Wednesday, October 24

Infused: Top 10 Halloween Inspired Cocktails

Caramel apples, parties and kids dressing as little characters is what comes to mind when October rolls around. Leaves are painted with the autumn palette of plum, russet, burgundy and gold and thoughts turn toward Halloween.

This holiday represents many things to people, but perhaps it most defines fun in the form of dressing up as something other than your day-to-day personality, signifying your inner angel, devil or celebrity self. Fortunately the fun of childhood follows us into adulthood with bigger costumes, grown up snacks and adult "witches' brew" in the form of fun cocktails.

I invited experts in the world of spirits, wine and beer, including sommeliers, mixologists, restaurants, pubs, distillers and manufacturers to send their Halloween-inspired cocktails. The response was overwhelming with recipes pouring in from across the United States. I compiled the list and narrowed it down to the ones most in spirit with the holiday and consisting of uniqueness, great taste and visual appeal. I present to you the...

Top 10 Halloween Inspired Cocktails 2012

(1) Jack the Ripper
(image above)
Who: Blush Ultraloung in Le Merigot Hotel at Casino Aztar (Steven Lagenourand Catherine Daters)
Where: Evansville, IN


Inspiration: Jack the Ripper- Lurking in the dark shadows of the cocktail, a mysterious phantom may appear when you least expect it!
Recipe: 1 ¼ oz Absolut Orient Apple, ½ oz Goldschlager, ¼ oz Lucid Absinthe, 2 oz of Apple Juice, Splash of Cranberry, 3 Blackberries, 1 honey dew melon chunk: Muddle 1 blackberry in bottom of shaker, pour all ingredients into shaker with two more blackberries. Shake well. Carve face in honey dew, put in bottom of a high ball glass. Fill glass ¼ full with ice, pour in ingredients and serve.

(2) Zombie Brain Hemorrhage
Who: Cock & Bull Public House 
Where: Cincinnati, OH
Inspiration: Our Zombie Cock & Bull-O-Ween Fest
Recipe: Use a shot glass and fill it half-way with Peach Schnapps, Add 1 oz. Bailey’s, splash of Blue Curacoa and Grenadine.

(3) Jack O' Lantern

Who: Texas Grill
Where: Phoenix, AZ


Inspiration: Jack O' Lanterns
Recipe: 2 scoops vanilla ice cream, 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 2 shots Jack Daniels: Combine all ingredients in a blender and pour into a decorative glass. Top with whipped cream and garnish with a pumpkin Peep.

(4) Apple Spice Martini
Who: W Hotel (Sushi Roku)
Where: Scottsdale, AZ
Inspiration: Everyone's favorite snack to bob for at Halloween parties.

Recipe: 3/4 oz Sour Apple Schnapps, 3/4 oz. Tuaca, 3/4 oz. Jack Honey, 1 oz. Apple Cider, 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup: Shake and serve in a white chocolate drizzled martini glass with a graham cracker rim.

(5) Eye for an Eye
Who: Last Drop at The Hermosa
Where: Scottsdale, AZ
Inspiration: A witch's potion
Recipe: 1.5 oz Veiux Carre Absinthe, .75 oz Luxardo maraschino, .75 oz lemon juice: Shake/strain into chilled martini glass, top with float of Peychaud's bitters, garnish with an eye ball (blueberry inside lychee).

(6) Southern Scream
Who: Southern Comfort
Where: Louisville, KY
Inspiration: Blood floating after a Halloween monster attack.
Recipe: In a tall glass with ice, add: 1½ ounces Southern Comfort, 4 ounces orange juice, Drizzle of Grenadine. Add a black straw for sipping.

(7) Zuccaween
Who: Davanti Enoteca
Where: Scottsdale, AZ
Inspiration: Zucca is Italian for pumpkin and this cocktail shares an Italian-infused Halloween drink.
Recipe: 1.5 oz Maker's Mark Bourbon, 3/4 oz Amaro Montenegro, 1/2 oz Faretti Biscotti Famosi Liqueur, 3 drops of AZ Bitter's Lab "Figgy Pudding", tsp. of pumpkin puree: Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and pour into cocktail ups glass. Garnish with pumpkin biscotti

(8) Pumpkin Margarita
Who: Crema Restaurante/Partida
Where: New York City

Inspiration: This cocktail honors the pumpkin, what we believe is one of the most iconic symbols of Halloween. For a holiday surrounded by pumpkin-spiced everything (lattes, cakes, soups and even sausage) it's a wonder pumpkin cocktails aren't the No. 1 drink. We hope this cocktail changes that.
Recipe: 2 oz Partida Reposado Tequila, 1 oz fresh lime juice, splash of pumpkin puree, sesame seeds, lime wedge: Rim a cocktail glass with lime juice and sesame seeds. Mix ingredients well in a shaker with ice. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

(9) Blood Orange Martini
Who: Aria at Fairmont (Daniel Freedman)
Where: Chicago
Inspiration: For those longing for in-season citrus in the fall season.
Recipe: 1 1/2 ounces orange vodka, 1 1/2 ounces Campari, 1 1/2 ounces orange juice: Shake with ice, strain into martini glass, garnish with blood orange wheel.

(10) Pumpkin Pie Martini
Who: Brasserie JO (David Ciciarella)
Where: Boston, MA


Inspiration: Autumn's seasonal flavors
Recipe: 2 ½ oz Three Olives Vanilla Vodka, 1 ½ oz Tito Pepe Fino Sherry, 3 oz Pumpkin Butter, ½ Teaspoon Grated Nutmeg: Combine vanilla vodka, sherry and pumpkin butter in shaker. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass. Sprinkle nutmeg over top of martini.

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Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel columnist, freelance writer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, at and and catch her as Indy’s Entertainment Adviser on 93 WIBC. Gotta Go is published on,, in magazines and several Indianapolis area newspapers. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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