devilish drinks to guarantee a spooky good time.
This year’s Halloween looks a little different. Trick-or-Treating and the standard spooky revelry is a no-go, so for most of us, Halloween looks a whole lot like scary movie marathons on the couch. And what pairs better with rewatching The Purge than spirited libations? Costume or not, the below, bartender-approved cocktails will be a hit no matter how your Halloween plays out.
With a recipe made by none other than Ghostbusters director Paul Feig, this neon-hued drink is bonafide Instagram bait.
- 1.5 oz Artingstall’s Brilliant London Dry Gin
- 1 oz elderflower liqueur (St. Germain)
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- 1/4 oz Midori
- Candy corn
Shake the gin, elderflower, lime juice and Midori with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Take two pieces of candy corn and melt the back of one with a match. Press the melted side onto the other piece and once they fuse, put them onto the rim of the glass as a garnish.
This zombified Tiki recipe from acclaimed New York City cocktail bar Death & Co pulls together three types of rums (deadly), grapefruit, cinnamon, and a dash of absinthe. The name “zombie” should be taken as a warning—sip a few of these, and you’ll find out why.
- 1 oz Plantation Traditional Dark Rum
- 1 oz Cana Brava
- 1 oz Smith and Cross
- 1 oz Don’s Mix
- .75 oz Lime
- .5 oz Falernum
- .25 oz Grenadine
- 2 dash Absinthe
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters
Add ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake thoroughly. Pour into a Tiki mug. Garnish with mint sprigs, an orchid, or pineapple fronds.
Fall flavors in a glass—the warming combo of Allspice Dram, honey, and Tennessee Whiskey makes this a staple all through the chilly autumn season.
- 2 oz. Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey
- .75 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz honey simple (2:1 ratio raw honey to water)
- .25 oz Allspice Dram
- 1 dash chocolate bitters
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled and strain into a chilled coupe. Express the oils from a lemon peel over the top of the drink and discard the peel.
Tequila isn’t just for summer: the combination of coconut milk, lime, bitters and (the Halloween-appropriate) Ghost Tequila make for a too-easy-to-drink option. Bonus points if you opt for dry ice as a garnish.
- 2 oz Ghost Tequila
- 1 oz lime juice
- ¾ oz agave nectar
- 1 oz coconut milk
Shake and strain over ice and add a dash of Peychaud’s Bitters
The ‘flip’ style of cocktail dates all the way back to the 1600s, when sailors would mix together eggs, rum, ale, and molasses in a drink to warm up the soul on chilly ocean nights. Nick Ruiz and Kitty Bernardo of New York’s Patent Pending have updated the fluffy, frothy drink for today’s imbibers with a punch of tequila. Note this cocktail requires a hefty amount of shaking so don’t make these for a crowd unless it’s arm day.
- 1.5 oz Hiatus Tequila Reposado
- .75 oz Averna
- .5 oz cane syrup
- 2 dashes angostura bitters
- 1 whole egg
Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously without ice for 15 seconds, or until all ingredients are completely emulsified. Add ice and shake vigorously for another 15 seconds, or until the outside of the tin begins to frost over. Strain into a glass garnish with a few drops of angostura bitters.
Manhattan Smoke Show
This is the spooky Manhattan cocktail you never knew you needed. Made by Irish-bred, New York-based bartender Kate Monahan, this cocktail blends Irish whiskey, cherry liqueur, Oaxaca Mezcal, and French Vermouth. Plus a ldash of chile liqueur for good measure.
- 1 oz Grace O’Malley Blended Irish Whiskey
- .75 oz mezcal
- .5 oz Ancho Chile Liqueur by Ancho Reyes
- .75 oz Heering Cherry Liqueur
- .5 oz sweet vermouth
Stir all the ingredients together with ice. Strain into a small coupe-style glass and serve.
If the scariest part this Halloween is your hangover, opt for a spicy Bloody Mary riff by Manny Hinojosa. It will awaken the dead.
- 1.5 oz tequila
- 1/4 oz The Perfect Purée Red Jalapeño Puree, thawed
- 5 oz tomato juice
- 1/2 oz soy sauce
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- Dash of Maggi sauce
- 4 drops of sesame oil
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of black pepper
- Pinch of ginger powder
Mix all ingredients then pour into a glass with ice and a salted rim. Garnish with red jalapeño, cherry tomato, celery, lime wheel, onion, and toasted sesame seeds.
Think of this like adult Halloween candy: A mimosa base of California bubbly and orange juice, plus ice cream, shaved dark chocolate. Best paired with leftover Halloween candy.
- Korbel California Brut
- 2 oz no-pulp orange juice
- Spoonful of vanilla ice cream
- Shaved dark chocolate candy bar, optional
Pour 2 ounces of orange juice into your champagne flute. Stir in a spoonful of vanilla ice cream and top with Korbel California Brut. If desired, sprinkle on chocolate shavings from your favorite chocolate bar.
Jack O’ Lanterns are a thematic staple to Day of the Dead, and this recipe calls for fluffy pumpkin butter—how appropriate—plus rye whiskey, rum, lemon, and nutmeg.
- 1.5 oz Fresh Victor Lemon Sour
- 1.5 oz rye whiskey
- .5 oz Jamaican rum (or any aged rum)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin butter (from Trader Joe’s, for example)
- 2 dashes Dale DeGroff’s Pimento Bitters or Angostura Bitters
Add all ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice to the brim. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Add ice to a rocks glass and strain mixture over ice. Garnish with lemon twist and grated nutmeg.
Tennessee Whiskey Cider
Parents: this is what you should be slipping into mug when taking the wee ones Trick-or-Treating. Non-parents: this hot cider will warm up your hands if your spook day plans have you celebrating outside. For a chilled version of the cocktail, add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, shake thoroughly, pour over ice, and garnish with an expressed lemon peel.
- 2 oz Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey
- 4 oz spiced local apple cider
- .25 oz lemon juice
- .5 oz demerara simple syrup
- 1 dash Fee’s Cardamom Bitters
Add Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey to a cocktail mug. Combine cider, lemon juice, demerara and bitters in a small saucepan and simmer until heated through. Add to mug and stir briefly to mix. Garnish with a clove studded lemon wheel.
To create the spiced apple cider, combine half a gallon of local cider with three cinnamon sticks, one tablespoon of allspice and one tablespoon of whole cloves in a saucepan. Heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Let the spices continue to steep while the cider cools, then strain the cider. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.