Halloween is definitely looking a little different this year. In lieu of scary soirées, maybe you’re curling up on the couch with a spooky flick, swapping 2020 horror stories over Zoom, or braving a socially conscious outdoor gathering. Just because party plans now have to be Covid-conscious, doesn’t mean you can’t scare up some killer cocktails. At home, through the screen, or IRL, our cellar witches at Wine & Spirits have crafted a few easy brews for any home cauldron. Read on, if you dare!
Since we’re already feeling witchy, lets start off with the Witch’s Heart, a fruit-forward cocktail that changes color when a few dashes of citrus are added. There are two versions of this drink, depending on your preference. If you're feeling gin-uinely spooky, go for the Empress Gin. Feeling a little “spirited”? Try it with an infusion of moonshine and butterfly pea flower tea: Just steep a few of the dried flowers in Kings County Distillery’s Moonshine until you reach the desired hue of blue! The tea itself is fairly mild and without caffeine, so there’s nothing to be afraid of...or is there?
- Add the gin or moonshine infusion, creme de cassis, and grenadine to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir for 30 seconds (the outside of the shaker will appear frosty). Serve in a rocks glass over new ice, then add in the fresh lemon juice and stir and watch this potion transform before your eyes!
- Garnish with a speared blackberry.
Still howling at the moon? We’ve got a cocktail for that. Here’s our own mutation on a classic whiskey cocktail with a smoky twist. BYO werewolf.
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir for 15 seconds.
- Pour into a chilled coupe glass, garnish with a lemon wheel as your full moon rising.
- Feeling spicy? Stud the lemon wheel with cloves for added spice and flair.
Shrunken Head Tiki Cocktail
Okay, okay, enough moonshine (we just love it so much). Next up is a haunting twist on an old classic: The Shrunken Heads Tiki Cocktail. We’ve got 100-proof Jamaican heavy pot still rum that's delightfully fruity (think beachy banana vibes) while still packing a ghoulish punch.
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
- Shake vigorously for 15 seconds, then strain over new ice into your favorite tiki mug.
- Garnish with a skewer of fresh pineapple (or any fruit you like) and mint leaf for garnish.
Ghouls Night In
Finally, we have a frightfully tempting tipple for everyone, from Trick-or-Treat fatigued parents to devilish day drinkers, and covens gathered for their annual viewing of "The Craft." This combination of locally produced apple brandy and matcha combo is sure to put a little pep in your step and a little ghoul in your gait. At least that’s what our Ouija board said...
2 oz Neversink Apple Brandy
1 oz Matcha ( if you don’t have powder handy, Matchabar Iced Tea is a great substitute)
½ oz Honey (Bushwick Kitchen Bee’s Knees Spicy Honey is a b-o-m-b alternative if you dare!)
½ oz fresh lemon juice
Mint, for garnish
- Combine the brandy, matcha, honey, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake for 15-20 seconds.
- Strain and serve over fresh ice, garnished with mint. Stick a straw in it, you’re done! Go forth and get your spook on, responsibly of course.