Sure, anybody can go to the wine store and pick up a bottle of vino with a picture of Dracula on the label, uncork it and serve it for Halloween. But how creative is that? If you've got a little time on your hands and a devious mind with a propensity to delight in a good gross-out, here are some Halloween drinks—both for adults and pint-size trick-or-treaters—that are scary to see, but scrumptious to sip.
Brain Hemorrhage: Cloudy and murky, looking like someone's brain that's leaking precious fluids, this drink is best served in a clear shot glass. Pour 1 ounce peach schnapps into the glass. Then, sloooooooowly add 1 teaspoon of Baileys Irish Cream, topped with 2 drops grenadine. The concoction should wind up looking like spilled brains seeping toward the bottom of the glass.
Swamp Punch: If you do this right, your punch bowl should appear to hold bacteria-laden swamp water—a gross-looking mess that tastes light and lemony. If you want to make it for minors, just leave out the rum. In a large punch bowl, stir together two 12-ounce cans partially thawed frozen lemonade concentrate and two 12-ounce cans partially thawed frozen limeade concentrate, then add two 2-liter bottles lemon-lime soda. For the adult version, stir in a 750ml bottle of light rum. Float scoops of lime or rainbow sherbet on top, which will give the punch a dirty, swampy look.
Ghost in the Graveyard: Ghouls with a sweet tooth will especially enjoy this darkly decadent concoction. In a mixing glass, pour 2 ounces black vodka and 2 ounces crème de cacao or coffee-flavored liqueur and set aside. Next, place a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a highball glass andslowlypour the vodka-liqueur mixture over the ice cream. Garnish with grated nutmeg.
Bleeding Heart Martini: I never expected to come across a gross-looking cocktail like this one in Martha Stewart Living, but I did. The perfect Halloween cocktail for hipster mixologists, pickled beets "bleed" into the glass like a wounded heart speared by a sword (cocktail spear). For four cocktails, chill four martini glasses in the freezer until frosty. To each glass, add 1/2 ounce dry vermouth, swirl to coat, then pour out and discard the vermouth. In a cocktail shaker, add 8 ounces premium gin and shake well with ice. Strain and divide the gin among the four chilled martini glasses, place a skewered pickled baby beet into each glass, and serve.
Buggy Slime Punch: Here is a sugary, sick-looking drink that the kids will love, but it can also be adapted for adults. In a large punch bowl, stir together three packages of lemon-lime Kool-Aid, three 20-ounce cans crushed pineapple, 6 cups Green Berry Hawaiian Punch, 3 cups sugar, three 2-liter bottles lemon-lime soda, and scatter gummy bugs to float on top. For the 21-and-over version, add a 750ml bottle of vodka or light rum.
Nuclear Waste: This phosphorescent libation looks like nuclear waste, but tastes a whole lot better, presumably. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add 1/2 ounce each of Blue Curacao, Midori, Bacardi 151 Rum, Amaretto liqueur and Southern Comfort, plus 1/2 cup of orange juice. Shake well and pour into a pint glass.
Sewer Water: The name says it all. This cocktail looks like sewage sludge, but actually tastes sweet and fizzy. You could make it for kids, leaving out the vodka. Fill a rocks glass with ice, then pour in 2 ounces vodka, 5 ounces orange juice and 4 ounces Dr Pepper, in that order. Drop in a lemon or lime wedge.