With Halloween running from last week into Mexico’s Day of the Dead on Thursday, bars are serving up some scarily good cocktails to celebrate.
At London’s four Dirty Bones restaurants, which specialise in New York-style comfort food, the Smashed Pumpkin cocktail (pictured top) is available until October 31, made with Sugar Shine Pumpkin Pie Moonshine, velvet falernum, lemon juice, pear purée, muddled raspberries, chocolate bitters, Peychaud’s Bitters and a cinnamon dusting.
Staying with the American theme, TGI Fridays restaurants across the UK are offering some special Halloween cocktails such as the Gremlin (pictured above), which combines Midori, Chambord, and Blavod black vodka, and the Grateful Dead, made with rum, gin, vodka, triple sec and Chambord.
At German Gymnasium at King’s Cross in London, pumpkins and skulls come together in the Rübengeistern cocktail (pictured above), made with bourbon washed with peanuts plus house-made chocolate wine, a handful of mint and gomme syrup, stirred in a vintage copper mug and garnished with mint and a chocolate-coated peanut.
At Blanchette restaurants in Soho and Brick Lane in London, two special-edition cocktails are on offer until Halloween. One is a pumpkin-flavoured cocktail with cinnamon and vodka (pictured above), and the other is a bloody-coloured concoction with beetroot-infused gin, redcurrants and molasses.
At Conrad London St James until Halloween, the Blue Boar Bar is serving the Glowing Glass cocktail (pictured below) – a warming cauldron of Mozart dark chocolate liqueur, banana liqueur, spiced sugar syrup and cream.
The next full moon may not be till November 4 but you can find a Werewolf of London (pictured below) at The Shrub & Shutter in Brixton in south London. It mixes gin, Luxardo Maraschino, kummel, a juniper and black pepper shrub and lemon juice.
Also in Brixton, Courtesan dim sum restaurant and bar devised a special “Night of a Thousand Spirits” menu featured Halloween-inspired drinks. Belladonna’s Bittersweet Kiss was made with Strega – the Italian liqueur that means “witch” – plus Wyborowa almond vodka, orgeat and wormwood, while a classic Corpse Reviver No 2 combined Greenall’s London Dry Gin, Lillet Blanc, dry curaçao, lemon juice and absinthe.
A seasonal Pumpkin Punch can be found on the menu at pop-up The Ethicurean, set in the John Lewis Roof Garden‘s Gardening Society in Oxford Street until Christmas. Created by Background Bars, the cocktail (pictured above) features bourbon, Luxardo Maraschino, bourbon, honey rooibos tea, pumpkin juice and bitters.
With Day of the Dead falling on Thursday November 2, the party continues at Latin American restaurants Las Iguanas. Available from October 26 to the end of November, the Spiced Passion Fruit Margarita (pictured above) is a mix of traditional Mexican flavours including Olmeca Blanco Tequila, lime juice, agave nectar, passion fruit, falernum and aromatic bitters. It is served in a sugar skull vessel – the icon of Day of the Dead – with smoking cinnamon to finish.
At City Social in London, the ominous cocktail At Death’s Door (pictured above) is naturally made with the US vodka of the same name.
40ml Death’s Door vodka
20ml Cherry Heering
30ml Millionaire Stout
10ml Red sugar syrup
10ml Lemon juice
Shake and serve in a coupette, garnished with “wild black ants paste”.
Bars and pubs around the UK have partnered Malibu coconut rum on a special Halloween cocktail, served in a suitably themed vessel. The Pumpkin Ghoulada (pictured above) comes in a bespoke pumpkin fishbowl with built-in straw, which customers can take home, and mixes Malibu with pineapple juice, coconut milk, lime juice and pumpkin puree. It is available in nearly 700 bars and pubs operated by Stonegate Pub Company, Marston’s and Greene King in the run-up to Halloween.
In addition to the on-trade deal, Malibu is also promoting a range of other spooky recipes including the Blood Shot, the Spineapple Martini and White Fright, using ingredients such as Tabasco, Midori, blackberry puree and candy floss.
75ml Pineapple juice
50ml Coconut milk
10ml Lime juice
Mix the Malibu, pineapple juice and coconut milk into a tall glass. Add in a few drops of lime juice, and finish by dribbling the grenadine down one side of the mix.
The Hocus Post
Mix equal amounts of Malibu and Midori into a shot glass. Stir thoroughly. Add a pinch of candyfloss to the top to create the smoking effect.
Half a lime, cut into wedges
15ml Blackberry or blueberry puree
Fill a glass with crushed ice and place in the lime wedges. Pour in the Malibu and puree. Finish with a “haunted sweet” to give your guests a spooky shock.
1 shot of Tabasco
Fill a shot glass with one serving of Malibu. Drip in Tabasco to see your drink “bleed”.
Spineapple Martini (pictured above)
50ml Pineapple juice
Mix Malibu and pineapple juice in a large wine glass. Add the Chambord for a frighteningly fizzy top. Garish props will add an extra spook.
75ml Apple juice
50ml Coconut puree
Mix the Malibu, apple juice and coconut puree into a large wine glass. Add a pinch of candy floss to the edge of the glass to create a cobwebbed effect.
A Halloween cocktail is being promoted for the suitably named expression, The Dublin Liberties Oak Devil Irish Whiskey.
50ml The Dublin Liberties Oak Devil
12.5ml Honey syrup (1:1 honey and hot water)
6-8 mint leaves
2 wedges of lemon
Muddle ingredients in a Collins glass and fill up with crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
From Black Cow Vodka come these two suggestions:
Trick or Treat?
45ml Black Cow Vodka
20ml Ginger wine
15ml Pumpkin orgeat (homemade or Monin Pumpkin Spice/Orgeat)
10ml Lemon juice
5ml Pineapple juice
Hard shake and double-strain into a coupette so that the pineapple gives a slight foam. Garnish with a dried lemon slice and a little cinnamon dust.
Blood and Sandbanks (pictured below)
25ml Black Cow Vodka
25ml Lindesfarne Mead
25ml Bold Aperitif
25ml Blood orange juice
5ml Laphroaig whisky
Shake and double-strain and serve in a chilled coupette. Garnish with a dried blood orange slice.
For cocktail ideas from Funkin, such as For Your Eye Only (pictured below), click here.