Leave the Candy for the Kids: Five Fun, Delicious, and Kind of Gross Halloween Cocktails

By Christopher Zook

Halloween can be an exciting holiday for adults just as much as it can be for kids. You can still get dressed up, go out on the town, hop door to door, and run around with your friends late into the night regardless of whether you're 12 or 21. But the odds are that a 21-year-old is probably not that interested in candy — they're interested in bars. So to make sure your business is on the map for all the Halloween bar tours, here are a few eye-catching drinks you can use to catch some extra attention.

Satan's Whiskers

A great starter to get everyone in the holiday spirit, especially for all the customers showing up in little red horns, Satan's Whiskers is a tasty, tangy, and sweet cocktail made with gin, two kinds of vermouth, orange juice, orange curacao, and orange bitters. Like a balanced breakfast, this drink is pretty heavy on the citrus. Unlike a balanced breakfast, the citrus tastes better with vermouths. Depending on what kind of vermouth you use, you could also get hints of caramel, herbs, and even tree bark to bring the whole drink alive in a comfortable tapestry of flavor with a little kick. It actually tastes the way a sunset looks.

Black Widow

There are dozens of interpretations of this drink, some of which include putting fake (hopefully) spiders on the side of the glass or in the drink itself. This take on the Black Widow starts with using raspberry syrup to draw a web around the interior of a chilled martini glass. Pour pomegranate juice, Skyy Infusions raspberry vodka, lemon juice, and triple sec into a shaker with ice, shake it like cuh-razy, and pour it on top of the web. It gives the whole glass a spooky, bloodied appearance and tastes like a smorgasbord of high-citrus fruit with a vodka pang. The chilly web effect throws in some glossy visuals, too.

You can garnish this martini with a plastic spider, but why do something that easy when you can get creative with it? Make it a chocolate spider and watch the arachnophobes in your bar cringe when they see their friends swallow a tasty eight-legged milk chocolate treat. Plus, pomegranate, raspberry, and chocolate sounds like a winning combination to nail that elusive costumed chocoholic arachnophile demographic.

Bayou Slime Cocktail

This cocktail looks so creepy that it's half expected for something to crawl out of it. The Bayou Slime uses a bizarre combination of Cruzan dark rum, mint leaves, spiced cordial syrup, and egg whites to create a funky-looking Halloween ensemble. The setup is perfect for its namesake though — after adding the alcohol and syrup, the egg white makes a realistic foam-like appearance on top of it all, and muddling mint and syrup together makes a creep-tastic, flavorful bottom. Dash some crushed mint leaves on top and you get that nice (if that's the word) Louisiana swamp moss appearance that you really only ever want with this specific drink. On everything else it just looks like… you know…

Moss.

Le Demon Vert

Le Demon Vert is a potent drink that includes lime juice and a black licorice garnish, which gives it a unique flavor to be sure. Add the Broker's gin, Absente absinthe, and velvet falernum, and you have a strong drink that'll deliver a warm burn with a tart aftertaste. The falernum slightly thickens the drink to give it a varied texture, and depending on what kind you use, it can add a nice amber hue to the glass, kind of like that mosquito from the first Jurassic Park. Also, its name literally translates from the French to "The Green Demon", which sounds like one of those names that was earned through trial, error, and the inclusion of absinthe.

Speaking of absinthe, it's important to note that Absente absinthe actually differs depending on the country in which you live. In the United States, Absente is sold without the ingredient grande wormwood because it is illegal, so it doesn't have the famous absinthe hallucinogenic effects. But in Europe, Absente makes its liqueur with grande wormwood, and that could have a profoundly different impact on your customers. So if you're operating within Europe or happen to somehow use Absente from Europe, just be aware that you should expect some very different, bizarre, and potentially Halloween-appropriate behavior from your customers.

Brain Hemorrhage

It's unclear whether this drink is named after its appearance or the prerequisite to wanting one, but the Brain Hemorrhage is hands-down the grossest drink on this list. Start it out with peach schnapps and float on some Bailey's Irish cream. The Bailey's will congeal fairly quickly, and it's supposed to — that's what gives this drink the bloodied, clumped appearance at the bottom of the glass. Top it off with a little bit of grenadine for just that extra touch of disgust and serve. A Brain Hemorrhage can be served as a shot or a martini, but it's probably a better idea to give it as a shot just so a customer doesn't have a chance to think about what they're drinking. (They'll probably need a few Whiskers and Bayous to want a Hemorrhage.) But in all seriousness, it's a decent shot.

The verdict is still out on whether or not it tastes like brains.

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