Now that the election is over and things have quieted down a little, I wanted to take a moment to share the cocktail menu from my Halloween party. I had lucky thirteen of my close friends over for drinks, conversation and Halloween merriment. The party was a great success. At least that’s what people told me. And I guess since no one passed out or fell off the 12th story balcony, I can chalk it up as a win. I also have to thank Sean for helping me make the drinks. People got served much faster with booze slinging skills helping me out behind the stick (metaphorically.)
For this year’s party, I decided to print up a cocktail menu. The reasons were simple. First, I didn’t want to end up making forty-five different drinks or deal with the inevitable “Make me something fruity.” Number B, I didn’t want drunk people rummaging around my hooch. (Wow, that sounds kind of scandalous and dirty.) Finally, I wanted to have a little something for everyone in addition to wine, beer and non-alcoholic drinks.
Once opened, guests were treated to six possible drinks, the non-alcoholic options mentioned above and, for the brave, a traditional absinthe drip. (Or as traditional as I can get without having the huge water faucet drippy thing.) Below are the drinks, their descriptions as printed on the menu, and the recipe.
Sugar and spice and everything nice with a heart as black as the night.
Vodka, Lemon, Lime, Egg White
This cocktail is actually a riff on Eben Freeman’s Bazooka Bubblegum Cocktail served at Tailor. You can find the original recipe here. I followed Eben’s recipe to the letter, except I replaced the regular vodka with Blavod. The resulting cocktail was dark violet in color but tasted just like bubblegum. It was a hit with everyone who tried it.
Corpse Reviver #2
The dead will rise over this little refresher.
Gin, Cointreau, Lillet, Lemon, Absinthe
This was the basic Corpse Reviver #2 recipe.
Corpse Reviver #2
1oz Lillet Blanc
1oz fresh lemon juice
2-3 drops of absinthe
Shake everything with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.
Reportedly the very recipe drunk by David Berkowitz after each kill.
Bourbon or Rye, Vermouth, Maraschino, Bitters
The twist on this Manhattan was that I used Bianco vermouth and added a barspoon of maraschino to the mix. I also used some cherry bitters and aromatic bitters. Here’s the recipe:
2oz Bourbon or Rye
1oz Bianco Vermouth
1 barspoon maraschino liqueur
dash of cherry bitters and aromatic bitters
Stir over ice, strain and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
The hellish flames found in the dark deadly swamps.
Chardonnay, Cognac, Pumpkin, Cider
This is another borrowed recipe. This time from that crazy Canadian media hound Jamie Boudreau. His original recipe is here. This is another cocktail that went over really well. A few months ago, our friend Roy tasked me with finding a cocktail using pumpkin. His wife Danielle loves pumpkin and he wanted something that he could make for her. At the time, he wanted me to use this “Pumpkin Spice Liqueur” that will remain nameless. But you know what I’m talking about. Yes, you do. Well, I toyed around with playing with an actual pumpkin and doing an infusion of some sort, but then Jamie came along with this little number. I’m still planning on doing a pumpkin infusion this fall/winter (keep your eyes peeled!) but Jamie’s creation was spot on. Great drink. Go to his site and see how it’s done. You won’t be sorry.
Only the most damned have to cross the River Styx in this leaky vessel.
Brandy, Amaro, Lemon, Cinnamon, Honey, Bitters
This was actually a renaming of a drink I created during Thursday Drink Night at the Mixoloseum. I based the drink off a standard Sidecar recipe – with a few tweaks of course. First, I substituted the Cointreau with Ramazzotti Amaro. Then, to compensate for the lack of sweetness, I added cinnamon and honey syrups. I also guilded the lilly with whiskey barrel bitters and a flamed lemon peel. I called the drink “A Sidecar to Milan” to highlight the origin of the Ramazzotti. For the Halloween party, I simply renamed the drink. Charon ferried the dead across the river Styx and I thought what would the the sidecar equivalent to a ferry? A dingy! So you’ve got Charon’s Dingy. Here is the recipe (and the original name):
Sidecar to Milan
1oz Ramazzotti Amaro
.75oz fresh lemon juice
.50oz cinnamon syrup
.50oz honey syrup (or can substitute rich simple syrup, but may need to adjust proportions)
2 dashes whiskey barrel bitters
Shake everything with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a flamed lemon peel. After flamed, rub peel around edge of glass and drop in.
Luckily, one of my guests, Victor, brought along his video recorder and through the magic of the interwebs you can see the flamed lemon peel. And before any of you say it, I was using plastic cups for the cocktails. I don’t have enough nice glassware for everybody and plastic is a lot easier to get rid of.
A misnomer: The Devil will kill YOU over this punch.
Rum, LIme, Pineapple, Bubbly
I found this recipe at Epicurious and it turns out to have been supplied by Phil Ward of Death & Co. Everyone seemed to really like this punch and by the end of the night I had gone through an entire bottle of prosecco. The recipe makes enough for six drinks.
6oz Pineapple Juice
5oz Simple Syrup
4oz Fresh Lime Juice
Combine everything except the bubbly in a container and chill in the fridge for a few hours. Pour over ice and top with the champagne/cava/prosecco. Garnish with lime wheels, frozen raspberries, blackberries or other fruit. Or garnish as I did, with a stick of sugar cane. One note regarding the recipe, depending on how sweet/dry your bubbly is, you will probably want to adjust the amount of simple syrup. For a dry champagne, leave at 5oz. If using a sweeter sparkling wine, you may want to use less.
There you have it. My Halloween 2008 cocktail menu. Give these drinks a try and feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.