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Craft chilling Halloween cocktails with these tips and recipes

We got boozy tips from the experts at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.
Spice up your Halloween party with these festive cocktails.
Spice up your Halloween party with these festive cocktails. [ MICHELLE STARK | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Oct. 30, 2019
Updated Oct. 30, 2019

When Halloween falls on a weekday, we like to double down and create a spine-tingling spread worth staying in for. To accompany your ghoulish bites, try crafting a couple of themed cocktails to conjure the proper vibes.

We asked ABC Fine Wine & Spirits’ sales manager Nathan Dale for some boozy tips and recipes for your Halloween bar.

RELATED: Treat yourself to a menu of spooky splendors this Halloween

What liquors or mixed drinks do you prefer this time of year?

Pumpkin spice, salted caramel and apple flavors. Rye vodkas and whiskeys, because the rye gives a nice spice for the season. I like Baileys Pumpkin Spice, Dorda Sea Salt Caramel Liqueur, Crown Salted Caramel, Jack Daniel’s Apple. Spiced rums always add a festive fall flavor to cocktails.

Mimosas with apple cider instead of orange juice are delicious, especially when you rim the flutes with cinnamon sugar. There is no need to spend extra money on Champagne when you are diluting it with juice. Cava is a more cost-effective option.

What are some liquors, liqueurs or mixers that can help create dark, moody cocktails?

Tonic water. It doesn’t add dark colors, but it does glow when put under a blacklight (because of the quinine in the tonic). To add a little extra horror, you can garnish with a fake syringe filled with grenadine. Or add drizzled chocolate or black food coloring to your spirits or cocktails.

How can you create a festive drink that pairs well with candy without being too sweet?

Limit the juices you add. Juices and simple syrups add sweetness to cocktails, so if you have a citrus-forward cocktail or a cocktail that has a bit of spice, it will balance with the sweetness of candy. Or you can put the spirits in your candy. (See the accompanying Boozy Candy Gummies recipe.)

What are your tips for creating a party punch, a batch cocktail that can serve many and last throughout the evening?

Find a party punch that doesn’t include anything bubbly. That way the batch won’t go flat throughout the night. A good option would be red sangria. You can label it as “Blood Red Sangria” for your Halloween party.

Bobbing for Apples

1 ½ ounces Dorda Sea Salt Caramel Liqueur

3 ounces warm apple cider

3 ounces apple juice, the cloudier the better

Cinnamon stick, for serving

Add first three ingredients to a serving glass, stir gently, then garnish with cinnamon stick.

Source: ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

The Gravedigger

2 ounces vodka, like Pinnacle

1 ounce orange juice

1 ounce cranberry juice

1 ounce DeKuyper Peachtree Liqueur

Ice

Black food coloring, optional

Shake all ingredients except food coloring in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Pour into a glass filled with ice.

Float with black food coloring by placing a few drops on a spoon, then dunking the spoon just below the surface of the drink and letting the food coloring slide off.

Source: ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

Blood Red Sangria

1 bottle pinot noir

2 ½ ounces blackberry brandy

2 ½ ounces triple sec

1 cup orange juice

1 cup pineapple juice

½ apple, chopped into pieces

½ orange, sliced, plus more orange wedges, for serving

Ground cinnamon, for serving

Mix all ingredients except orange wedges and cinnamon together in a pitcher. Serve in wine glasses filled with ice. Garnish each serving with a sprinkle of cinnamon and an orange wedge.

Source: ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

Boozy Candy Gummies

1 cup vodka

½ cup granulated sugar, plus more for serving

3 tablespoons powdered unflavored gelatin

1 drop food coloring, preferably red

Molds; something like ice cube trays would work

Place the vodka, sugar and gelatin in a saucepan over medium-low heat.

Whisk for 2 to 3 minutes or until sugar and gelatin have dissolved. Remove from heat, add coloring and stir. Using a glass measuring cup with a spout or a dropper, pour the mixture over the molds and ensure the molds are filled.

Refrigerate for at least 90 minutes. When gelatin is set, gummies will easily pop out of the mold. Cut into desired shapes or sizes; roll in more granulated sugar if desired. Store the gummies in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Source: ABC Fine Wine & Spirits