Get into the Halloween spirit by experimenting with colourful drinks and ghastly garnishes. Spooky Halloween cocktail ideas abound, but it’s relatively simple to create a frightfully fantastic evening for you and your guests. Contrast classic Halloween colours using dark liqueurs, and transform every day ingredients into garnishes.
These drinks incorporate the Halloween theme and work best when accompanied by a festive garnish.
Dark and Stormy: Dissolve ¼ cup of powdered sugar in a pitcher with ½ cup of lime juice. Stir in 350 ml of spiced rum and chill the drink in the refrigerator until cold, about one hour. Stir 750 ml of ginger beer into the pitcher. Transfer the drink to a punch bowl and add one or two lychee "eyeball" ice cubes to each glass (see below garnish descriptions).
Blood Peach Bellini: For each cocktail, mix four parts chilled prosecco, one part peach puree, ½ part grenadine and ½ part Campari in a large tumbler. Pour the Bellini into chilled flute glasses garnished with "dripping blood" syrup.
Orange and Black Cosmo: For each drink, mix ½ cup orange juice and ½ cup triple sec in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Pour the mixture into a frozen goblet also half-filled with ice. Next, hold a spoon upside down over the center of the drink and slowly pour one shot of black vodka over the back — it will float on top and sink about halfway down the glass, giving the drink a clear definition between the two colours. Garnish the rim with an orange slice half-dipped in black sugar.
Lychee fruit eyeballs: Separate the lychee fruit from the heavy syrup in the can. Insert a blueberry or raspberry into the hole of each lychee. Place the stuffed lychees in ice cube trays and pour the syrup over them. Freeze the lychees and add them to the drinks just before serving. Alternatively, skewer the eyeballs with cocktail swords instead of freezing them and dab a little raspberry or cherry preserve around the "irises" to give the impression of veins. Suspend the skewered eyeballs across the rims of the glasses before serving.
Bleeding heart beets: Trim a whole or halved pickled beet using a paring knife so it resembles a heart. Skewer each beet with a cocktail sword and drop it in the drink before serving. This garnish works best in light-coloured drinks.
Jack-o'-lantern: Carve a jack-o'-lantern face into an orange peel using a channel knife or sharp paring knife. Do not cut through the skin completely; stop when you reach the white pith. Next, cut a circle around the face and pull that section of peel from the orange. Set the jack-o'-lantern orange peel in your drink, leaning it against the side of the glass. As light shines through the thin pith, it will give the impression of a lit jack-o'-lantern.
Dripping blood: Before pouring the drinks, drizzle a thick red syrup (such as grenadine or any dark red liqueur) around the rim of the glass so it slowly drips. Set the glass in the freezer for a few minutes to harden the "blood."
Other Halloween Touches
- Add two to three chips of food-grade dry ice to each glass just before serving to make a thick mist. Handle dry ice with latex gloves and wait until the mist dissipates before drinking.
- Serve red shooters in plastic vials sealed with a cork to give them the appearance of drawn blood.
- Use miniature glow sticks instead of cocktail stirrers to illuminate each glass.
- Fill craft syringes with red, black or orange liqueur for your guests to squirt into their drinks to taste. The heavy liqueur suspends in the alcohol briefly before sinking to the bottom.
- If you prefer your drinks ice-blended, try a pomarita coktail, cranberry margarita or a frosted cosmopolitan — both have the signature red colour that fits perfectly with a “bloody” Halloween theme.