Halloween does not just belong to the candy-addicted. Cocktails that give a nod to the ingredients of the season (pumpkin, apples, baking spices), as well as those inspired by the holiday’s spooky elements (fog, mummies, witches’ cauldrons) are di rigueur on October 31. We scared up a few ideas perfect for pumpkin carving get-togethers, costume parties and pre- (or post-) Trick-or-Treat gatherings.
All Hallow’s Punch
Recipe courtesy Kyle Ford, master mixologist, Cointreau
This crowd-pleasing punch with spice, citrus and a generous dose of Mount Gay Black Rum is a no-brainer for your Halloween fête. Since it can be batched ahead of time, you’ll be able to set out your cauldron and get to work transforming yourself into a black cat—or Katniss Everdeen. Optional dry ice added right before serving gives it spooky appeal.
½ cup sugar
Peels of 8 lemons
Peels of 2 oranges
1 750 ml bottle of Mount Gay Black Rum
8 ounces Cointreau
8 ounces water
Juice from 8 lemons
Food-grade dry ice
Lemon wheels, for garnish
Freshly grated cinnamon, for garnish
Add the sugar and citrus peels to a punch bowl; muddle and let sit for 3 hours. Add the rum, Cointreau, water and lemon juice. When ready to serve the punch, add a pound of dry ice* into the punch bowl for a foggy effect. Carefully ladle the punch, without any pieces of dry ice, into a punch glass. Garnish with a lemon wheel and freshly grated cinnamon.
*Dry ice must not be eaten or swallowed. Handle it only with insulated gloves or tongs, as it can cause severe burns. One pound of dry ice will create 2 or 3 minutes of fog effect.
Pumpkin Old Fashioned
Recipe courtesy of Brian Scott, director of operations, Drafting Table, Washington, D.C.
When Scott stumbled upon a recipe for roasted pumpkin syrup, he immediately thought it would make a great addition to an autumn riff on the Old Fashioned. Orange bitters and a flamed orange peel give a complex citrus note that nicely plays off the syrup’s baking spices.
1 orange slice
2 brandied cherries (pitted Bing Cherries soaked in equal parts simple syrup and brandy)
2 teaspoons pumpkin simple syrup
2 dashes orange bitters
3 ounces Maker’s Mark Bourbon
1 inch wide orange peel
Place the orange slice, one of the cherries, the simple syrup and bitters in the bottom of a 6 ounce rocks glass, and muddle. Discard the large pieces so that the glass is coated with very small specks of orange and cherry and residual liquid. Pack the glass with ice, and add half of the Bourbon. Using the flat disc end of a bar spoon, gently but thoroughly mix the ice and Bourbon. Add more ice and the remaining Bourbon, and continue to stir for about a minute. Flame the orange peel, squeezing the peel to add the essential oils to the top of the drink. Garnish with the flamed orange peel and the remaining cherry.
To prepare the pumpkin simple syrup
Cut 1 pound of fresh pumpkin into one inch cubes. Roast them on a sheet pan covered with foil for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, or until the pumpkin begins to brown on the edges and is soft through the center. Place the roasted pumpkin in a 2 quart saucepan, and mash it slightly to break up the larger pieces. Add 4 cups of water and 2 cups of table sugar, and gently boil until the water has reduced by half, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Strain and cool the syrup, and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
Harvest Karamel Apple Martini
Recipe courtesy of Trevi 5 at the Hotel Hershey, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Caramel apples are a fall festival favorite, and this cocktail provides the same appeal without the sticky fingers. Salted caramel vodka adds grown-up appeal, too. Heat the caramel sauce before rimming the glass, and use a warm offset spatula for easy application.
Caramel sauce, for rimming glass
1 ½ ounces Sour Apple Pucker
1 ½ ounces DeKuyper Butterscotch Liqueur
1 ounce Stoil Salted Karamel Vodka
Apple slice, for garnish
Coat the outside rim of a martini glass with caramel sauce, and set aside. Add Sour Apple Pucker, DeKuyper Butterscotch Liqueur and Stole Salted Karamel Vodka to a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into the prepared glass, and garnish with an apple slice.
Recipe courtesy of brand mixologist Esteban Ordonez, Caliche Rum
A mugful of this deep, dark and mysterious Halloween take on Sangria is great to sip while doling out goodies to Trick-or-Treaters. (Handing out small cups to their adult companions will make for happy parents, too.) If it’s cold outside, you can also simmer the libation and serve it warm.
1 ½ ounces Caliche Rum
¾ ounce Port
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce Triple Sec
Freshly grated cinnamon, for garnish
Cinnamon stick, for garnish
Combine Caliche Rum, Port, lemon juice and Triple Sec in a mixing glass. Add ice, and stir until chilled. Strain into a tall coupe glass filled with ice. Garnish with freshly grated cinnamon and a cinnamon stick.