Friends, it’s nearly the end of October. That means, if you’re anything like me, you’re ready to switch from Pumpkin Spice Lattes to something with a bit more bite. That or you’re needing something harder just so you can tolerate all the PSLs showing up on your Instagram feed.
These spooky craft cocktails have you covered for this Halloween season. We’ve even included some recipes in case you want to imbibe from the comfort of your own home:
Smashing Pumpkin — Grant Grill, San Diego
If there was ever fall in a cup, it’s this pumpkin-rum cocktail, which was featured on Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Hey, if a drink ended up being the best thing someone ever ate, I’m onboard. If you’re not headed to San Diego this weekend, give the recipe a try at home:
- 2 oz. Pumpkin and Star Anise Infused 10 Cane Rum
- .5 oz. Grand Marnier
- .75 oz. St. Elizabeth All Spice Dram
- .75 oz. Massanez Ginger Liqueur
- .75 oz. saffron syrup
- 2-3 dashes cardamom bitters
- 1 oz. fresh meyer lemon
Rim glass with spice mix of sanding sugar, ground ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Combine liquids. Float orange putka pod as garnish.
The Candy Corn — Omni La Costa Resort and Spa, Carlsbad, Calif.
Okay, okay, I know people throw a lot of shade at candy corn. But this candy corn is made with vodka instead of disappointment, which makes it 100 percent (or 100 proof) better than the confectionary version being handed out by those houses that aren’t handing out chocolate. You know who you are.
Unconvinced? Give it a shot (pun intended, no regrets)!
- 1 1/2 oz. Svedka Vanilla Vodka
- 3 oz. sour mix
- 2 oz. pineapple juice
- 1/2 oz. grenadine
- Whipped cream for garnish
Combine Svedka Vanilla Vodka with sour mix and pineapple juice in a shaker with ice. Shake away. Pour mix into a martini glass. Slowly pour grenadine into mix so that it settles at the bottom. Top with whipped cream
The Great Pumpkin Sazerac — Embers Ski Lodge, Nashville, Tenn.
I like to think that this is what Charlie Brown is going to have when he hits 21. It’s been a long day on the football field. Lucy pulled this crap again. But one sip of a Great Pumpkin Sazerac, and his “AAUGH” turns into an “Ahhhh.”
- 2 oz. Copper and King’s brandy
- 1 dash pumpkin bitters
- .25 oz demerara syrup
- Mist of Copper and King’s absinthe (first)
Stir and serve on the rocks.
Hudson Creature — 2West at the Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park, N.Y.
Enjoy sipping the Hudson Creature while overlooking New York Harbor, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty. Hopefully, there’s nothing strange going on in the neighborhood, and Lady Liberty will keep still on Halloween night, allowing you plenty of time to create your cocktail’s personalized monster face, courtesy of the assorted candies that come with it.
Pumpkin Pie Bam-Boozled Shake — Holsteins Shakes and Buns Orange County, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Pumpkin pie in a glass, exclusively for grownups! With real pie, graham cracker crumbs, ice cream, whipped cream, and booze, this is a treat that will make you feel like a kid again. A drunk kid.
Can’t make it to Holsteins this Halloween? It’s all good, because they’re bringing the drink to you. Enjoy the Pumpkin Pie Bam-Boozled Shake in the comfort of your own crypt.
- 4 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 1 oz. Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka
- 2 tbsp. pumpkin pie filling, canned
- 1 tbsp. graham cracker crumbs
- 1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice blend
- whipped cream
Place the first five ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. It’s helpful to let the ice cream melt slightly before blending. Fill glass with shake. Garnish with whipped cream.
Crime Scene — Harrah’s Resort Southern California, San Diego
Served, appropriately enough, at the Spiked Lounge, Absolut Vanilla, Belgian Chocolate Liqueur, and Baileys are served with a coffee ice sphere. Just before imbibing, your bartender drops in a dash of Peychaud’s bitters, so that you can enjoy a rippling, blood-red accent in your Halloween treat.
Sangre de Tigre — Tanta, Chicago
Sangre de Tigre means “tiger’s blood,” and it’s a worthy name for a Halloween cocktail that bites back. Chili-infused vodka combines with lemon, simple syrup, and Chicha morada, a Peruvian beverage made with corn, pineapple, and spices. Best of all, it’s a treat that comes with its own built-in trick — a bug Han-Solo’d in your ice cube.