The pumpkin is carved, costume created and candy is placed in bowls ready for eager children’s hands…Yep, Halloween is upon us!
The time has come for me to put up some of my favorite ‘Halloween’ inspired mixed drinks, to get you in the mood…
- 1oz Gin
- 1oz Cocchi Americano
- 3/4oz Cointreau
- 3/4oz Lemon Juice
- 1 Bar-spoon (1/2tsp) of Absinthe
Garnish: Maraschino Cherry
My first thought when I heard of this drink was ‘What about the Corpse reviver number one?!’ Apparently there are several drinks with the ‘Corpse Reviver’ name, but almost anyone who has tasted more than one would argue that this is the most palatable and balanced version.
The first publication of this drink can be seen in Harry Craddock’s ‘The Savoy Cocktail Book’, 1930. It is a drink that could supposedly raise any dead drinker on the morning after and was designed as a hangover cure (hence the name).
The original recipe calls for Quina Lillet, which is no longer in production. Many bartenders make the error of using Lillet Blanc in it’s place, but this is not the same at all. Cocchi Americano is the most authentic to flavor as the original would have been, which is why I have added it to the above recipe.
Blood and Sand
- 1oz scotch
- 3/4oz Sweet Vermouth
- 3.4oz Blood Orange Juice
- 3/4oz Cherry Heering
Garnish: Orange peel
I just learnt today that whenever ‘Sand or Sandy’ is used in a drink name before prohibition, it almost always refers to the use of scotch in the drink.
This drink is a little sweeter than the others (probably why I like it!) but very tasty and beautifully balanced with a rich orange flavor. It’s rare to find a cocktail with Scotch that works with lots of other flavors, but this one does.
The origins of this drink date back to 1922 when it was named after a bullfighter movie ‘Blood and Sand’ by Rudolph Valentino. The red juice of the blood orange in the drink helped to link it with the film. This recipe also first appears in print in The Savoy Cocktail Book, 1930.
- 1/2 oz Gin
- 1/2 oz Sweet vermouth
- 1/2 oz Dry vermouth
- 1/2 oz Fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1/2oz Grand Marnier
- Dash orange bitters
Shake and strain in to a Cocktail glass.
There are two versions of this classic cocktail, one calling for Grand Marnier, the other using Orange Curaçao. The above recipe is considered the “straight” version, while the other is known as “curled”. No idea as to the origins of this drinks name but it has an interesting mix of flavors. The orange is prominent but there is a bitterness to it and almost a peppery flavor from the gin, especially if you use something like Bombay Sapphire as the base.
I prefer the ‘straight’ version of this drink because it is slightly sweeter using Grand Marnier, but both versions are nicely balanced. This is yet another cocktail taken from The Savoy Cocktail Book, 1930 by the way. I can’t get enough of Harry Craddock this Halloween!
- 2oz Pisco
- 1tsp Shredded Coconut
- 1/4oz Juiced Ginger
- 2 tbsp Pumpkin Butter (Trader Joes)
Shake and strain in to a tall glass with ice.
- Top with 1 oz Weinstephaner (Wheat Beer)
Garnish: Orange peel dusted with cinnamon
‘ Zucca’ is the Italian word for Pumpkin and is another of Greg Bryson’s drinks from his 2o12 Fall menu at Hostaria Del Piccolo, Santa Monica. I honestly thought the use of so many strong flavors like coconut, ginger, cinnamon, pumpkin and beer would taste really off balance and kind of messy. The end result is the complete opposite though! The flavors work well together and compliment each other beautifully. Unlike most pumpkin drinks i’ve had; this one isn’t overly creamy and rich, instead it is refreshing, slightly sweet and surprisingly balanced.
The recipe is understandably a little difficult to recreate at home,so if you find yourself in Santa Monica this Autumn definitely pop in to Hostaria to try this tasty option.
- 2 oz Pumpkin ale
- 1 oz Rittenhouse Bonded rye
- 1 oz Laird’s Bonded Apple Brandy
- 1/2 Grade B Maple Syrup
- 1 whole egg
Garnish: Grated Nutmeg
This creamy, pumpkin cocktail was created by Jim Meehan of PDT for his Fall menu in 2008. It captures rich Autumnal flavors perfectly by using apple brandy, maple syrup and pumpkin ale. According to the ‘PDT Cocktail Book’, 2011 they named it ‘Great Pumpkin’ as a reference to Charles Schultz‘s masterpiece ‘It’s the Great pumpkin, Charlie Brown’, 1966.
Meehan suggests Southampton pumpkin ale, but honestly any good brand will work. Using a whole egg makes this drink a ‘Flip’, and although a lot of people are put off by the thought of an egg in their drink, I have to say it’s honestly not so much a taste factor as it is mouth feel. When shaken well the egg creates a deliciously creamy foam, and that fluffy topping is the best part of the drink in my opinion! It basically tastes like a pumpkin egg nog. The nutmeg gives a great nose too, this is just a perfect drink for fall.
If you want to try it somewhere special this recipe is currently available on the drinks list at The Penthouse @ Mastros in Beverly Hills.
Anyway, that’s all I have for you… Go carve your pumpkins and get in the mood for October 31st!