Friday, October 25

Infused: Top 10 Best Halloween Cocktails 2013

Oh my... it is that time again.

The time when the air grows chilly, leaves turn and fireplaces are lit.

In short ~ Autumn.

Along with the change of season comes thoughts of Halloween and all it entails: parties, costumes and fun. Fun even trickles down to food and drinks.

Once again I have 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 swift with recipes of devilish brews, scary shots and orange concoctions dedicated to the holiday of fear and frivolity. The list was compiled and narrowed down to the ones most in spirit with the holiday and representing uniqueness, great taste and visual appeal.

I present to you the...

Top 10 Halloween Inspired Cocktails 2013

(1) Screamsicle
(see image above)
Who: Cascade Ice
Where: Everett, WA
Inspiration: Screams heard in the night.
Recipe: Mix 6 oz Cascade Ice Orange Mango with 1 oz of orange vodka and 2 oz of whipped cream-flavored vodka. Strain and pour into martini glass.

(2) Bourbon for Apples
Who: Chef Joseph's at The Connoisseur Room
Where: Indianapolis, IN
Twitter:  @chefjosephs
Inspiration: I drew on my memories from my childhood when my sister and I went to Halloween parties which usually included a fun game of Bobbing for Apples ~ thus Bourbon for Apples was born.
Recipe: Mix 3 TB of Apple Complex Simple Syrup, 1 full shot of Four Roses Yellow Label Bourbon, 3 oz Cava, Float a garnish of Apple and Cherry Serve in a Champagne flute rimmed with equal parts pumpkin spice and sugar. (Complex Simple Syrup: Sugar, Water, Apple Juice, Grann
y Smith Apples, Pink Peppercorn, Sea Salt, Basil and Apple Pie Spice)

(3) Mr. Burgundy
 Who:  Deussen Global Communications ~ Sobieski Vodka
Where: Poland
Twitter: @Sobieski_Vodka
Inspiration: With its sequel approaching ~ the most popular Halloween costume this year is sure to be Ron Burgundy of Anchorman (2004) fame.
Recipe: 1½ oz Sobieski Cytron Vodka, ½ oz fresh lime juice, ½ oz pomegranate juice. Shake ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a sugar rimmed martini glass. Garnish with orange. 

(3) Casper's Cosmo
Who: Bobby “G” Gleason, Beam’s Master
Where: Clermont, KY
Twitter:  @JimBeamOfficial
Inspiration: The ghost of Jacob Beam, founding distiller of Jim Beam Bourbon
Recipe: 2 parts Jacob’s Ghost White Whiskey, 1 part John DeKuyper & Sons O3 Liqueur (orange liqueur), 1 part white cranberry juice, ½ part fresh lime juice. Build all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass, shake and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with cherries.

(4) German Ghoul
Who: Sidney Frank Importing Co.'s Mixologist Todd Richman
Where: New Rochelle, NY
Inspiration: The flavors of Halloween's season
Recipe: 1½ parts Bärenjäger Honey & Bourbon infused with cinnamon*, ¾ part fresh lemon juice, 1 part apple cider. Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass. *Infuse Bärenjäger Honey & Bourbon-add 4 cinnamon sticks to 1 L of Bärenjäger Honey & Bourbon 24 hours before use.

(6)The Harvestini
Who: Oliver Winery
Where: Bloomington, IN
Inspiration: Celebrating the harvest season
Recipe:  Muddle frozen cherries with 1 tsp mulling spices. Pour 3 oz Oliver Zinfandel 2010, 1 oz orange juice, and 1 oz cranberry cocktail juice over cherries. Stir and pour over ice. 

(7) Dead Glamour
Who: Savory Cocktails' Greg Henry
Where: NY
Twitter: @SippitySup
Inspiration: I don’t think glamour ever dies. It certainly never goes out of style. But don’t let all that glamour fool you. This drink has a dark side, I told you it was sexy.
Recipe: 1 shot /45 ml /1 ½ fl oz tequila repasado, 1 pony shot/30 ml/1 fl oz Campari, ½ pony shot/15 ml /½ fl oz Santa Maria al Monte amaro or other herbaceous amaro, 2 dashes Scrappy's cardamom bitters, 1 orange twist, as garnish. Combine tequila, Campari, amaro and bitters in a mixing glass half-filled with ice. Gently stir until chilled and properly diluted, about 20 seconds. Julep strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist, its oil expressed onto the surface and rubbed onto the rim of the drink then dropped on top, peel side up. Makes 1.

(8) Pumpkin Patch Julep
Who: Alibi American Whiskey
Where: U.S.
Inspiration: Where the Great Pumpkin is found every Halloween.
Recipe: 2 oz Alibi American Whiskey, 1.5 oz homemade pumpkin butter (see below recipe), 1/2 oz orgeat syrup, 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice. Shake vigorously with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass or hollowed pumpkin. Garnish with a slice of pear, a cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Pumpkin Butter: makes 2 pints3-4 pound sugar pumpkin (aka pie pumpkin), 1 chopped sweet apple, skins removed, 3/4 cup demerara sugar (sugar in the raw), 4 tablespoons real maple syrup (not maple-flavored syrup!), 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cloves, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp sea salt. Cut stem off pumpkin and slice lengthwise. Clean out inside of pumpkin and brush with neutral oil (canola). Roast pumpkin facedown in preheated oven at 350F for approximately 45-55 min. Let cool for 10 minutes and remove skin with spoon. Add pumpkin meat, apple, sugar, maple syrup, and spices into blender. Blend until smooth. Spoon mixture into medium sized pot. Make sure there is enough room to top of pot for boiling. Cover with lid and prop open a bit with wooden spoon so that steam can escape. Over med-high heat, bring to a low boil. Reduce to low-med heat and cook for 10 minutes until mixture reaches desired thickness. Cool completely and stir in lemon juice and salt.

(9) Devil in Disguise
Who: Mixologist Micaela Piccolo
Where: NYC, NY
Twitter: @Cabodiablo
Inspiration: Its rich coffee jolt and reassuring tequila keeps you dancing with the devil long after Halloween’s wildest celebrations finish.
Recipe: 2 oz. Cabo Diablo, ¾ oz. cherry liqueur ~  Build in a mixing glass, add ice and stir. Garnish with colored salt rim.

(10) Pumpkin Margarita
Who: Crema Restaurante/Partida
Where: New York City
Website: ~
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.

Images furnished by entries

Elizabeth J. Musgrave is a syndicated fine-living, travel, food, wine and spirits columnist, freelance writer and photographer, and performing arts and restaurant critic for Gotta Go. Read Infused, her spirits, wine & beer lifestyle column, at and and catch her as Indy’s Personal Lifestyle Adviser on Indy Style, WISH8 (CBS). Gotta Go is published on,, and in print. Follow her on Twitter @GottaGo, LinkedIn and Facebook.

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