Monday, October 25, 2010

boo-zey halloween concoctions...

Throwing a bash this Halloween?  Cast a spell on your guests with a spooky cocktail or two to get the evening started right.  Cue the full moon and serve up some "witches brew" in the form of these vamped up cocktails that will definitely add some Halloween fun to your party without sacrificing that sophisticated touch...

Add a little mystery and brew up some mischief with this fabulous, award-winning black vodka cocktail, concocted by Micheal Ring at Jay's Catering:

Photo courtesy of

Black Vodka Ghost Martini
[Recipe courtesy of Jay's Catering and the International Caterers Association]

Individual Serving
1/3 part Black Vodka
1/3 part Chambord
1/3 part Cranberry Juice
Club Soda (to top off)
Blackberry (skewered for garnish)
Dry ice pellet (optional)
Fill a shaker halfway with ice. Combine equal parts Black Vodka, Chambord and Cranberry juice. Shake vigorously and pour mixture into a cocktail glass.Top off with 1 part club soda and garnish with a skewered blackberry.  For an additional "ghostly" effect, add a dry ice pellet to the glass.*  

If you are unable to find Black Vodka (Blavod), simply add a few drops of 
black food coloring to the cocktail to get the same effect.

*Note: dry ice can be dangerous to work with.  Please warn guests not to swallow the pellet by accident.  
Always handle dry ice with heavy duty gloves to avoid serious frost burn.

Or, add an "eerie" twist to a traditional favorite...

 Photo courtesy of

"Screwed Up" Screwdriver
[Recipe courtesy of Martha]

Individual Serving
1/4 cup of ice
1/2 cup tangerine or orange juice
1 1/2 oz. black vodka
1 piece of black licorice (for garnish)

Add 1/4 cup of ice to a tall highball glass with 1/2 cup of tangerine or orange juice into glass. Pour 1 1/2 oz. black vodka into the glass over the back of a cocktail spoon so it creates a top, black layer over the juice. Use a piece of black licorice as a festive straw but trimming each end. Serve immediately to avoid the colors blending.

And for those looking to warm up before a chilly evening out on the town, try this great take on the classic Hot Toddy...

Photo courtesy of Tesco Magazine
 Ginger-Lemon Hot Toddy
[Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen]
 Individual Serving
2-3 oz. top-shelf bourbon
1 oz. honey
1/2 oz. ginger syrup (see recipe below)
1/2 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice 

Warm the bourbon, honey, ginger syrup and lemon juice in a small saucepan until the honey is completely dissolved and the drink is hot (but not boiling). Pour into a large snifter or glass Irish coffee mug and serve warm, immediately.  

Ginger Syrup
1 lemon
2 cups coarsely chopped ginger with peel (about 8 oz.)
1 cup of sugar
2 cups of water 

Remove the outer peel of the lemon with a vegetable peeler, taking care not to include too much of the bitter white pith. Finely chop the lemon peel and ginger in a food processor. Transfer the lemon-ginger mixture to a medium saucepan and add the sugar and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer (partially covered) for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture and cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week. 

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