No Halloween puns here; just good drinks.
As Oct. 31 approaches, it’s best to have a few boozy recipes in your back pocket—just in case you host an impromptu gathering of friends or feel compelled to give adult cocktails to your neighbors (as they approach your door at the edge of sanity with their sugar-fueled, costumed little minions).
The Pumpkin Margarita
This drink is the invention of Azuñia Tequila’s Kailee Asher, the company's corporate mixologist and a former bartender at cocktail manager at Downstairs in Park City, Utah. “It's a simple, fall-inspired cocktail for the patio while passing out candy,” said Asher.
- 2 oz. Azuñia reposado organic tequila
- ½ oz. orange Curaçao
- 1 oz. Real brand pumpkin puree
- 1 oz. lemon juice
Add tequila, orange Curaçao, pumpkin puree, and lemon juice to an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake until chilled. Strain into a black salt & cinnamon-rimmed glass.
This drink makes an appearance at JIMMY at the James in New York, N.Y. It’s got no pumpkin and no blood, but it’s still tailored for All Hallows’ Eve. Johny Swet, the man behind this onyx concoction, tells us: “The inclusion of activated charcoal gives this cocktail an eerie black hue that’s pretty creepy...”
- Bar spoon of grilled pineapple chunks
- Mint leaves
- 2 oz. Blackwell rum
- ¼ tsp activated charcoal*
- 2 oz. pineapple juice
- ½ oz. lime juice
- ½ oz. agave
Muddle pineapple chunks and mint. Add the rum and activated charcoal, then shake and strain into a tall glass. Add crushed ice, and swizzle. Garnish with pineapple and mint.
*Food-grade activated charcoal is available on Amazon.com.
The Blood and Sand with Lychee Eyes
The Blood and Sand is the brainchild of Freida Hirsch, a chef at meal delivery service Hello Fresh. Hirsch explains: “The Blood and Sand is a classic old-school cocktail that's perfect for Halloween because of the blood red color. It's sweet and tangy from the orange juice and cherry heering, but also a little smoky from the scotch.”
Bonus: the lychee fruit in the glass makes this drink about as ghoulish as you can get.
- 1 ½ oz. orange juice
- 1 ½ oz. sweet vermouth
- 1 ½ oz. cherry heering
- 1 ½ oz. blended scotch
- 2 lychees*
- 2 cranberries
Combine all liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into a rocks glass with ice. Make the lychee eyeball by placing a cranberry into the hole of each fruit.
*You can pick up a can of lychees at Jet.com.
Black and Orange Punch
This family-style recipe is a good choice if you want to pass out drinks to neighbors while you’re on the front porch. This Halloween classic comes from Josh Novy, beverage director at Chicago’s Untitled Supper Club. Its defining characteristic is a pair of black, hand-shaped ice cubes.
- 48 oz. orange sherbet
- 25 oz. rum
- 12 oz. Aperol
- 20 oz. pineapple juice
- 8 oz. lemon juice
- 12 oz. water
- Activated charcoal water
- Pair of rubber gloves
Melt (but keep chilled) 48 oz of orange sherbet. Pour into a very large bowl. Add rum, Aperol, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and water. Stir and let sit in the fridge.
To make the black ice hands, fill the rubber gloves with activated charcoal water, tie them like a balloon, and freeze.
Place black ice hands in the bowl before serving with a ladle. The hands will keep the drink chilled and be a nice contrast of black atop the orange drink.