Halloween offers an opportunity like no other for extravagant, themed drinks. There is so much to experiment with, from flavors to colors to fun special effects. Guests are sure to be impressed with any of these ghoulish cocktails.
Ingredients (makes 20 servings):
40 oz lychees in syrup (2 cans, about 20 lychees) peeled and pitted, strained, liquid reserved
Red food coloring
12 cups cranberry juice
3 cups ginger ale
2 cups lychee juice
2 cups vodka
Punch, especially spiked punch, is always a fan-favorite at parties, and it’s so easy to make. This fun Halloween-themed recipe has some scary additions, including lychee “eyeballs” and frozen hands. Start by filling four latex gloves with water and tying them closed. Place in the freezer to make “handprints.” To make the lychee eyeballs, put a blueberry in the center of each lychee. Use a toothpick to paint red food coloring in vein patterns on the outside of the lychee. Set aside in the fridge while making the rest of the punch.
In a large punch bowl, combine the cranberry juice, ginger ale, lychee juice and vodka. Add in the hand-shaped ice cubes and lychee eyeballs before serving. For a sweeter punch, add in fruit-flavored sorbet. Serve in skull shaped cups. This punch will leave you (blood) thirsty for more.
BOOzy Hot Chocolate
2 oz. finely chopped semisweet chocolate
6 oz. hot milk
1 1⁄2 oz. Bailey’s Irish Whiskey
This is your standard spiked hot cocoa. To make hot chocolate from scratch, add the semisweet chocolate morsels into a mug and pour the hot milk over them. Stir until melted and smooth. Top off with the whiskey, or your spirit of choice, and serve with a ghost-shaped marshmallow. For a quicker preparation time, you can use powdered cocoa mix.
Candy Corn Cocktail
1 cup whipped cream-flavored vodka
½ cup candy corn, plus more for garnish
8 tablespoons orange juice
4 tablespoons whipped cream
Candy corn is a polarizing seasonal candy, but there’s no denying this cocktail is as Halloween as it gets. Personally, I don’t like candy corn, but this is a fruitier take on the colorful candy. To prepare to make this drink ahead of time, combine the candy corn and vodka in a bowl to soak and infuse for one to two hours. Add the orange juice to a martini glass. Slowly pour in 3 tablespoons of the infused vodka. Pouring it over the back of a spoon will ensure the vodka sinks to the bottom of the glass and creates a layered effect. Top with whipped cream and garnish with more candy corn before serving.
Black Magic Margaritas
1/3 cup black sanding sugar
1 cup ice
2 oz. tequila
1 oz. triple sec
1/4 cup lime juice
Red food coloring
Blue food coloring
Green food coloring
Lime slices, for garnish
Rim a margarita glass with sanding sugar. Add ice and all the liquid ingredients. Stir to combine. Add food coloring until the desired black color is achieved. Garnish with a slice of lime and serve.
Sour Frankenstein Cocktail
1/2 cup corn syrup
5 drops red food coloring
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 ½ oz. tequila
Homemade simple syrup (1 part boiling water mixed with 1 part sugar)
This lime green cocktail is perfect for parties because it can be prepared ahead of time. It’s essentially just a frozen margarita with a spooky twist. Prepare edible fake blood by combining the corn syrup, cornstarch and food coloring in a bowl and freezing for 15 minutes. Use a blender to blend a splash of water, limes, cucumber and salt until mixture is combined. Strain pulp, then add simple syrup and stir. Rim two frozen glasses with edible fake blood then add tequila and ice. Top with a splash of margarita mix if you want a sweeter, tangier taste.
3 oz. vodka
1 oz. dry vermouth
4 large pickled onions
4 pimento stuffed green olives
Start by preparing the “eyeballs.” Stuff the green olives into the center of the pickled onions and skewer with a cocktail stick. Combine vodka and dry vermouth into a chilled glass. Garnish with the eyeballs.
Witches Brew Cocktail
1 oz. vodka
Red and green food coloring
1/2 oz. raspberry liqueur
Combine the vodka, raspberry liqueur and 10 drops of each food coloring in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour into a martini glass and top with a splash of Mountain Dew. Carefully add a few pieces of dry ice to create a smoking effect. Garnish with a blackberry.
When planning cocktails for a Halloween party, there are truly endless possibilities. Keep in mind the potential of novelty ice cube trays (you can find bone and brain shaped trays in many party stores) and dry ice. The “blood” recipe from the Frankenstein cocktail can be added to any drink for an extra scary touch. Another special, edible ingredient is tonic water. Adding tonic water to any drink and turning on a black light creates a glow-in-the-dark effect.
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