Typically, your Halloween cocktails fall into two camps: those that look the part, and those that taste good. Rarely is a drink with muddled candy corn or gummy worm garnishes something you actually want to drink. So just when you think it’s best to give up and drink some whiskey straight, someone comes along to lift your spirits.
In this case, it’s Masa Urushido, mixologist at Saxon + Parole, the NYC spot that was recently named Best American Restaurant Bar at the 2016 Tales of The Cocktail Spirited Awards. And Masa has concocted a handful of phobia-themed Halloween drinks. Five spooky cocktails that look good, taste good and just might prey upon your darkest fears.
THE GRAVEDIGGER (pictured at top)
Inspired by Necrophobia: the fear of death
1 1/2 oz CRUZ Reposado Tequila
1/2 oz mezcal
3/4 oz fino sherry
1/2 oz pear liqueur
Stir ingredients and strain over a large ice cube.
UP IN FLAMES
Inspired by Pyrophobia: the fear of fire
2 oz Maker’s 46
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz grilled peach sherbet*
For the sherbet: grill 2-3 peaches (or any seasonal fruit) until nicely charred. Mix in a blender with equal parts white sugar and strain. Then to build your drink, shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with 2-3 mint leaves and top the drink by flaming ground cinnamon.
Inspired by Hemophobia: the fear of blood
1 1/4 oz Ménage à Trois Berry Vodka
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz crème de cassis
1/2 oz beet grenadine
For beet grenadine, combine 1/2 cup concentrated beet juice, 1 1/2 cups pomegranate juice and 2 cups sugar. Heat and reduce until the mixture becomes a syrup. Then shake vodka, lemon juice and crème de cassis with ice and strain into a stemless wine glass filled with crushed ice. Top with beet grenadine. Garnish with gooseberries and mint.
Inspired by Achluophobia: the fear of darkness
2 oz espresso-infused Sugar Island Spiced Rum*
1/2 oz ginger beer
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
To infuse rum, mix 1/4 cup of ground espresso or coffee with room temperature rum. Let the mixture soak for 30 minutes, and strain. Then shake your rum and lime juice with ice and strain into a Collins glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a lime wheel and candied ginger.
THE WICKED WEB TONIC
Inspired by Arachnophobia: the fear of spiders
1 1/2 oz Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila
3 dashes celery bitters
Herbal tonic water (like Fever Tree)
Pour tequila into a Collins glass over ice. Top with tonic water and stir. Add dashes of celery bitters and garnish with fresh rosemary. For festive ice, freeze overnight with toy spiders or other insects.