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11 Halloween Cocktails That Are Better Than Candy

Local bartenders are whipping up spooky specials with crickets, chocolate, and cider


A roasted cricket garnishes Madison on Park's Santa Muerte.

Halloween cocktails are the best theme cocktails because there’s so much opportunity to get creative — with colors, fall flavors, and riffs on spooky classics, like the Corpse Reviver. Here are 11 to try:

Madison on Park’s Santa Muerte brings the creepy with its roasted cricket garnish. It also includes roasted cricket bitters (which are, indeed, a thing and add a nutty flavor). The cocktail itself is a take on a classic sour, made with tequila, beet juice, lemon juice, and egg white.

Starlite brings back two of its tasty Halloween cocktails: The Graveyard Park is a take on a Corpse Reviver #2, made with Greenbar Distillery’s just-released City Bright gin, Fruitlab orange liqueur, Lillet Blanc, lemon juice, and a dash of Herbsaint. And what better time to use Farigoule thyme liqueur than Halloween? It’s combined with Prosecco to make the elegant Death in Provence. (Also on the menu through October 31 are 10 Starlite classics — like The Belarus, Velvet Diablo, and Cleopatra — to celebrate the restaurant’s 10-year anniversary.)

Curadero's Buenos Noches

Curadero’s Buenos Noches combines Dorda Double Chocolate liqueur, vanilla simple syrup, Fernet, and Bulleit bourbon for a perfect dessert cocktail.

Miss B’s Coconut Club has three Halloween-inspired offerings, including a punch bowl called The Thing, served in an iron cauldron and garnished with dry ice, cobwebs, and a severed hand. It’s an easy-drinker, made with rum, a tropical-flavored cordial, cinnamon, fresh grapefruit juice, and orange soda. The Voodoo Zombie riffs on the rum-and-juice tiki classic: house rum blend, pomegranate and grapefruit juices, cinnamon, falernum, and Angostura bitters. Activated charcoal gives it a creepy hue. And How You Like Them Apples? is a grown-up version of sparkling apple cider, made with rum, cider, bubbles, ginger, and cinnamon.

The Sangre de Los Muertos (blood of the dead) at Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant gets its deep-red hue from a ruby vintage port and the aperitif Cocchi Rosa Americano. Mezcal adds smokiness and fresh orange juice adds some sweetness.

Fans of the Dark and Stormy will dig Bleu Bohéme’s French Vampyre Kiss, made with dark rum, spiced rum, muddled ginger, lime juice, and orange bitters, topped with ginger beer.

This month’s Craft at the Cove at George’s Level2, happening Monday, October 30, features Andrew Calisterio of House Spirits Distillery behind the stick. Calisterio, who’s bartended at Okra in Phoenix and Whitechapel in San Francisco, will team up with George’s spirits director Stephen Kurpinsky to create a Halloween-themed special menu. Costumes are welcome.

“Really?” I said when Tamarindo’s Mark Broadfoot told me about the Basic Mich, available starting Friday. It’s pumpkin spice tea, Victoria beer, lime, and ice in a chamoy-tajin rimmed glass. Broadfoot describes it as “dangerously good.”

Cusp Dining & Drinks’ Cusp O’Lantern is served in a round glass and garnished with a floating orange slice and a lime-rind stem to look like a pumpkin. Admire it and then drink up. It’s made with vodka, orange, lemon, and lime juices, soda, orange bitters, and agave.

Got a suggestion for a future post? Email me.

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