Whether you’re after a non-alcoholic drink or a murky cocktail for Dutch courage, 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, and there’s no better way to achieve this level of spookiness than in lurid cocktails and mocktails. Spirits, juices and sodas come in a rainbow of colours and with a little magical mixology you can achieve the ultimate Halloween bevvy for your monster bash.
Prepare chilling ice for your drinks
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 the web for themed ice moulds – we found pumpkins, skulls, bones and more.
Mix creepy cocktails
Chilling blue concoctions
Looking for a potion to turn heads? Our striking green-blue grasshopper cocktail is sure to be a party hit. The minty flavour tones will make a refreshing palate cleanser, perfect for after-dinner drinks.
Making individual cocktails is more labour-intensive than throwing everything into a big punch bowl, but it’s lots of fun. Sip on a super spooky mix of blood-red lemonade and prosecco with our blood beetroot cocktails recipe. You can get ahead by making the beetroot lemonade the night before and chill until needed – the resulting blood-red colour is striking.
For another crimson concoction, try adapting a classic bloody Mary by adding deep red spice, lots of black pepper around the rim of the glass and a rasher of crispy bacon propped next to the straw.
Drinks of darkness
You can also darken the mood with this classic black Russian cocktail. Sleek, elegant and easy-to-make, this cool cocktail requires only three ingredients of vodka, coffee liqueur and cola. Just mix these up in a tumbler and garnish with a maraschino cherry for one killer drink.
More sinister still is our haunting Halloween cocktail. Made from black vodka (yes, it does exist) or blackcurrant liqueur, it also uses pomegranate, blackberries and a rather clever adornment of black salt around the rim.
For a warming tipple to sip after a trick-or-treating session, our mulled pear & cranberry punch is perfect and comes complete with bobbing cherry eyes. The combination of cider, cinnamon and sloe gin make for the ultimate fruity mix to serve in your bubbling cauldron. Our rumberry punch is also a murky affair with room for adaptation with one of the spooky garnish ideas below.
Scary soft drinks
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 spice, 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 frogspawny passion fruit seeds or lychee eyeballs as shown in our eyeball snot-tail recipe.
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.
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Which spooky drinks do you make for Halloween? Leave a comment below...