This coming weekend, if you didn’t already know, is Halloween! And just in time here are some spooky cocktails that are on most cocktail menus all year round. Although you may not have tried them before!
The problem with Halloween, with any seasonal event really, is that it’s easy to buy into novelty drinks that taste super-sweet and contain ingredients don’t actually do anything for the drink they’re in, except maybe mask the taste of too much alcohol…
So for this post I’ve tried to keep away from novelties and go for 5 cocktails you will be able to order in any good cocktail bar at almost any time of year, but by the same token they’re cocktails you may not have tried at all…
So let’s begin with arguably the most themed of the lot…
1 ½ measures Reposado Tequila
½ measure Crème de Cassis
½ measure Fresh Lime Juice
2 or 3 measures ginger beer/ale
Combine the tequila, lime juice, and cassis liqueur and shake well, for around 10-15 seconds (or until the tin ices over).
Fine (or double) strain into a collins glass filled with cubed iced.
Top up with the ginger beer/ale (whichever you prefer) and garnish with a wedge of lime.
Serve with a straw.
The Last Word
1 measure Gin
1 measure Green Chartreuse
1 measure Maraschino Liqueur
1 measure Fresh Lime Juice
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker, over ice, and shake well.
Strain into a well-chilled martini glass and garnish with a lime twist.
Blood & Sand
1 measure Scotch Whiskey
1 measure Sweet Vermouth
1 measure Cherry Heering
1 measure Orange Juice
Add all the ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake well for about 10-15 seconds.
Strain into a well-chilled cocktail coupe glass and garnish with an orange peel.
Guinness (Stout Beer)
There are two ways to make this drink, neither are right nor wrong. It’s personal preference:
Pour the beer into the chosen glass and then gently layer the champagne on top.
Pour the champagne into the chosen glass and then gently layer the beer on top.
Simple no? Well this cocktail is sublime in its simplicity and is a cocktail everyone should try at least once. You may not like it if you don’t like the beer (like me) but, also like me, you may be surprised at how smooth and drinkable this cocktail actually is!
Place sugar, mint and lemon juice into a cocktail shaker and muddle well.
Add the chartreuse to the shaker and add ice.
Shake well and strain into a small rocks glass filled with crushed ice.
Garnish with a sprig of mint and, if you’re feeling it, a sprig of sage…
These cocktails are not only my tip for great drinks this Halloween, but they’re perfect if you’re looking to try something new the next time you head to that swanky cocktail bar, or spend the weekend at a nice hotel (they all have great bars nowadays right?), and they’re also perfect if you plan on a Christmas themed party with a difference…
But don’t think I’ve forgotten all of you that are looking for something a bit novel – the next of my Halloween themed posts is just for you: 6 Spooky Cocktail Shooters!
Have fun and please, as always, drink responsibly – no one enjoys a night in A&E!
Here, listed below, are some of the best cocktails you should be trying out this Christmas and New Year… Using French Champagne, Italian Prosecco and of course good old English Sparkling Wine these cocktails aim to add a bit of colour (and class) to your drinking experiences this festive period.
1. Kitsch Revolt
1 measure absolut vodka
½ measure strawberry puree
Top up Laurent Perrier Champagne Brut Method:
Combine the strawberry puree and vodka in a chilled champagne glass and then top up with well chilled champagne. Fervent Shaker Top Tip: this recipe is unusually suited for mass mixing. Combining the vodka and strawberry puree together and pouring and sharing between the required glasses really speeds things up.
Champagne: The best price you’ll find at the moment is at sainbury’s where you can save a whole £10 and nab a 75cl for only £26.99.
2. La Siene Fizz
1 measure Brandy
½ measure fraises de bois
½ measure fresh lemon juice
Dash of orange bitters
2 strawberries (hulled)
Sugar syrup (to taste)
Top up Marca Oro Prosecco
½ measure Grand Marnier
– Muddle the strawberries and sugar syrup together in a cocktail shaker and then add all the other ingredients (except the champagne and Grand Marnier) and shake well.
– Strain into a tall, ice filled Collins glass. Top up with champagne, float in the Grand Marnier and garnish with a strawberry on the glass’ rim.
Champagne: Available at Sainsbury’s for a very tempting £8.49 (75cl). A good choice for a budget sparkling wine and perfect with the fruit flavours in this cocktail.
