Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. For the week before and after All Hallows Eve there are parties and celebrations that for me personally herald the end of summer and beginning of Fall.
These costumed themed events are a great way to show off people's creativity, relax inhibitions, and share time with friends.
The transition from October to November globally marks a time where many cultures and religions honor their ancestors, as well as dearly departed friends and family.
For example the Mexican and Central American holiday Día de Muertos that begins October 31st and ends November 2nd is one such celebration that in recent years has risen in popularity in the United States.
This time is actively marked coast to coast with festivals and cultural education that I think resonates beyond borders and taps into the collective psyches of all who acknowledge it.
One of the key things around these celebrations is flavorful libations from cocktails to punches to spirits served neat that celebrate not only life, but the spirits of those who have gone before us.
To help get the season started, here are a few drink recipes to help you get you in the mood for the festivities.
1. Undead FashionedBy Oriol Elias of Threeofstrong.com
This cocktail inspired by the Old Fashioned cocktail recipe, takes its humble origin and transforms it into a complex and flavorful experience.
- ¾ oz Doorly's XO Rum
- ¾oz El Dorado 15 Rum
- ¾oz Angostura 1824 Rum
- 3 drops Pernod
- ¼ oz Cinnamon Syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
- 1 dash grapefruit bitters
- Falernum Smoke*
Instructions1. Add all the ingredients (except the Falernum smoke) in a mixing glass filled with ice cubes and stir.
2. Strain the drink inside a skull glass bottle with the help of a funnel.
3. Fill the skull glass bottle of Falernum smoke with the smoking gun full of oak chips, ground cloves, grated ginger and grated lime peel. Then close the bottle.
4. Put a lime twist and an ice ball inside a chilled double Old Fashioned glass.
5. Serve the skull bottle and the glass in a tray and add some Falernum smoke in the chilled double Old Fashioned glass too.
6. Each one has to serve the cocktail himself and enjoy it!!!
*To make Falernum Smoke: Fill a smoking gun with oak chips, ground cloves, grated ginger and grated lime peel.
2. Shrunken SkullRecipe from Mr. Lemon Hart's Tropical Treats 1973 - Created at the Mai-Kai Polynesian Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale Florida
The basic version of the Shrunken Skull cocktail is a small drink that is scalable to fit the venue and vessel.
Ingredients- ½ oz lime juice
- ½ oz grenadine
- ½ oz Puerto Rico Gold Rum (recommend Don Q Gold)
- ½ oz Lemon Hart Demerara Rum
InstructionsMix in cocktail shaker with ice cubes and strain into cocktail glass.
3. TsantaBy Paul Senft
Over the years my enjoyment of Shrunken Skull - this simple, but tasty concoction has led me to come up with a larger scale variant that is mighty in its potency not to mention deliciousness. I present for your drinking pleasure one of my original cocktail recipes called the Tsanta.
Ingredients- 2 oz fresh lime juice
- 2 oz Grenadine
- 1 ½ oz Appleton 12 Rum
- 1 oz El Dorado 5
- ½ oz float of 151 Lemon Hart (optional)
- ½ to 1 oz Soda water depending on mug
- Fruit stick for garnish
Instructions1. Put all ingredients in an ice filled shaker except 151 Rum and soda water.
2. Shake hard then strain into appropriate skull mug half filled with ice.
3. Top off with soda water and float 151 Rum.
4. Garnish with fruit stick and serve.
4. Redrumby Pat Weikle of TheTikiMen.com
Pat Weikle, one of the best Tiki Cocktail consultants I know in Atlanta provided me with this fun cocktail to share with the Flaviar Times readers.
Ingredients- 1 oz White Jamaican overproof Rum- recommended J. Wray and Nephew
- 1 oz Dark Spiced Rum (we love Lemon Hart Blackpool spiced for this)
- ¾ Fresh Lime Juice
- ½ oz Simple Syrup
- ¾ oz Guava Nectar
- ¼ oz Grenadine
- ¼ oz Allspice Liqueur
Instruction1. Mix all ingredients in a blender then flash blend over ice 2-3 seconds, strain over fresh ice in Highball glass.
2. Garnish with skewered luxardo cherries and lime wheel.
5. Speak with the Deadby Paul Senft
This next cocktail is another one of my original creations. All ingredients are easy to find either at local stores or online. The Kombucha has a tea blend base that is balanced by the raspberry juice giving the cocktail an earthy foundation with the remaining flavors lending balance and complexity to the drink.
Ingredients- 1 ½ oz Puerto Angel Rum Blanco (Uruapan, Mexico blend)
- 3 oz Kombucha Rasberry Hibiscus (Simple Truth Organic)
- 2 oz Orange juice
- 3 Drops of Blackstrap Bitters
Instructions1. Put all ingredients except bitters in mixing cup half filled with ice.
2. Stir and pour unstrained into glass. Add Bitters and serve.
6. Skull and Bonesby Tony Ramos for Don the Beachcomber, featured in the 10th anniversary edition of Jeff Berry's Sippin' Safari
The final cocktail is courtesy of writer and Sage of Rum, Jeff Berry. A Halloween favorite this cocktail is robust in flavor and potency. Not for the faint of heart this cocktail by design has a hefty kick to it and is best enjoyed slowly over an evening.
Ingredients- 1 ½ oz 151 Proof Demerara Rum (Lemon Hart 151)
- ½ oz Gold Puerto Rico Rum (I recommend Bacardi Cuatro)
- ¾ oz fresh lime juice
- ½ oz Passion Fruit syrup
- ½ oz Grenadine
- 6 drops of Herbsaint or Pernod
- Dash of Angostura Bitters
- 8 oz (1 cup) of crushed ice
Instructions1. Put everything in blender, saving the ice for last. Blend at high speed for no more than five seconds.
2. Pour into a skull mug or double Old-Fashioned Glass. Add ice cubes to fill.
Hopefully a few of these cocktails have inspired and gotten you ready for the festivities surrounding Halloween. They are plenty of cocktails that fit the theme from the Corpse Reviver to the Widows' Kiss, do you have a favorite that you like to share with friends this time of year? From my Haunted House to yours, Happy Halloween!