Shake things up for Halloween or Dia de los Muertos with a delicious adult-only treat that's best served chilled.
From sweet and sour to smoky and savory, check out these fall and Halloween-inspired cocktail recipes below.
Don Muerte - Dia de los Muertos Cocktail
Mixologist Julien Calella created this sweet and tart drink that draws influence in its color and garnish to resemble the ofrenda and decor on Dia de los Muertos.
1 1/2 oz Tequila Don Julio Blanco
3/4 oz Fresh Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
1/4 oz Agave Nectar
1/2 tsp. Activated Charcoal Powder
Combine Tequila, fresh pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, agave nectar and activated charcoal powder into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well.
Strain contents into a double rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a lime wheel and an edible marigold flower.
Smoky Apple Margarita
With apple cider being the drink of fall, the mixologists behind the bar at Jimmy SoHo shared a special modification of a margarita made with smoky mezcal, lime juice, cinnamon and allspice.
2 oz Mezcal
1 oz Triple Sec
1 oz Apple Cider
0.5 oz Lime Juice
0.5 oz Simple Syrup
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour all the ingredients, shake, pour into rocks glass. Rim the glass with cinnamon allspice and sugar. Garnish with apple slice.
Haunted orchard punch
Blogger and cookbook author Tieghan Gerard has curated an array of festive drinks for her popular site, Half Baked Harvest, and she is sharing the tasty concoctions just in time for all our own Halloween festivities.
"This drink is a mix of tequila, a splash of lemon, apple cider, a teensy bit of maple syrup, ginger, cinnamon and sparkling hard cider," Gerard said. "It's all things fall and incredibly delicious."
1 1/2 cups silver tequila
2 cups apple cider
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4-1/3 cup real maple syrup, to taste
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 (12 ounces) bottles sparkling hard cider
3-4 cinnamon sticks
1 apple, thinly sliced
In a large pitcher, combine the tequila, cider, lemon juice, maple syrup, ginger and cinnamon. Chill until ready to serve.
Top with hard cider just before serving. Stir in the cinnamon sticks and apple slices.
Vampire's drip cocktail
This decadent Halloween cocktail is a mix of coconut rum, Kahlua, vanilla, milk and chocolate and garnished with a pomegranate caramel. It's topped with a chocolate truffle bat on the rim.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 ounce white rum (or vodka)
1/2 ounce coconut rum (or vodka)
1/2 ounce Kahlúa
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup whole milk or heavy cream
1-2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk, to taste
For the pomegranate caramel: Bring the sugar and pomegranate juice to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Note: The Pomegranate Caramel will make enough to drizzle over eight drinks.
Drizzle a martini or coupe glass with pomegranate caramel.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the rum, coconut rum, Kahlúa, vanilla, milk and sweetened condensed milk. Shake until combined. Strain into prepared glass.
Garnish with chocolate bats, if desired.
The full recipe for Gerard's chocolate bat garnish can be found here.
Deathly Hallows cocktail
This cocktail is a mix of cranberry juice, Mezcal, orange liquor, lemon juice, maple and ginger beer. Gerhard says it's sweet, smoky and "all things cozy, but also gives off the spookiest of Halloween vibes."
Grab a fun goblet, shake up this easy cocktail and surprise your guests with this spooky drink.
1 1/2 - 2 ounces silver tequila or Mezcal
2 1/2 ounces cranberry juice
1/2 ounce orange liquor
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
ginger beer, for topping
fresh thyme, for garnish
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake until combined and then strain into a glass. Top with ginger beer.
Garnish with thyme. If desired, carefully light a thyme sprig on fire for a smoky effect.
Death Eater Negroni
A Negroni is a simple mix of equal parts gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. Gerhard adds one of her favorite autumn ingredients, a splash of pomegranate juice. "Not only does the pomegranate juice give the drink a nice dark color, it also adds some sweetness, which I like when paired with the gin," she said.
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) gin
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) Campari
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) sweet vermouth
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) pomegranate juice
activated charcoal, for coloring (optional)
1 orange peel and pomegranate arils, for garnish
In a cocktail glass, combine gin, Campari, sweet vermouth and pomegranate juice. If a black color is desired, add one-eighth of a teaspoon activated charcoal and stir to combine. Top the glass with ice and garnish with an orange twist and pomegranate arils.
For a spooky effect, you can add a dying flower to each drink.
Apple Butter Old Fashioned
This recipe combines bourbon and apple butter to create a beverage that's packed with autumn flavor. Gerhard fills this drink with homemade apple butter, cider, lemon, orange bitters and bourbon.
Coarse sugar, for the rim (optional)
1/4 cup apple cider
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Dash of orange bitters
1 tablespoon apple butter
2 ounces bourbon
Ginger beer or ginger kombucha, for topping (optional)
Thinly sliced apples and cinnamon, for garnish
If desired, rim your glass with coarse sugar.
In a cocktail shaker, combine the apple cider, lemon juice, orange bitters, apple butter and bourbon. Shake to combine.
Strain into your prepared glass filled with ice. If desired top with ginger beer. Garnish with cinnamon and apples.
This story was originally published on Oct. 29, 2018.