Forget the slasher movies and haunted houses: Nothing is scarier than Halloween cocktails. Every October, candy corn martinis and glow-in-the-dark slime shooters roam the streets looking for their next victim. But a bar menu filled with bad puns and even worse drinks isn’t the way to show guests a good time.
I always have blueberries in the fridge or freezer. They’re great for a snack, so why not for a cocktail? Blueberries pair well with many herbs, spices and liquors — which makes them perfect for the cocktail shaker and muddler.
Low-Calorie Blueberry Tarragon Cocktail ~ Fresh blueberries are a great balance of tart and sweet, with tarragon adding a complexity that makes it taste like you added some fancy liqueur to the mix without adding calories.
Blueberry Mint Julep Spritzer ~ All those words sound like deliciousness to me! It’s still warm out and this is a great way to stay cool while enjoying a cocktail.
Blueberry Whiskey Buck ~ Ginger beer and blueberries are a surprisingly fun combination in this any-time drink.
Blueberry Ginger Bellini ~ Add champagne to the great flavor mix of blueberry and ginger and you’re all set for brunch.
Blueberry Gin Sour ~ A silky egg-white foam is the perfect complement to a classic sour that’s souped up with berries.
Setting things on fire is a sure way to make sure your party is memorable. These flaming punches are fun to look at as well as fun to drink. The recipes may be elaborate, but they’re also damn impressive. Oh, and be safe and blah blah blah I am not liable for anything you do blah blah. Now on to the fun recipes for setting your booze on fire!
Flaming Skull Punch ~ The classic tiki combination of fruit, spice gets a boost from amaro, an ingredient not usually found in tiki drinks. (Fire and tiki are BFFs, however.)
Flaming Brandy Punch ~ Brandy, wine, citrus and spices just taste better after they’ve been set on fire.
Volcano Bowl ~ This three-rum tiki punch with grapefruit and maple syrup comes from Beachbum Berry so you know it has to be good.
Black Barrel Rum Punch ~ Drink like a pirate! In this case, pirates added maraschino liqueur, citrus and tea to their rum and then torched it. Sounds right to me!
My backyard is full of tasty plums! Inspired by the Peach Lemonade Punch, I created a Plum Fizz that also used the tarragon and Meyer lemons from the garden (as well as the Nolet’s I received).
You could easily use another basil and/or lime instead, and it would pair well with the plum and gin. It’s refreshing and summery …
Plum Tarragon Fizz
1 ripe plum, pitted and sliced (reserve 2-3 slices)
3 large sprigs of tarragon (reserve 1 sprig)
1 1/2 ounces gin
1 ounce simple syrup
2 Meyer lemon slices
Muddle the sliced plum and tarragon in a cocktail shaker. Add ice, gin and simple syrup then shake. Strain into a glass filled with ice cubes and reserved plum slices. Top off with seltzer and garnish with lemon and tarragon sprigs.
Nolet’s is one of my favorite gins. The lovely floral notes go perfectly with summer fruit, so I took them up on their offer to send me a bottle so I could create my own summer punch. As inspiration, they gave me this peachy recipe. Sounds like it would be great for a big barbecue.
I’m thinking my recipe will use plums from my backyard, but in the mean time here’s another stonefruit-and-gin combo to try!
Peach Lemonade Punch
750 ml Gin
2.25 L Lemonade
375 ml Elderflower liqueur
2 bags frozen peaches or 3-4 peaches (pitted nad sliced)
Mix all ingredients in a pitcher or jar and stir. Serve over ice and garnish with a peach slice.