Boo! Scared? Don’t be. Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year. And it’s no wonder: With the costumes and late-night reveling, Halloween offers a chance to feel like a kid again. But besides the candy and decor, there’s another reason to love the day: Halloween Cocktails.
Here in New Jersey, Halloween is a Create Your Own Adventure affair, with hundreds of events taking place across the state. Jersey even has its own creepy creature – the Jersey Devil, said to inhabit the dense Pine Barrens in southern New Jersey. In this article, you’ll find several ideas for chilling Halloween cocktails featuring spirits born right here in the Garden State (or, should we say, the Goblin State?).
Whether you’re planning to paint the neighborhood blood red with friends or skulk in the dark shadows of your own home with a horror flick and Halloween snacks, we’ve got a spooky Halloween cocktail for you. As always, beware – and drink responsibly.
The Black Widow of Bayonne
We’ve cranked up the attitude on this twist on the Black Widow cocktail, traditionally made with tequila and agave nectar. Hey, it’s from Bayonne, after all.
1 ½ oz Devotion Black and Blue Vodka
2-3 fresh blackberries
2-3 fresh basil leaves
1 t simple syrup
1 oz lime juice
Muddle the blackberries and the basil in a shaker or mixing glass. Add the vodka, simple syrup and lime juice, and then fill the shaker with ice. Shake well and strain the cocktail into a chilled serving glass. Garnish with blackberry and/or basil leaf.
1¼ oz DSP.7 Gin from Jersey Spirits Distilling Co.
1 oz Dolin Blanc vermouth
1¼ oz Green Chartreuse
1 tsp maraschino liqueur
1 tsp Amaro Nonino
2 dashes Fee Brothers Lavender Bitters
5 dashes Fee Brothers Black Walnut Bitters
1 dash Peychaud’s Bitters
Mix the gin, Chartreuse, vermouth, maraschino liqueur, Amaro Nonino and bitters into a cocktail mixer filled with glass. Stir to combine, and then strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass. Enjoy — but remember to look behind you! Kill kill kill, cha cha cha.
The Vineland Vampire’s Kiss
This Garden State twist on the Vampire’s Kiss cocktail is full of deep, dark, red fruit. Topped with sparkling wine and a touch of sugar, getting bitten has rarely been this much fun.
1½ oz High Point Vodka from Great Notch Distillery
½ oz Chambord
½ oz Pomegranate juice
NV Sparkling Rkatsiteli from Tomasello Winery
Red sugar, for rimming
Combine the vodka, Chambord, and pomegranate juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, and strain into a martini glass or coupe rimmed with fine red sugar. Top the mixture with a splash of sparkling wine.
The Vineland Vampire’s Peck on the Cheek (Non-Alcoholic)
A more innocent version of the Vineland Vampire’s Kiss. Consider it the Edward Cullen of cocktails.
1½ oz raspberry puree or raspberry juice
1½ oz pomegranate juice
Ginger ale or sparkling apple cider
Red sugar, for rimming
Combine the raspberry puree and pomegranate juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously, and strain into a martini glass or coupe rimmed with fine red sugar. Top the mixture with a splash of ginger ale or sparkling apple cider.
Petty’s Island Jack-O-Lantern
This cocktail is a pumpkin-colored blend of spooky spices, perfect for a chilly October night.
1½ oz Driftwood Dream Spiced Rum from Cooper River Distillers
2 tsp gingerbread syrup (recipe below)
¾ oz unfiltered apple juice
½ oz orange juice
⅓ oz lemon juice
½ oz pumpkin puree (optional)
½ oz egg white
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
Ground cinnamon, for garnish
Cinnamon sugar, for rimming
2 cups water
1½ cup granulated sugar
2½ tsp fresh ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla extract
To make the gingerbread syrup, mix the water, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and vanilla together in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook the mixture until the sugar has dissolved and the ingredients are well-incorporated. Remove from the heat and let cool until ready to use.
Combine the rum, gingerbread syrup, juices, egg white, bitters and pumpkin puree into a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously to emulsify the egg white. Next, add ice to the shaker and shake again. Strain the cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with cinnamon sugar, and garnish with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.
Hoboken Dark Shadows
1½ oz Single Run Series “Tuckahoe Porter” from Cooper River Distillers
½ oz white crème de menthe
½ oz dark crème de cacao
Combine the ingredients in a cocktail glass filled with ice. Stir just enough to create a delectable swirl.
The Corpse Reviver #2
Our final Halloween cocktail on the list is perfect for a marathon of The Walking Dead.
1 oz Garden State Dry Gin from Great Notch Distillery
1 oz Grand Marnier
A dash Doc’s Green Absinthe
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1 oz fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
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