Bars scare up spine-tingling cocktails for Halloween


I know it sounds corny but

Britain is set for a spooky weekend, with a third of adults planning to celebrate Halloween, according to the latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker. Fiona Gunn, marketing director of pub group and brewer Greene King, said: “One in eight people who celebrate Halloween plan to do so at the pub so we think it’s a great opportunity for the licensed trade to take advantage of this growing occasion and treat their customers to a thriller night.”

With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, it is being embraced by many bar, pub and club operators including special cocktail menus. Down in Dorset, Venner Bar in Bridport is getting into the spirit of the occasion two days early with a party tonight with features such as a condom machine dispensing trick or treats as well as alcoholic apple bobbing.

For the event, Chris “OC” Kemm (pictured below) has created a Pumpkin Punch, which is made of equal parts of pumpkin puree, condensed milk and Appleton Estate Signature Blend rum infused with crushed green cardamom pods and Chai Tea from The Gilded Teapot. This is mixed together well in a large punchbowl – such as a lined pumpkin – and served with grated nutmeg. grate over plenty of nutmeg.

Lloyd Brown Venner Halloween pumpkin

Venner’s manager Lloyd Brown has created a cocktail called Electrifi-ting, featuring “electric daisies” which are little flower buds that when chewed are “similar to licking a battery” but actually the result of soaking for 48 hours in tequila.

Electrifi-ting
50ml Electric daisy-infused Espolon tequila
25ml Freshly squeezed lime
Dash of gomme
200ml Ting grapefruit soda
Dash of Kamm & Sons
Build in a sling glass and stir. Garnish with popping candy.

At Novus Leisure’s bars in London, the bar teams have worked with Jelly Belly to come up with a Halloween cocktail collection. Available until November 1, the list includes a drink called “Not to sound corny but…” which comes with a syringe filled with raspberry puree blood on the side (pictured top). Other drinks have names such as the Trouble Shooter and Toil and Trouble, which is served for sharing in a cauldron brimming with gummy worms.

Two classic horror movies have inspired cocktail recipes for Jägermeister this year – part of the brand’s ongoing activities to promote the liqueur for mixed drinks.

I Know What You Did Last Summer
50ml Jägermeister
100ml Orange juice
12.5ml Fresh lemon juice
12.5ml Grenadine
Pour the Jägermeister, orange juice and lemon juice into a Boston shaker. Shake and strain into a long drink glass. Float the grenadine on top and garnish with an orange and a cherry.

From Dusk Til Dawn
25ml Gin
12.5ml Fresh lemon juice
12.5ml Gomme syrup
25ml Jägermeister
Fill a Boston Shaker with ice. Pour the gin, gomme syrup and lemon juice into the shaker. Pour into a tumbler over ice, float the Jägermeister on top and garnish with a lemon slice.

Jagermeister Halloween

The cocktails are part of Jägermeister’s Zombie Outbreak campaign running in the on-trade for Halloween. Bars that buy two cases of stock receive kits that include zombie make-up kits and T-shirts for staff as well as conical shot glasses and “zombie contamination” crime scene tape plus zombie glasses for giveaways.

Jägermeister will reward the best on-trade Halloween effort with a range of prizes including £500 in cash, personalised bottles of Jägermeister for staff and cases of stock. Licensees enter by sharing pictures via Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #jagerbarzombie. For consumers, the brand is running a Jäger Zombie competition, calling on people to share pictures on social media for the chance to win a trip for four to the Zombie Escape experience in Stockholm.

The Exhibit Poisoned Apple

Separately, Jägermeister also features in a cocktail called Poisoned Apple (pictured above) created by the team at The Exhibit in Balham, London, for serving on October 31 only. Inspired by the story of Snow White, it is made with Jägermeister, Chambord, lime, apple, juice and fresh mint and topped with absinthe foam and accompanied by a half-bitten apple.

At Opium in London’s Chinatown, Chinese tarot cards have inspired a special menu of Halloween cocktails. When guests order one of the special cocktails, they draw a tarot card out of a pack along with their server and if the two match, the drink is free.

The special cocktails at Opium include the Page of Coins with Wild Turkey Bourbon, pandan syrup, lemon, egg white and Angostura Bitters, and the Nine of Staves with Appleton Estate Signature Blend rum, spiced pumpkin puree, pressed apple juice and ginger beer. The Ace of Swords combines Beefeater Gin, Campari, Averna, lemon juice, bergamot, soda and jet-black squid ink.

