Bars and brands play ‘trick or treat’ this Halloween

With just a week to go before Halloween on 31 October, we look at what drinks brands and UK bars are doing to spook things up.

To kick things off on Thursday 24 October, Kraken Black Spiced Rum is collaborating with immersive theatre group Les Enfants Terribles for ‘Screamfest: The Ocean of Souls’. Upon arrival at the secret East London location, guests will be asked to sign a contract stipulating that they agree to sell their immortal soul to the Kraken. After sealing their fate with the mythical underwater beast, they will embark on a thrilling journey to a shipwrecked galleon and submerged into a world of marine-based mystery that lies fathoms under the sea. Survivors of the voyage will wash up at an underwater bar where they can indulge in limited edition cocktails including seaweed libations and squid ink beverages.

Kraken Rum 'Screamfest: The Ocean of Souls
Kraken Rum ‘Screamfest: The Ocean of Souls

Running from now until 5 November, Strongbow’s CarnEvil campaign is once again helping licensees create their own Halloween celebrations with an online asset library and themed POS support kits, including petrifying posters, staff fancy dress and devilish drip mats.

Strongbow's CarnEvil campaign
Strongbow’s CarnEvil campaign

As the biggest fancy dress occasion of the year, Strongbow is offering consumers the chance to win a CarnEvil eye patch by purchasing a pint of Strongbow Original or Dark Fruit. For those outlets that really like to get involved in the festivities, there is also a £2,500 prize for the best dressed pub team. Simply upload your best Halloween costume photo using #StrongbowHalloween and comment with your pub’s name and location.

SHS Drinks, owner of leading ready-to-drink brand WKD will be generating a visual impact in on-trade outlets this Halloween by providing thousands of WKD Cocktail Cauldrons to serve themed cocktails. The moulded cauldrons are complete with authentic-looking feet to keep them stable, and a pouring lip to aid sharing.

The biggest dilemma for pub-goers will be in choosing an appropriate cocktail. To help with this, WKD is offering a range of special Halloween recipes such as Cheeky Vamp, Manghoul, Bloody Berry and Venom – all made with the brand’s flavoured variants. To help bar staff prepare the cocktails quickly and efficiently, a mixing guide is also being provided.

As well as the cauldron-related activity, SHS Drinks will also be providing bars with a range of fun Halloween POS items created in a suitably spooky WKD style. A huge social media competition will raise awareness of the on-trade activity and give a few lucky consumers the chance to win their very own 1.4L WKD cauldron, along with all the ingredients required to mix the WKD Halloween cocktails at home.

On the night of All Hallows’ Eve, Grey Goose is presenting ‘Maison Gothique’ at Oriole bar, a glam and spooky night of macabre and delicious Parisian decadence. A number of Halloween-inspired serves will be on offer, including the Pigalle Punch, a Grey Goose mix of pomegranate molasses, mulled Turkish pear juice and lingonberry cider, and the Grey Goose La Vanilla, with an artichoke rubino, Ethiopian menengic (an espresso stout syrup) and Neroli foam. As the clock strikes midnight, Grey Goose recommends the Le Rituel, a dry cherry liqueur mixed with clarified macoun apple juice and water of youth tincture.

Oriolle & Grey Goose
Grey Goose at Oriole, London

Shoreditch is also getting spooky for Halloween. Eccentric roaming production maestros Fables will bring their décor-led party experience ‘OUSE’ back to Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen. In opening its twisted doors, the venue invites guests inside a charmingly warped reality to celebrate the cult comedy horror classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The event will present ‘poisonous’ Mai Tai cocktails, made with Appletons Estate Rum, orange, pineapple and lime, served in medicine bottles and outrageous DJ performances of cult classics like The Time Warp and Sweet Transvestite through to house and disco.

With an astonishing £320 million estimated spend by Brits last year, Halloween is big business nowadays. Monin’s popular Pumpkin Spice syrup is expected to be in high demand with its multiple usage in hot beverages, cocktails and non-alcoholic drinks as well as drizzled over desserts for a distinctive finish. Other popular flavours for the spooky season include Monin Blood Orange syrup, Monin Maple Spice syrup and Monin Black Forest syrup.

Monin Witches Cauldron
Monin Witches Cauldron

Bacardí has got into the spirit this year by introducing an array of new freaky tipples. The Bat Blood mojito combines Bacardí Carta Blanca Rum with blood orange juice, lime, mint, aromatic bitters and grenadine, while Satan’s Spritz presents a mix of Bacardí Carta Guego Rum, Creme de mure, tonic, and peychaud bitters. For those with a sweet tooth, the Trick of Treat cocktail mixes Bacardí Carta Blanca Rum with flavours of elderflower, lime, blackberry, ginger and chocolate.

Trick or Treat
Trick or Treat

Trick or Treat
50ml Bacardí Carta Blanca rum
15ml St-Germain Elderflower liqueur
20ml Lime juice
4 Blackberries
70ml Ginger beer
White chocolate
Add all ingredients to a glass, muddle the blackberries and fill up with crushed ice and stir. Top with ginger beer. Serve in a large wine glass and garnish with white chocolate shaves, fresh blackberries and a sprig of mint.

To coincide with the celebrations, Adnams is rolling out a design change for its Ghost Ship pale ale. The refreshed design brings the ship to the forefront, integrating the Adnams brand with the product and using a bright yellow to highlight and hint at the citrus flavours of the Citra hops that form an integral part of the recipe. Ghost Ship’s new packaging covers all products: bottles, cans, mini kegs, boxes and pump clips.

Ghost Ship was first launched in 2010 as a seasonal Halloween product. Due to popular demand, the beer was added to Adnams’ permanent range. This year Adnams is marking the occasion with an exclusive Halloween partnership with the London, Blackpool, Edinburgh and York Dungeons. With the purchase of every promotional pack, customers will be able to redeem a 30% discount at one of these attractions for a family of four. The packs will also offer customers the chance to enter a prize draw to win a year’s supply of Ghost Ship.

Adnams’ Ghost Ship Pale Ale
Adnams’ Ghost Ship Pale Ale
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