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.
It seems like it’s cool to bash pumpkin spice. Somehow bagging on pumpkin spice drinks gives you hipster/grumpy-old-man street cred? I don’t know, man. Shut your face and pass the pumpkin spice latte, because it is straight-up DELICIOUS and hurray for fall! Would you like some suggested pumpkin cocktail recipes from someone who just said “shut your face?” (I wasn’t talking to you. You are nice. You do not need to shut your face.)
Pumpkin Flip ~ This fall drink is light and fluffy while being bold and spicy at the same time. The light and fluffy comes thanks to the egg-white foam, while the bold and spicy comes from bourbon and allspice liqueur. (PS – also there is pumpkin!)
Spiced Pumpkin Shrub ~ This is not one of those sweet “pumpkin pie in a glass” drinks. A shrub is a syrup made with vinegar, so there’s a little oomph in the cocktail that goes beyond sugar and spice.
Hot Buttered Pumpkin Rum ~ Is it actually cold where you live? It sometimes is here! When that happens, it’s time to cozy up with some warm and spicy buttered rum.
Pumpkin Punch ~ Halloween party drink alert! Made with cinnamon-infused rum and condensed milk, this punch satisfies the sweet and spiced craving that accompanies fall weather without going into cloyingly icky sweet territory.
Smashing Pumpkin Cocktail ~ Bourbon and pumpkin are the stars of this layered cocktail. However, it wouldn’t be complete without the dashes of celery bitters. (You can make DIY celery bitters if you so desire. I think you should.)
I never get sick of pumpkin-flavored everything. My new favorite is this pumpkiny bourbon cocktail I made with Savvy Housekeeping. It’s light and fluffy while being bold and spicy at the same time. It’s the perfect special-treat cocktail for all of autumn. Whether you have leftover pumpkins from Halloween or just want a Thanksgiving cocktail, this one will do the trick!
We used St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, but you could also make it with homemade allspice dram. (I used up all my DIY allspice dram on Tiki creations already!) For the pumpkin puree, you can use the canned variety (just be sure it’s not flavored at all) or make your own fresh pumpkin puree. If you’re concerned about using raw egg whites, you can use pasteurized egg whites. However, we used fresh eggs straight from the Savvy Housekeeping chicken coop!
Pour the bourbon, liqueur, simple syrup, puree, lemon juice, and egg white into a shaker without ice and shake hard for about 30 seconds. Add ice and shake again for about 1 minute. Ice will build up on the outside of the shaker if you’ve done it right, so you’ll need to cover the shaker with a tea towel first so your hands won’t get too cold. Crack the shaker open and pour out the drink through the gap. Top with bitters.
There are plenty of Halloween cocktails and punches that basically taste like candy with sugar on top. Nothing wrong with that, if it’s your jam, but it’s a little harder to find drink recipes for a Halloween party that are more like what you’d order in a bar. Here are some cocktail and punch recipes that keep it spooky without a ton of sugar, artificial coloring, and syrupy liqueurs.
Satan’s Whiskers ~ Sure, it’s all orange and fall looking. But it’s also evil. Evil, I say! Gin, sweet and dry vermouth, orange juice, Grand Marnier, and some orange bitters make for a tasty drink.
The Obituary Cocktail ~ This one is basically a gin martini with a little absinthe. Sounds good doesn’t it? If you use absinthe that’s green, it gives the drink a little bit of a zombie-skin/monster hue.
Great Pumpkin ~ This creamy drink is made with pumpkin ale, applejack, and rye along with an egg and maple syrup. So even if the Great Pumpkin doesn’t appear in your pumpkin patch this year, you won’t mind.
Flaming Tiki Pumpkin Punch ~ A rummy, spiced, Tiki creation served in a pumpkin and then set ablaze? OK, that sounds like a good way to celebrate Halloween.