My favorite part… the cocktails! At most parties I host, I am behind the bar shaking up the cocktails. I want to keep the ingredients to a minimum, no reason to buy out Bevmo for one party, so with a few choice liqueurs and ingredients you can make a variety of cocktails using the same items. Then all of your guests can find something on the menu they like! I did not create all the recipes because I am building off classic cocktails, but I did come up with garnish ideas and Halloween themed names to go along with them. These are guaranteed to “bewitch” your guests!
SIMPLE LIQUOR LIST:
Champagne or Sparkling Wine
Lemons (FRESH Lemon Juice)*
Limes (FRESH Lime Juice)*
Plenty of ice**
* I keep an ice chest below the bar with bags of ice to refill the buckets
** I always use fresh lemon and lime juice, it makes all the difference in a good cocktail. I pre-squeeze before the party to save time.
Shaker, Jigger, Juicer
You can use plastic cups (which I do have for the punch area and as a back up) but I am a fan of nice glasses for my guests. If you don’t have all of these glasses, start by collecting one style for each party you host. After a few parties you will have all the glassware you will ever need for cocktails, if you purchase set by set.
They also don’t have to be expensive. Some of my collection is from Ikea, Target, CB2, West Elm–I only have high-end wine glasses (these affect the taste, so they are the only glasses I invested in).
Recommended Glasses for the cocktail list:
Martini or coup glasses
THE EASY “MIX IT YOURSELF” SECTION
Now, as I said before I set out a section of easy “mix yourself” drinks that include gin and tonic water for a Gin and Tonic, vodka and soda water for a Vodka Soda and pre-cut lemons and limes.
This is the area I place a few bottles of wine and the wine glasses. It’s also near the fridge, where the beer and sodas (Coke, Sprite, Diet Coke) are handy for my non-drinking guests or for guests to use as mixers.
I always like to have a pre-made cocktail for guests to serve themselves. While I love being behind the bar, I also love mingling. This year I am doing a Poison Punch!
I felt like a witch stirring at her cauldron while I was working out the kinks in this recipe! I had some friends over to taste test for me and made this a few times to get the recipe right (this one is my concoction) and it’s perfect! It’s not too strong or too weak, which means it will be a party pleaser for most!
I also checked how well it will hold the fizzy quality throughout the day.
3 cups light rum
3 cups cranberry juice
4 cups pineapple juice
1/2 cup grenadine
2 cups ginger ale
1/2 cup simple syrup
Frozen blackberries for garnish inside punch bowl/dispenser (buying frozen helps keep the drink chilled without watering down)
I have a great punch dispenser that I keep on hand for every party. Here are a few I found that you can purchase online. You WILL get your use out of it.
- 1. Z Gallerie- This has been on my wish list for a few years but I can’t seem to bring myself to replace a perfectly good dispenser I already own. You can serve a couple punch options with this or do the recipe with vodka, rum AND tequila and put Halloween signs on dispenser!
- Walmart- This is a great choice and only $20! No excuses now, you can have a dispenser on hand for all your parties! You could put some Halloween spiders and cobwebs underneath the bottom.
- Crate and Barrell- Love this dispenser with the wood. You could use it for so many party themes and simply hang a “Poisen Punch” sign on the wood.
KISS OF DEATH
This is one of my go-to easy cocktails that EVERYONE loves. It has the perfect blend to balance with the tequila, plus it creates a white ghost-like drink!
1.5 oz Tequila
.75 oz St. Germain
.5 oz Fresh Lime Juice
Lime Slice for Garnish
Black rock sugar for the rim
- Moisten the rim of the martini or rocks glass with lime and coat with the black sugar
- Fill your cocktail shaker half way with ice, shake the Tequila, St. Germain and Lime Juice
- Place Lime wedge in glass
This makes for a fun Halloween drink. I ordered these syringes on Amazon, because I was going to load them with shots of tequila for the party… however, I thought a better use would be to place them inside the drink so my guest could shoot in the liqueur and use the syringe for stirring. The cranberry juice gives it a great red color for Halloween too!
2 oz Cranberry Juice
2 oz Ginger Ale
1 shot Coconut Rum
- Mix juice and ginger ale in a glass and put syringe in glass.
- Place syringe with shot of rum in glass.
The Dark Shadow
I wanted to name this cocktail The Black Shadow, but there is already a well known cocktail by that name that uses whiskey, so I went with The Dark Shadow. It’s basically a martini with a twist, because it will be a black martini.
I always like to offer a martini at every party. It’s classic!
CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE AT BEVMO
This year, I saw this cool bottle at bevmo : Blavod Black vodka and that is what inspired me to do a black martini. However, in my opinion a “real martini” is made with gin. So I had to figure out a way to make the gin black.
Well, duh, simple fix, food dye. I did not know if you could dye liqueur or not. So I did a test and you can! So, you can purchase Blavod for your vodka martinis or simple food dye. Either works.
1 Shot Gin (or vodka) mixed with two drops black food coloring.
Black rock sugar for the rim
- Moisten the rim of the martini glass with lemon and coat with the black sugar
- Fill your cocktail shaker half way with ice, shake the gin or vodka, strain into a chilled glass. (just place a few cubes with a little cold club soda while you shake to chill the glass quickly.
- I keep olives in the fridge in case someone wants a dirty martini and you (of course) have lemons if they want it with a twist.
I am using a classic French 75 recipe with a simple blood red cherry for the garnish
1.5 oz Gin
.75 oz Lemon Juice
splash of Simple Syrup
splash of Champagne
- Fill your cocktail shaker half way with ice, shake the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup
- Pour into champagne glass and top off with champagne
- Place blood red maraschino cherry in glass.
The other great thing about this drink is that you have champagne on hand. Just pour champagne in glass with the cherry garnish for an easy fix for friends who do not like hard liqueur.
Prosecco or champagne
- Fill a flute with bubbly
- Garnish with a real maraschino cherry on bottom.
For the blood red maraschino cherry, I prefer Luxardo brand cherries. They are a bit more expensive, but have the darkest red color and taste the best! CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE AT BEVMO
This is an optional cocktail as it requires one more ingredient, the vermouth. This is a man’s drink (although this is my go to “sipping” drink), so if you have gentlemen coming to your gathering this is a great fix!
1 oz gin
1 oz campari
1 oz vermouth
- Mix all ingredients in glass with ice and stir
- Garnish with an orange peel
So, we are decorated, food is prepped and cocktails ready to be enjoyed…whats left? Well, the party of course! We will post pictures of our guests enjoying themselves and all of our hard prep work for you to see afterwards! We hope your party goes just as well. Do you have any fun twists on these cocktails you can share with us?