A barrel of grog is an absolute essential on 31st October. Whether you’re after a non-alcoholic soft drink or the murkiest glass of booze out there, we have suggestions for making and styling haunting drinks for Halloween.
Halloween is all about blood red, witch hat black, many shades of orange and fluorescent goo hues, and there’s no better way to achieve this level of spookiness than in lurid cocktails and frightening drinks. Spirits, juices and sodas come in a rainbow of tones and with a little magical mixology you can achieve the ultimate Halloween bevvy for your monster bash.
First, prepare your ice…
Food stylist Julia Azzarello shared three simple ice cube ideas with us:
Colour water black with food dye and pour it into ice-cube trays to make hauntingly black cubes.
Peel and scoop out a radish and stuff it with half a Spanish olive – try and find ones with a red pimento chilli in the centre. Place into the hole of an ice cube tray then top up with water and freeze. Once frozen, pop them out of the tray and find peering eyeballs encased in a frozen tomb.
Drop pomegranate seeds into your ice cube trays, fill with water, freeze et voilà – vampire fang ice cubes.
Scour online for themed, shaped ice moulds – we found pumpkins, skulls, bones and more.
Think blood and lots of it. This Dracula punch has a base of cherry juice, but cranberry, cherryade and grape juice have an equally sanguine shade. Turn up the heat to give your guests a ‘boo’ in a glass – red chilli, fresh ginger and cinnamon adds a subtle hint of spiciness, but play around with ratios to suit your taste. Don’t forget the sweetie fangs to perch on the glass.
If you’re catering for children or people with a more delicate palate, mix up a simple squash of cranberry juice, lemonade and fresh lime. Spruce it up with ghoulish garnishes, like frogspawn-y passion fruit seeds or lychee eyeballs.
Making individual cocktails is more labour-intensive than throwing everything into a big punch bowl, but it’s lots of fun. Try adapting a classic bloody Mary by adding extra deep-red spice, lots of black pepper around the rim of the glass and a rasher of crispy bacon propped next to the straw.
More sinister still is our black veil cocktail. Made from black vodka (yes, it does exist) or blackcurrant liqueur, it’s also made up of pomegranates, bobbly blackberries and a rather clever adornment of black salt around the rim – a suggestion from Julia.
Our rumberry punch is a murky mix with room for spooky adaptation with one of our garnish ideas below, and our mulled pear and cranberry punch comes complete with bobbing cherry eyes. Make it with or without the fruity sloe gin.
Follow Julia’s tips for finishing off your drink with eerie flair…
Serve your brew with a touch of Beelzebub by making a simple red horn garnish. Take a red chilli and remove the stem. Run a paring knife inside to deseed, then cut a small slit to fit on the rim of a glass.
Achieve a flow of gloopy haemoglobin down the side of your glass by dying 100ml golden syrup with 1tsp of red food dye, then pour it onto a plate and dip your glass rim-side down into it.
Why use fruit in a cocktail when you could throw in an onion. Give cocktail onions a soak in 100ml of water and 2 tsp red food dye for around 15 minutes. Use your mottled eyeballs straight away so they don’t bleed any colour.
Inspired by our Halloween drinks ideas? There are plenty more where these came from – visit our hub page for more hideous Halloween feasts.