Spooky Cool Spirits to Toast Halloween

Though wine is always on our menu, we love a tasty cocktail just as much. And, as we aren’t big candy people, we’re toasting Halloween with festive cocktails instead of bowls of sweets. Don’t be afraid, these tasty options will satisfy your holiday cravings from today through the end of the year. Cheers!

Mezcal is the perfect spirit for festive holiday cocktails. The agave-based liquor brings smoky, spicy flavors with a smooth, inviting palate. Mezcal Amarás is crafted from wild-grown agave plants from seeds scattered through the landscape of Oaxaca, Guerrero, and Durango. The distillery works holistically, nurturing the natural ecosystem with a focus on sustainability. Today, the distillery works with 18 agave types: Espadín, Tobalá, Sierra Negra, Mexicano, and Jabalí. Though there are similarities in the general flavor profile, the subtle differences and intricacies of the wild agave reveal varying notes of spice, flowers, and fruit. Mezcal Amarás Espadín is produced from eight-year-old wild-grown Espadin agave from the mountains surrounding Oaxaca. Smooth and silky, with an elegance that shines with refinement. Slightly richer and more concentrated, Mezcal Amarás Cupreata comes from the forests of Guerrero, showing herbaceous notes of the wild garrigue of woody greens and earthy forest floor and herbs. Though the spirits are ideal sipped neat from a tulip-shaped glass highlighting the floral, smoky, earthy aromas, the Espadin is perfect in a warming apple cider cocktail.
Smoky Apple Cider Margarita
1 1/2 parts Mezcal Amarás Espadín
1 part spiced apple cider
1/2 part lemon juice
crushed ice
Add all ingredients to an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake until cold. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.

Spiced rum requires nothing more than club soda as the layers of baking spices like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, melding with the toffee and vanilla notes of caramelized molasses, create a sweet and inviting cocktail perfect over ice. However, we also love the spicy flavors, like those found in Sailor Jerry Spice Rum, in cocktails that will transport you to the islands while toasting the autumnal season.
Sailor Jerry Pumpkin Spiced Mai Tai (recipe courtesy of Sailor Jerry)
2 parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
1 part dry triple sec
1 part lime juice
¾ tablespoon pumpkin butter
cherry to garnish
Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake to emulsify the pumpkin butter with the other liquids. Strain into a rocks glass with ice and garnish with a cherry.

Gary informed me the other day that the Almond Joy was his favorite candy on Halloween as a child. I thought he was more of a licorice fan, but in a toast to childhood favorites, this martini delivers everything good about the chocolaty, coconut-filled favorite without the mess of having coconut shreds stuck in your teeth.
Almond Joy Martini
1 part Blue Chair Bay Coconut Rum
1 part amaretto
1 part Creme De Cacao
2 parts heavy cream or half and half (if you are watching your calories….but FYI, if you are watching your calories, this isn’t the drink for you).
Add all ingredients to an ice-filled shaker and shake until very cold. Strain into a martini glass dipped in crushed almonds.

As temperatures drop, dark liquors like barrel-aged bourbon, scotch, and whiskey, are calling. A Fistful of Bourbon is ready to warm you from the inside out by blending five different bourbons, all aged a minimum of two years, to create a well-rounded, smooth, sipping bourbon that is also tasty in classic cocktails, like an old-fashioned or Manhattan. Each of the five brings a different flavor and characteristic to the spirit, including one with more spice, one with more floral notes, one that is oaky, and one that is savory, the flavors are complete with the blend showcasing the best of each part.
Gold Rush (recipe courtesy of Fishful of Bourbon) 
2 parts Fistful of Bourbon
1 part Lemon Juice
1/2 part Honey Syrup (1:1 honey and water)
Add all ingredients into a shaker. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a lemon peel or fresh mint.

In addition to enjoying the spicy, caramel, dried fruit flavors naturally found in American whiskey, producers are using the spirit as a base for a slew of flavored options, many which are ideal for candy-flavored Halloween cocktails.

Duke & Dame began with the goal of creating a quality product with rich, robust flavor and just the right balance of sweetness. Duke & Dame Salted Caramel Whiskey has just one gram of sugar per serving. The flavor melds dried orange peel and fig with savory roasted, salted hazelnuts and sweet caramel. Their Caramel S’more Martini delivers all the flavor of the childhood treat without getting your fingers messy.
Caramel SMore Martini (recipe courtesy of Duke & Dame)
3 oz Duke & Dame
1/2 oz Irish Cream Liqueur
1/2 oz Chocolate Syrup
Graham Crackers
Chocolate Syrup for Garnish
Crush graham crackers and use simple syrup or honey to add graham cracker rim to a chilled Martini glass. Garnish the inside of the glass with a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Add Duke & Dame, Irish Cream and Chocolate Syrup to a shaker tin with ice. Shake until well chilled and pour into glass.

Ballotin started its whiskey journey with chocolate-flavored whiskey, perfect for a unique twist on a chocolate espresso martini. Since then the company has branched out to include a mix of flavors, including chocolate mint, peanut butter chocolate, chocolate toffee, and a slightly addictive flavor, Ballotin Caramel Turtle. Bringing layers of caramel, pecan, and chocolate together with nicely-aged bourbon, the liquor is easy to sip on its own, negating the need for dessert any night.
Ballotin Vampire’s Kiss (recipe courtesy of Ballotin)
2 parts Ballotin Caramel Turtle Whiskey
1 part Prosecco
dash aromatic bitters
Add whiskey to an ice-filled shaker with the bitters and shake until very cold. Strain into a coupe glass and top with Prosecco.

If all the mixing and shaking isn’t your preference, Spindrift is ready to assist. We love the Spindrift sparkling waters as each selection has a juicy, authentic, fruity flavor profile. We were thrilled to learn the company also has a line fo hard-seltzers, and its latest flavor is ideal for sipping now through Christmas. Spindrift Spiked Spiced Apple Cider is fruity and refreshing, with sweet cinnamon and clove flavors, melding harmoniously with fresh crushed apple flavors. The cocktail is everything you need to get in the holiday spirit with a flavor more pronounced than some hard-seltzers available today.