Double, double, toil and trouble; fie burn and cauldron bubble …
With images of witches hunched over a steaming pot, tossing eye of newt and toe of frog into an evil concoction, Halloween has a close association with cocktails. And that also goes for those of us who don’t ride around on broomsticks wearing pointy black hats.
And while the history of Halloween is surrounded in mystique and enmeshed with supernatural elements, today it is a great occasion to gather with friends and family for a little fun — some costumes, a few games, screening some horror films … and some delicious cocktails that give you a chance to have a little fun and creativity at the bar.
To help you play the role of the witch this Halloween — but with much more palatable ingredients — Corby Spirit and Wine offers the following themed cocktails to give a try in whatever you are passing off as a cauldron.
Bloody Mary — This cocktail shares its name with the first-ever Queen of England, who was known to burn heretics at the stake by the hundreds. To make a basic Bloody Mary (there are a multitude of variations, including the distinctly Canadian Bloody Caesar), fill a mixing glass with ice cubes. Then add four parts tomato juice, one shot of Absolut Vodka, one part horseradish, 1/3 part Worcestershire sauce, 1/3 part lemon juice and four dashes hot sauce. Stir and pour into a highball glass filled with ice and rimmed with celery salt. Garnish with a lemon wedge and celery stick.
Spooky Sour — A creepy twist on a classic gin sour. For the Spooky Sour, pour a shot of Beefeater gin, 20 mL of lemon juice, 15 mL of simple syrup, one egg white and a drop of green food colouring in a cocktail shaker with no ice. Give it a dry shake until frothy, then add ice cubes and shake until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with matcha powder.
“Jack ‘o’ Lantern” Hot Toddy — Autumn is the season of pumpkin everything, including the gourds being transformed into the endearing Halloween symbol that perches on porches as kids go trick or treating. The Glenlivet’s pumpkin hot toddy is a rich and cozy cocktail for a cool autumn evening. Start with steeping a sachet of DavidsTea Pumpkin Crème Brule in ¾ cup of hot water for five minutes. Remove the sachet and stir in ¼ teaspoon of maple syrup. Then add a shot of The Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve, one slice of orange and two dashes of orange bitters. Garnish with an orange rind and pinch of cinnamon powder or a cinnamon stick.
Dracula Spritz — Give a spritz a bloody twist with one of the giants of the horror genre, Count Vlad Dracul himself. Start the Dracula Spritz with a wine glass with a few ice cubes. Pour in a shot of Beefeater Blood Orange gin, 50 mL of sparkling wine and 50 mL of ginger ale. Garnish with a slice of orange and some Halloween candies.
Have a spooky but safe Halloween. And if you are going to enjoy any of these creepy cocktails — or indulge in other adult beverages — please do so responsibly. If you drink, don’t drive.