It’s the time of year when ghouls, witches and the living dead walk the streets.
But if you really want to get that authentic bartender look, then you need to move beyond the make-up and master some cult Halloween Cocktails.
Here’s Fake Booze’s five fave frighteners.
What would this spooky holiday be without copious amounts of Zombies? But this one, created by a New York bartender struggling with mental health issues during lockdown, is one of the best. The official recipe for the Zoom Zombie is “too many rums”, “whatever juice you have lying around”, “falernum or whatever”, “grenadine, obvs” and “oh god absinthe again”. And don’t hold back on the garnishes, people – this is tiki we’re talking about, so make sure your glass looks like a supermarket fruit counter.
Living Dead #1
Created by the late great Alonso ‘The Undertaker’ Cabron in Puerto Rico in an attempt to eliminate a love rival, the Living Dead is descended from the more traditional Corpse Reviver #2. It consists of eight parts overproof rum, one part absinthe, and one part mild rat poison. The latter results in an unbalanced drink for modern palates, so feel free to substitute it with any organic plant food if you prefer. Serve in a flower pot, garnish with righteous indignation and keep away from naked flames.
Named after the seminal 1970s horror film, this classic cocktail – using Armenian brandy and tractor fuel as its base – gets its name from its blood red colour. This can be achieved with something like tomato juice, though the traditional spec calls for actual blood. Bartenders have been known to pass out when attempting to leech out enough for Halloween, so nowadays plasma is generally bought in – Type O Negative preferred – and kept in the fridge. Not suitable for vegetarians. Or, indeed, fans of anything except Soviet-era spirits.
Also known as A Swift Demise, there’s little agreement regarding the ratios, or even the ingredients that go into this Prohibition-era drink, which is thought to have killed more people than the New Orleans flu epidemic of 1923. But there’s little doubt about the curse that goes with it. Legend has it that its creator’s liver spontaneously combusted shortly after settling on the recipe. Most think it uses a base of tequila, drain-cleaner and rotgut whisky, though attempts to refine the recipe further have robbed us of some of the finest talents in mixology down the years.
Blair Witch Punch
It’s a common misconception that this drink gets its name from the sense of nausea and insecurity that it evokes. But in fact it’s actually named after its distinctive green-grey ‘witch-skin’ hue. The Blair Witch follows the classic punch ‘five ingredients’ formula of blending equal parts sweet, sour, ill-advised, regrettable and reckless. It is notable for using gut-burgling amounts of spirulina, and a generous mound of moss soaked in black sambucca. Garnished with twigs and a sense of creeping dread it can be a cause of terrifying hilarity for unsuspecting Trick or Treaters.