3. Kir Royale
2 teaspoons crème de cassis
Top up Lanson Black Label Champagne Brut
Drop in the cassis and then top up with chilled champagne. Fervent Shaker Top Tip: for added sweetness, especially if you’re using a dry sparkling wine, try using a sugar cube to soak up the cassis and place that in the glass. The drink will become sweeter the more you drink. Top up as desired…
Champagne: On offer at Sainsbury’s, this champagne is £10 cheaper than normally, and for a limited time (no really, after Christmas I have a feeling they’ll be removing the offer rather quickly) it is only £23.99.
4. Riviera Fizz
1 ½ measures sloe gin
½ measure fresh lemon juice
½ measure sugar syrup
Top up Etienne Dumont Brut (Non-Vintage) Champagne
– In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup and shake well.
– Strain into a champagne flute and top up with the chilled champagne.
Champagne: This champagne, one of the bigger brands, is on offer at Sainsburys (check online to see if it’s available near you) at a very reasonable £13.49.
1 measure Campari
1 ¼ measures Sweet Vermouth
Chilled Antoine De Clevecy Champagne Method:
Combine the ingredients in a champagne glass and top up with chilled champagne. Champagne: Sainsbury’s currently have this champagne on a good offer. Saving £9.99; you can grab a bottle at a fantastic £12.
6. Cranberry Cooler (by sainsburys)
Recipe (serves 6): (build and serve)
150ml Grand Marnier
330ml Orange Juice (smooth)
600ml Cranberry Juice
Combine in a large jug and mix well with a selection of fresh (appropriate) fruit. Spread among 6 ice-filled highball glasses and serve straight away. Fervent Shaker Top Tip: This drink’s recipe reads very much like a summer punch, except the flavours your end up with are very much winter-orientated.
7. Apple & Berry Bucks Fizz (by sainsburys)
Recipe (Serves 12):
360ml Apple & Raspberry Juice
Sainsbury’s TTD Vintage Cava
Fresh Mint Sprigs
– Add 30ml of the Apple & Raspberry Juice into a champagne glass and then squeeze half an orange worth of juice in as well.
– Top up with the Vintage Cava and then garnish with the mint sprigs. Fervent Shaker Top Tip: When preparing fresh mint the best way to release the oils without damaging the leaf is to follow this simple to remember routine:
Place the mint leaves in the palm of your left hand.
Then with one swift and forceful motion clap your hands together. This releases the oils and allows for applying the oils to the rim of the glass and also creates a fantastic fresh mint smell when you put your nose to the glass.
Champagne: This sparkling wine is a real bargain this time of year, especially seeing as, at full price, it is already a discount product. You can expect to spend around £7.49 right now (£9.99 usually).
– Drop a cherry into a champagne flute and then add 15ml of the Kirsch.
– Top up with the Prosecco.
Champagne: I’ve made no secret about this product being one of my favourite sparkling wines. Having used it several times for events and cocktails at home, it is perfect for both fruit flavours (such as a classic bellini) or straighter drinks such as this one. Prices can range depending on the time of year, but generally it costs around £9.99. It is available at this moment 25% off – £7.49.
9. Black Velvet (Tesco)
880ml (1 ½ pints) Guinness
Top up Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Grande Reserve Champagne Method:
Half fill the champagne glass with the Guinness and then top up with chilled champagne. Fervent Shaker Top Tip: This cocktail is specifically built for particular taste, especially seeing as it uses Guinness. It’s a very eclectic tasting cocktail but the aesthetics of the drink is something a little different (and different is good).
Champagne: Now this champagne is one I’ve yet to try (I have a bottle unopened in my cabinet) but I’ve heard nothing but good things. Better still it is on offer at Sainsbury’s and if you’re quick enough you’ll be able to nab a free specifically designed Ice bucket. Price (if you’re quick): £14.99!!!
10. Raspberry Champagne
25ml Raspberry Puree
Top up Champagne Method:
Layer the liqueur then the puree and finally top up with the chilled champagne.
Champagne: Sainsbury’s TTD Champagne is a bit of a jewel when it comes to cheaper champagnes. Supermarket wine/champagne buyers are extremely clued up when it comes to what’s good and what’s not. So you should definitely try this whilst it’s still on offer: £20.99.
Look out for Part 2 coming your way very soon… Oh and a very Merry Christmas to you all! CHEERS!
Now for the disclaimer: Let me apologise for one thing: Sainsbury’s. They seem to be the easiest supermarket whose online grocery website allows you to look at individual products in detail (as you’ll notice from the links in this post) as well as stocking the best sparkling wines (champagne or no) available. And so they are mentioned exclusively when it comes to pricing of the champagne/sparkling wine. I would like to point out that this post has not been sponsored, nor influenced by Sainsbury’s in any official capacity whatsoever.