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Celebrate Halloween With These BOO-zy Classic Cocktails From Around the World

Picture of Kathryn Maier
NYC Food & Drink Editor
Updated: 25 October 2017
If you’re throwing a Halloween party, you’ll need to have some thematically appropriate drinks. We’ve rounded up five of our favorite, suitably named classic cocktails—ones that should be in your year-round repertoire anyhow—to add a sophisticated touch to the most spooky of soirees.

Blood and Sand

This cocktail, with its smoky-sweet, autumnal flavors, is said to have been created in London in the 1920s and named for the 1922 film starring Rudolph Valentino.

3/4 oz. Scotch whisky
3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
3/4 oz. Cherry Heering
3/4 oz. orange juice
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake well for 10 seconds and strain into a cocktail (martini) glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry or orange peel.

Bloody Mary

Its precise origins are a matter of dispute, but the most popular story holds that the Bloody Mary was invented by bartender Fernand Petiot at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris in the early 1920s. Not just a brunch drink, this cocktail—likely named for the ill-fated Queen Mary I of England, who also lends her name to a spooky mirror game you may have played as a kid—is appropriate in the evening hours as well.

Unlike most other cocktails, which rely on adhering to strict proportions and quantities, this drink lends itself to tinkering and experimentation. Play around with the ingredients and proportions, and have some fun with it—and with the garnishes too.

2 oz. vodka
4 oz. tomato juice
Few dashes Worcestershire sauce
Few dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce
Grated horseradish to taste
Fresh lemon and lime juice to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine the vodka and tomato juice in a pint glass; add other ingredients to taste, and garnish with whatever you like.

Here’s one to get you through the second half of the week. An Akvavite Bloody Mary from @agernrestaurant

A post shared by Eric Medsker (@ericmedsker) on

Corpse Reviver #2

Refreshing and indeed reviving, the pre-Prohibition family of Corpse Reviver cocktails were originally intended as hangover cures…but, beware, indulging in too many will definitely reverse the intended effect. Most serious cocktail buffs prefer #2 of the different iterations. The drink is believed to date back to the 19th century, and first appeared in print in the Savoy Cocktail Book, assembled by a bartender at London’s Savoy hotel and printed in 1930.

1 oz. gin
1 oz. Cointreau
1 oz. Lillet Blanc
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
Absinthe rinse
Rinse a coupe or cocktail glass with absinthe. Add the other ingredients to a cocktail shaker, fill with ice, and shake well. Strain into the absinthe-rinsed glass.

Dark and Stormy

As legend has it, the Dark and Stormy was invented in Bermuda by the Gosling rum-producing family just after World War I. This cocktail’s a great way to launch any number of spooky ghost stories, and it couldn’t be simpler to make.

2 oz. dark rum
4 oz. ginger beer (not ginger ale)
Lime wedge
Fill a Collins (highball) glass with ice, and add the rum and ginger beer, with a squirt of fresh lime juice if you like. Purists will tell you that you must use Gosling’s Black Seal rum, but we say you should try different dark rums and see which you like best.

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Zombie

This tiki classic was created by the grandfather of all things tiki, Donn Beach, at his Don the Beachcomber restaurant in Hollywood in the 1930s. He was known for closely guarding his drink recipes, but Jeff “Beachbum” Berry, a modern-day tiki guru, cracked the code and says in his book Sippin’ Safari that he’s deciphered the original recipe as follows. Be warned: This is a strong drink. Stick to just one or the next day you’ll be feeling like a…well…you know.

1.5 oz. Jamaican rum
1.5 oz. gold Puerto Rican rum
1 oz. 151-proof rum
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. falernum
1 t. grenadine
6 drops Pernod
1 dash Angostura bitters
1/2 oz. Don’s Mix (see below)
Add all ingredients in a blender with 3/4 cup of ice and blend briefly at high speed. Pour into a Collins glass or tiki mug over ice and garnish with a mint sprig.

To make Don’s Mix, first make a cinnamon-infused simple syrup by combining one cup sugar with one cup water and a two-inch cinnamon stick in a saucepan over low heat for five minutes. Let stand, then strain and make the mix by combining one part cinnamon simple syrup with two parts grapefruit juice.