Bars stir up spooky cocktails for Halloween

The black widowWith Halloween falling on a Thursday this year, bars, clubs and restaurants are celebrating all week with spooky and often gruesome-looking drinks on their menus.

The garnish on the Black Widow cocktail (pictured above) at The Lockhart restaurant and bar in Mayfair, London, is not for arachnophobes. Bar manager Emilie Campesato-Mouragne has created the drink for the venue’s Halloween party on Thursday, using a blackberry and liquorice to create a giant spider coming out of the glass.

The Black Widow by Emilie Campesato-Mouragne

4 or 5 Blackberries
50ml Bourbon infused with cherry chips wood
10ml Crème de mûre
10ml Crème de cassis
10ml Lemon juice
1 crack of black pepper
1 pinch of chilli flakes
15ml Cranberry juice

Muddle the blackberries and add the other ingredients. Shake hard and double strain into a chilled Martini cocktail glass. At the bottom of the glass, place a blackberry with eight pieces of liquorice roll placed around the edge to resemble spider’s legs.

At The Four Sisters in Islington in north London, the bar team is serving the Dracula’s Libation cocktail. It combines Finlandia vodka with Becherovka herbal liqueur, The King’s Ginger liqueur, crystallised Aperol, lemon and egg white, served in a tea cup with a mini stake for slaying vampires.

arachnophobia four sisters

They also offer the Arachnophobia (pictured above), using caramelised sugar to create a spider’s web.


2 cherries soaked in bourbon
1 barspoon Demerara sugar
50ml Jim Beam Black bourbon
4 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 dash Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Add the cherries and the sugar to a mixing glass. Using a bar torch, caramelise the sugar with the cherries. Muddle the cherries and add the rest of ingredients and ice and stir for about 10 seconds. Single-strain into a single ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a caramelised sugar web.

blood sucker

At Chinese restaurant Royal China Canary Wharf in London, a Halloween cocktail called the Blood Sucker (pictured above) will be on the menu on Thursday, served tiki style. Priced £6.50, it is a mix of vodka, Archers peach schnapps, grenadine and cranberry juice, with a non-alcoholic version also available for £5.

massacre honky tonk

At Honky Tonk in Chelsea and Clapham in London, its Halloween party on Thursday (October 31) will feature the Honky Tonk Massacre of SW London (pictured above), a cocktail made with a Jelly Baby-infused vodka, Baileys and grenadine with a garnish of served Jelly Baby heads on a spike.

Jack the Ripper is the inspiration for Jack’s Martini (pictured below), a drink created at 1901 Restaurant & Wine Bar at Andaz Liverpool Street Hotel in London by head bartender Giovanni Castorina. Some believe that the Ripper, who committed his gruesome murders not far away, was a member of the Freemasons who once used the hotel’s Masonic Temple. Priced £12, the cocktail is one of the bar’s signature cocktails.

Jacks Martini

Jack’s Martini by Giovanni Castorina

60ml Hendrick’s Gin
15ml Elderflower cordial
2 slices of cucumber
1 wedge of lemon

Muddle the cucumber and lime and shake with the cordial, gin and ice, and strain into a chilled Martini cocktail glass.

At Shaka Zulu in Camden, north London, the dead will be celebrated with the Dead King’s Flame (pictured below), mixing overproof rum and coconut rum with fruit juices, ginger and lemongrass plus a blue curaçao float.

Dead King’s Flame

25ml Wray and Nephew rum
25ml Koko Kanu
10ml Ginger & lemongrass cordial
12.5ml Lime juice
10ml Sugar syrup
50ml Pineappple juice
5ml Grenadine (float)
5ml Blue curaçao (float)

Shake the first six ingredients together and strain over cubed ice. Float the grenadine and blue curaçao on top. Garnish with lime and a flaming stick of lemongrass.


