When it comes to Halloween cocktails, it's all about having fun and getting creative. OK, maybe it's a little about getting a little scary and bloody, too.
Mixologists can embrace this spooky holiday by conjuring up colorful spirits (pun intended), creepy garnishes, and anything edible that can be made to look like blood. If you're looking to stock your bar and make killer Halloween-themed cocktails, here are some tips.
Make Crazy-Colored and Pumpkin-Flavored Drinks
Forget clear drinks and boring cola- and cranberry-colored concoctions; Halloween cocktails should have shocking hues that match the themes you've come up with for each drink. This is when lesser-known booze, such as black spiced rum, Chartreuse, Midori, and absinthe, can take center stage on your cocktail menu. If you've never made drinks based on these ingredients, don't be afraid to borrow inspiration from others.
You can even boost sales of traditional shooters by marketing them in clever ways (think: snake blood shots that feature Jagermeister). And, in case you needed reminding, make sure to load up on pumpkin-flavored booze and beers.
Don't Forget about Edible Eyeballs and Fake Blood
Once you have your beer and liquor, it's time to think about how to turn up the fright-factor—at least in how your Halloween cocktails appear. This is where naturally weird-looking foods come into play. For instance, lychees happen to resemble eyeballs, especially when stuffed with a berry, making them a perfect garnish. You can also crush up fresh raspberries and get some frightfully good results when put into the right drink.
Berries are a perfect ingredient for making delicious fake blood. Simmer blueberries, blackberries, or strawberries with sugar and lemon juice to make a berry coulis that can be used as werewolf blood, monster blood, or witch blood, depending on the angle you've chosen for each drink on your Halloween cocktail menu. And don't forget about house-made grenadine, which is another mixer that will intrigue your patrons with visual appeal.
Go the Extra Mile
To really boost the Halloween appeal of your cocktails, you can augment them with even more ghoulish garnishes. For instance, consider adorning glasses with fake plastic syringes that are filled with red coulis. You could also add chili pepper devil horns to each glass by mounting seeded chilies to the outside of each glass. If your bar is particularly spooky or dark, you may even want to use thin glow sticks as cocktail stirrers to add an illuminating effect.
You can also make ice cubes in fun shapes like skulls and crossbones, or go all out by using dry ice to add a fog effect to your drinks. You can even create a slime effect in cocktails that feature egg whites by sprinkling fresh herbs over the foam that settles on top.
Your Halloween cocktails will only be as fun and delicious as your imagination allows for, so embrace the spooky spirit and see what scary-good combinations you can create.