Halloween Cocktail Recipes
Bring the backyard to the bar with these scarily seasonal drinks.
While the kids roam the streets for tricks and treats, adults toast the holiday with drinks packed with seasonal flavors. Apples, pumpkins, blood oranges and even the dreaded ghost chili bring the haunted harvest from the backyard to the bar.
Wolf's Blood — The Third Man, New York City
Howling at the moon is thirsty business. Make your own blood orange liqueur to spice up this signature drink.
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- ½ ounce vermouth
- ½ ounce blood orange liqueur (recipe follows)
- 1 dash bitters
- 1 dash orange bitters
Build in a mixing glass and stir. Serve in a stemmed glass with a flamed orange peel.
Blood Orange Liqueur
- 1 cup vodka
- 1 cup rum
- 5 blood orange
- 5-6 allspice pods
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
Peel oranges and add peels to vodka and rum. Cover and let sit for 48 hours. Juice oranges and heat with water, allspice and sugar until the mixture thickens. Remove allspice pods. Remove the peels from the alcohol and combine it with the sugar mixture. Let cool.
Ghost Margarita — Butter, New York City
The only spirit in this drink in tequila, but the name comes from the ghost chili, which imparts its spicy flavor through a simple syrup.
- 2 ounces tequila
- ½ ounce Grand Mariner
- ½ ounce lime juice
- ½ ounce lemon juice
- 1.5 ounce ghost chili simple syrup
Dust the rim of the glass with salt mixed with some dried ghost chili or red pepper flakes. Combine all ingredient into a cocktail shaker and pour over ice.
Ghost chili simple syrup
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup superfine sugar
- 1 smidge dried ghost chili
Warm all ingredients over low heat, whisking until sugar dissolves. Strain and check for heat level.
A Halloween take on everyone's favorite summer cocktail — the margarita — this colorful concoction includes the usual suspects: fresh lime juice, triple sec and tequila with a few additions for the spooky season. Get the recipe.
Smokin' Skulls Shot
Dry ice chips give this sinister sip its signature vaporous effect while bourbon lends a smoky flavor. Serve in shot glasses — but allow dry ice to completely dissolve before drinking. Get the recipe.
Poison Apple Cocktail
This vibrant green concoction has just the right amount of sweet and sour to please any wicked (or not-so-wicked) witch. A splash of bubbly gives it 'magic potion' appeal. Get the recipe.
Zombie Slime Shooters
A blend of 4 liquors, this fruity cocktail goes down easy but packs a mighty wallop. Complement the drink's eerie green hue with red 'slime' you can easily make yourself with just corn syrup and red food coloring. Get the recipe.
Almond Joy Martini
Miss trick-or-treating days? This adults-only drink made from chocolate vodka, hazelnut liqueur and coconut rum tastes like an Almond Joy candy bar, but will give you more than just a sugar rush. Get the recipe.
Blood Sucker Cocktail
To create this vampire-friendly cocktail, shake up triple sec, vodka and pineapple juice, then strain and pour into a glass. Drip strawberry or raspberry puree along the sides of the glass to add streams of 'blood.' Get the recipe.
Liquefied Ghost Cocktail
Your Halloween guests will die for a sip of this ghostly white cocktail that tastes like a grown-up milkshake. Mix vanilla simple syrup, cream, vodka and soda, then serve in a martini glass. Get the recipe.
Pumpkin Spice Punch
Summery sangria gets a flavorful update for fall with pumpkin pie spice, bourbon and apple cider. Make a big batch to serve in a hollowed-out pumpkin for a pitch-perfect seasonal presentation. Get the recipe.
Pull out your cauldron to scare up a batch of this party-perfect punch. Pineapple and cranberry juice give this drink its harvest-moon hue while a shot of Malibu rum lends a Caribbean kick. Get the recipe.
Bourbon Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream — but a liberal shot of bourbon ensures this fall-flavored milkshake is an adults-only treat. Or, skip the booze and blend up a batch of non-alcoholic shakes for your favorite trick-or-treaters. Get the recipe.
Like zombies themselves, this cocktail packs a powerful punch thanks to apricot brandy and three types of rum: light, dark and high-proof Bacardi 151. Grenadine and orange juice give the drink its lovely pumpkin hue. A few of these and you may indeed feel like the walking dead the next day. Get the recipe.
Bloody Brain Shooter
Channel your inner mad scientist to create this creepy-looking shooter. Add chilled vodka and lime juice to a shot glass, then use a straw to drip Irish cream on top. The acidic lime juice will cause the cream to curdle, creating realistic blobs of 'brain.' Get the recipe.
The Brain Cocktail
For a simpler, fruitier take on the Bloody Brain Shooter, pour peach schnapps into a glass and top with Irish cream for a blood-curdling presentation. For extra gore, top with a dash of blood-red grenadine. Get the recipe.
This dessert-worthy combination of vanilla ice cream, triple sec and white crème de cacao is deliciously disgusting, thanks to drizzles of blood-red grenadine down the sides of the glass. Get the recipe.
Nonalcoholic Cemetery Punch
Kids will flip for this gross-looking punch. Since little ghouls and goblins will likely be pumped up on sugar from trick-or-treat bags, diet root beer and frozen yogurt won't add to the impact. Get the recipe.
Mela — A Voce, New York City
Wine director Olivier Flosse uses local upstate New York apples for the apple puree in this "intense and rich cocktail that's on the sweeter side."
- 2 ounces Calvados
- 1 ounce apple cider
- ¼ ounce lemon juice
- 1 large scoop of baked apple puree
- Fresh cinnamon
Shake all ingredients and double strain into a martini glass. Garnish with freshly grated cinnamon and an apple peel.
- 2 apples
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
Thinly slice the apples and toss them with the sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes and puree in a food processor.
Sleepy Hollow —James Republic, Long Beach, California
SoCal mixologist Melodie Murphy uses Kabocha pumpkin from local farmers markets for the puree in this drink, named after the Washington Irving classic.
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 2 ounces pumpkin puree
- 3 dashes maple bitters
Shake and strain into a saucer glass. Serve straight up and garnish with nutmeg.