It was a dark and stormy night ... Actually, it was a dark and stormy Halloween night, and the adults gathered around the jack-o’-lantern were thirsty. After an evening of passing candy out to throngs of ghouls, goblins and zombies, Mom and Dad were hankering for a 21-and-over-type libation. A Dark ’N Stormy, perhaps?
If you’re throwing a Halloween party with adult libations, or just mixing up a drink for yourself, why not get into the “spirit” of things and concoct some Halloween-themed cocktails, punches and such? Just FYI: A hollowed-out pumpkin makes for a great-looking Halloween punch bowl. Here are a few of my favorite haunting Halloween beverages.
The Dark ’N Stormy is a cocktail trademarked by Gosling’s Export Limited of Bermuda, the makers of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum. It was supposedly invented over a century ago when a member of Bermuda’s Royal Naval Officer’s Club combined splashes of the local Bermuda rum with ginger beer. According to Gosling’s, they described its “ominous hue as the color of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under.” Well, it’s easy to make a Dark ’N Stormy, and the result is a delicious cocktail that’s more or less pumpkin-colored. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, 2 ounces of dark rum (Gosling’s is a smart choice) and a half-ounce of fresh lime juice. Shake well and strain into a separate Collins glass filled with ice. Stir in 3 ounces of cold ginger beer, one candied ginger slice and garnish with a lime wheel.
Has there ever been a time when zombies were more in fashion than right now? So, serving up Zombie cocktails for Halloween would be a no-brainer. The drink’s creation is attributed to Donn Beach of Hollywood’s Don the Beachcomber restaurant. After a visiting friend consumed three of them, he told Beach that “he’d been turned into a zombie” for the rest of his trip. Hence, the Zombie moniker. It’s said that Beach was very cagey about sharing his particular cocktail recipes, but here’s a good one.
To make a single, potent Zombie, put the following—and I mean everything—into a blender: 1 ounce pineapple juice, 1 ounce orange juice, half-ounce apricot brandy, 1 teaspoon sugar, 2 ounces light rum, 1 ounce dark rum and 1 ounce lime juice. Blend the ingredients with a handful of ice, then pour into a tall cocktail glass, float a half-ounce of Bacardi 151 rum (or something comparable) on top and garnish with a maraschino cherry, fruit slice (orange or pineapple) and sprig of mint. This libation will not eat your flesh, but it will compromise your motor skills.
Blood, of course, is a prominent feature at Halloween. So why not incorporate it into your drink selection with a Blood & Sand cocktail? Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add 1 ounce blended Scotch, 1 ounce cherry liqueur, 1 ounce sweet vermouth and 1 ounce orange juice. Shake well, strain and served in a chilled martini glass garnished with an orange wheel.
Although zombies get more of the press these days, vampires are still iconic to Halloween. To make Bloody Vampire Punch, combine 4 cups of white rum with 4 cups of orange juice, 6 cups pomegranate juice and 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice in a big punch bowl or hollowed-out pumpkin. Refrigerate until serving time. When you’re ready to serve the punch, add 1 liter chilled seltzer, preferably pomegranate flavored. For added creep-out factor, toss some gummy vampire fangs, spiders, eyeballs and such into the punch. Boo!