Inception Group is celebrating Halloween across its London bars and clubs. On Saturday (November 2), Maggie’s in Chelsea will be filled with rusty wire garlands, gunky sacks of eyeballs, bloodied hanging knives and screenings of clips from 1980s slasher movies such as Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. Over at Mr Fogg’s in Mayfair, a theatrical spectacle, inspired by Jack the Ripper, will take over the venue from Thursday to Sunday (November 3), while an annual “Yelloween” party will be held at the group’s original bar, Barts, in Chelsea in association with Veuve Clicquot on Thursday (October 31).

smokey bunga pumpkin LR

At the group’s Italian restaurant and bar Bunga Bunga in Battersea, guests have been promised “poison-filled pumpkins” (pictured above) on Thursday (October 31) at a party that will be an Italian take on the Mexicans’ Day of The Dead, called Tutti I Morti.

Poison-filled Pumpkin

40ml Sailor Jerry spiced rum
8.5ml Galliano vanilla liqueur
2 tablespoons of sugar pumpkin syrup
Orange juice

Make the pumpkin syrup by mixing sugar syrup with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and fresh pumpkin pulp. Combine with the rum and liqueur and top up with a splash of orange juice.

Bulldog Gin Smashing PumpkinThe team behind Bulldog London Dry Gin have created the Smashing Pumpkin cocktail (pictured right) for Halloween to make use of the leftovers from carving out the pumpkin.

Smashing Pumpkin

60 ml Bulldog Gin
90 ml Pumpkin puree
15 ml Simple syrup
Dash of vanilla extract
Garnish: Sprig of rosemary

Add all ingredients to a cauldron or mixing glass and stir. Optionally, chant the spell, “Hubble bubble, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble”. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary.

Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations traditionally run from October 31 to November 2, inspiring bars to use tequila and mezcal in themed cocktails. The Aqui Estoy cocktail (pictured below) at the Artesian bar at London’s Langham Hotel comes into its own, presented in a skull – a traditional image for Day of the Dead festivities.

Priced £16.50, it combines Don Julio blanco tequila with mezcal, Velvet Falernum, minty Japanese shiso and fresh lime juice, finished with cinnamon cuts and rose buds.

Alex explains: “This drink celebrates the death of a person in a glorious way – this is the Mexican tradition. For those who want to taste a completely unique cocktail this Halloween this is the one to try.”

Aqui Estoy

Archer Street bar in Soho will be riding the Highway to Hell (pictured below) for Halloween with a cocktail made with Calle 23 reposado tequila and fresh Thai chilli plus a garnish of a pair of devil’s horns.

Highway To Hell

35ml Calle 23 reposado tequila
15ml Cranberry liqueur
25ml Passion fruit juice
25ml Passion fruit purée
15ml Fresh lime juice
10ml Vanilla sugar syrup
2 slices of fresh Thai chilli

Mix the first six ingredients with ice and shake vigorously. Then strain into a Martini glass. Get two ends of a Birds Eye chilli, drag around glass and then garnish the glass either side, resulting in two devil’s horns.

Highway to Hell LR

As part of its Halloween support for young people’s bars, Global Brands is offering bars Ghoul-Fish Bowls for Halloween-themed shared serves for its RTD brand VK along with popping candy and Dracula teeth sweets.

Cocktail ideas include the Black Cat, mixing VK Blue and Corky’s Sour Cherry, topped with lemonade and ice, and Ghostly Green, combining VK Apple and Corky’s Sour Apple, topped with lemonade and ice. Click here for the full story at

SHS Drinks came up with cocktail cauldrons for its ready-to-drink (RTD) range WKD, with authentic-looking feet and a capacity of 1.4 litres. It also provided “Foamy Powder” which, when added to a cocktail, creates a theatrical fizzing effect.

Eight Halloween-themed cocktail recipes using WKD’s range were created under the banner of “Witch Cocktail Cauldron?”, such as the WKD Pumpkin Grin, combining WKD Iron Brew, whisky, lime and lemonade over ice. Click here for the full story at

“Halloween is becoming a bigger and bigger event in the social calendar each year,” says SHS Drinks marketing director Debs Carter.

Updated October 31, 2013

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