Royal China Canary Wharf Halloween Cocktails

At Chinese restaurant Royal China in Canary Wharf in London’s Docklands, a Halloween cocktail will be available for one night only on Saturday. The alcoholic Blood-Sucker contains vodka, Archers peach schnapps, grenadine and cranberry juice, with the option of a non-alcoholic version (pictured above).

Around London, bars are taking part in a Halloween promotion with Fair Spirits, creating cocktails using its Fairtrade products such as Fair Rum and Fair Juniper Gin. Using the hashtag of #TrickorFAIR, it involves Roast, Ekcovision, Jinjuu, Galvin at Windows, Kinara, Ceviche in Soho and Old Street, Andina, Hush, Skylon and Old Bengal Bar.

Pumpkini Skylon

The Pumpkini by Michele Quarta at Skylon. (pictured above)
40ml Fair Juniper Gin
20ml Home-made cherry liqueur
1/2 Lemon juice
5ml Cinnamon honey
1 barspoon Home-made pumpkin butter
Put all the ingredients in the copper pot still and heat them up so that the butter melts. Mix, shake and double strain in a martini glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, setting fire to both ends.

Pumpkin is continuing to grow in popularity as a flavour in the UK, with sales of pumpkin syrups and purees set to soar this autumn, according to American Beverage Marketers which produces the Re’al range of infused syrups. With UK distributor Cellar Trends, they are promoting some seasonal cocktail recipes to tie in with Halloween.

Halloween Punch by Ian Burrell, global rum ambassador
50ml Sweet spiced rum such as Pusser’s Spiced
30ml Fresh apple juice
10ml Sugar syrup
10ml Lime juice
20ml Pumpkin Re’al
Shake all ingredients together and serve in a tiki mug with crushed ice. Garnish with a flamed sprinkle of cinnamon.

Hallow’s Weeny Shake by Ian Burrell, global rum ambassador (pictured below, right)
25ml Pumpkin Re’al
50ml Gold light rum such as Angostura 5 Year Old
25ml Half and half
10ml Vanilla syrup
Shake the ingredients together and serve in a tall glass with lashings of ice.

Pump the Jelly and Hallow's Weeny Shake

Pump The Jelly by Daniele Dalla Polla of Nu Lounge Bar, Italy (pictured above, left)
45ml Bacardi Carta Blanca rum
15ml Bacardi Carta Fuego rum
20ml Pumpkin Re’al
1 tablespoon Bitter orange jelly
15ml Fresh lime juice
30ml Orange juice
Add all the ingredients into a shaker and dissolve the jelly. Add crushed ice and shake, then pour unstrained into a tall glass. Add more ice if required, and a dash of absinthe before garnishing with a fresh mint sprig.

Fall In Love by Daniele Dalla Polla of Nu Lounge Bar, Italy
20ml Pumpkin Re’al
15ml Maple syrup
15ml Fresh lemon juice
45ml Arcane Rum Cane Crush (agricole-style rum)
Dash of bitters
Shake all ingredients together and strain into a coupette.

Witch’s Brew by Georgi Radev of Ramusake and Mahiki, London
40ml Pusser’s Rum Gunpowder Proof
20ml Pumpkin Re’al
20ml Falernum
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
20ml Lime juice
30ml Fresh pink grapefruit juice
30ml Guava juice
Shake ingredients together and serve in a small hollowed pumpkin filled with half cubed and half crushed ice.

Pumpkin Colada by Georgi Radev of Ramusake and Mahiki, London
50ml Angostura 5 Year Old
25ml Mahiki Coconut rum
25ml Pumpkin Re’al
2 pineapple chunks
30ml Pineapple juice
15ml Lime juice
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
Blend all ingredients together and serve in a hurricane glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a scoop of yogurt, pumpkin spice web on the top and plastic spider.

Strongbow cider is joining the Halloween party this weekend with a Night of the Zombies promotion in over 10,000 bars and pubs. Outlets are being supplied with scratchcards to hand over at the bar when people order the brand. Panels reveal whether they are categorised as a “zombie” or a “survivor”, earning them instant prizes such as a T-shirt or a tattoo sleeve. The scratchcards also carry codes that can be entered onto the Strongbow Facebook page or microsite for a chance to win bigger prizes such as Zombie Battle Bunker experiences as well as Xbox Ones with a zombie game.

Emma Sherwood-Smith, cider director at brand owner Heineken, explains: “Halloween is a growing opportunity for licensees. Strongbow has been driving consumers into pubs successfully over Halloween for the last three years and this year’s Night of the Zombies theme taps into the popularity of zombie TV shows and films.”

Previous Winners announced in Scottish Bartenders Network awards
Next New Walkabout set to open in Manchester's Printworks