Halloween cocktails: shaken with fright, not stirred

A list of hauntingly delicious Halloween-themed cocktails


For those over 21, there can be nothing scarier than ordering a drink. You approach the bar and hope the bartender doesn’t roll their eyes at your fruity concoction or even worse, tell you they “can’t make that.”

This Halloween, leave the scares behind by making your own seasonal cocktails free from the judgment of the person behind the bar who tells you that your order of “whiskey, straight, on the rocks” is “not a thing.”

Candy Corn Cocktail

Candy corn is perhaps the most iconic candy of Halloween. Whether you ate across the three, multi-colored layers to discern if the colors tasted different, applied them to your canines to look like vampire fangs or ate them as God intended, the candy no doubt played a huge role in your childhood.

To make a candy corn cocktail, combine candy corn and vodka in an airtight container. Set aside for at least three hours, then strain the candy corn. Add four ounces of the vodka, orange liqueur and lemon to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for at least 30 seconds. Strain into martini glasses. Top with whipped cream and finish with the vodka-infused candy corn on the bottom of the glass.

Hot Apple Pie

Halloween night is forecasted to be chilly. As the classic ’90s film “American Pie” taught us, there’s nothing that can warm someone up like that titular dessert.

Start by making homemade hot apple cider. In a small pot, heat 4-5 cups of apple juice over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add a half teaspoon of cinnamon, a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg and two cinnamon sticks. If you're feeling lazy, store-bought apple cider will work as a substitute. Pour into a glass until it's half full. Combine with Licor 43 – or your favorite liqueur – and stir to make sure it is distributed equally. Top off with some whipped cream to garnish.

Vampire Kiss Martini

Like any good makeout session with the undead, this cocktail is sweet and delicious with a surprising bite.

Start by putting a rim of strawberry syrup and sugar on a martini glass. Drizzle the syrup on the inside of the glass so it drips down. Pour three ounces of chilled Pinnacle Whipped Vodka or Vanilla Vodka into a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a prepared martini glass. Add plastic teeth on the side of the glass as a garnish.

Caramel Mule

Mules are a popular drink, known for being served in a special copper mug. As a result, they stand out and make for a good conversation starter. Unless it’s the end of the night and the bartender is too lazy to clean one out and decides you’ll be OK with a Styrofoam cup – looking at you whoever served me at Falley Alley on Allen Street.

Avoid this disappointment by making your own in a fresh mug you washed yourself. Drip caramel syrup on the sides of the mug and fill with ice. Fill the cup halfway with apple cider. Pour two shots of caramel vodka and top it off with ginger beer. Garnish with an apple slice.

Black Magic Margarita

They may not celebrate Halloween south of the border as they have their own Day of the Dead celebration, but there is no reason you can’t add some of that Mexican flavor to your holiday.

Rim two glasses with a lime slice and dip in black sanding sugar. Divide four ounces of tequila, two ounces of Triple sec liqeur and a half-cup of lime juice between two glasses and stir to combine. Add red, blue and green food coloring to the drink until desired black color is achieved. Add ice and garnish with a slice of lime.

Bloody Orange Cocktail

It’s not Halloween without some fake blood. You don’t have to go full “Carrie” with a bucket of pig’s blood. A fake syringe from any party store filled with a fruity syrup should do just fine.

Take two cups of fresh raspberries and put them in a food processor. Press the puree through a mesh strainer to remove the pulp and discard the seeds. Then place the puree in a small saucepan with a quarter cup of sugar. Heat the oven to medium-low and stir until it’s thick and dark. Cool for about 10 minutes.

Fill the syringe with .75 ounces of your raspberry syrup. Add vodka and Licor 43 to a shaker with ice. Shake for about 20 seconds, add Orangina and stir. Finally, pour into iced glasses and place filled syringes in drinks. Top with an orange and serve.

Dana Casullo is a features writer and can be reached at  features@ubspectrum.com