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The month of October is an exciting time of year for kids—and also those of us who still consider ourselves “kids at heart”—and with that in mind, I wanted to put together a collection of fun and festive cocktails that you can serve up at your Halloween gatherings, or just mix up anytime you want to get into the “spirit” of the season over the next few weeks.

Halloween Blood Orange Martini

When Blood Oranges season begins, it’s a big moment in our house, as we’re huge fans of the crisp tartness of this fruit (especially when paired with cranberries), particularly in the fall. With that in mind, I thought these Halloween Blood Orange Martinis (via Culinary Ginger) would be a great drink to serve this month, and while the recipe doesn’t call for it, I feel like adding a few cranberries to this martini would make for a flavorful addition.

Ingredients (via Culinary Ginger):

  • Black Gel Frosting
  • 4 Ounces Lemon-Flavored Vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Triple sec
  • 4 Ounces Blood Orange Juice

Directions (via Culinary Ginger):

  • Draw a spider web using the black gel frosting on the inside of 2 martini glasses and freeze for 30 minutes.
  • Fill a martini shaker with ice.
  • Add all the ingredients and shake for 5 seconds.
  • Strain into the martini glasses.

Note: If you can't find fresh blood oranges, the juice aisle at your grocery store may have it bottled, either in the fresh section or in the regular juice aisle (Whole Foods definitely carries the juice). Also, if you can’t find juice, you can go ahead and substitute with blood orange soda, too.

Hocus Pocus Fizz Cocktail

So who doesn’t love Hocus Pocus? It’s certainly a big part of our Halloween viewing schedule every year, and it seems to get more popular with the passing of time. So why not whip up this dazzling Hocus Pocus Fizz Cocktail the next time you set out to enjoy the cinematic adventures of the Sanderson sisters? It’s easy to make, and a perfect way to toast a Halloween classic.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Cups Pineapple Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Rum
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Imitation Coconut Extract
  • 3 Drops McCormick® Red Food Coloring
  • 2 Drops McCormick® Yellow Food Coloring
  • 1 bottle Sparkling White Wine

Garnish:

  • Cranberries (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 5 Drops McCormick® Red Food Coloring
  • 5 Drops McCormick® Yellow Food Coloring

Directions (from McCormick via DougMesstic.com:

  • Mix the pineapple juice, rum, coconut extract, and food coloring in a small pitcher or large measuring cup.
  • Next, to add a sugar rim to each of your glasses, mix the sugar and additional food coloring together in a baggie until it turns orange.
  • Pour out the orange sugar onto a shallow plate, dip each glass rim in water, then into your orange sugar, fully coating around each glass.
  • For each drink, pour 2 ounces pineapple juice mixture into your beverage glasses. Top with 4 ounces sparkling white wine in each glass, and add in a few cranberries as a garnish.

Halloween Pumpkin Punch

Since it’s always easier to make larger quantities of beverages to serve up at your spooky shindigs (no one ever wants to spend the entire night playing bartender, right?), here’s an easy and delicious recipe for Halloween Pumpkin Punch (via HonestlyYUM) that should be a real crowd-pleaser this October.

Ingredients:

  • 750 ml Bottle of Spiced Rum
  • 1 Cup Orange Juice
  • 1 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Spiced Syrup
  • 1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 2 1/2 Cups Sparkling Water
  • Cinnamon Sticks for Garnish
  • Dry Ice
  • Large Pumpkin and Large Metal Bowl (that can fit inside the base of your pumpkin)
  • Punch bowl

Directions (via HonestlyYUM):

  • In a large bowl, add the spiced rum, orange juice, lemon juice, spiced syrup, and pumpkin puree together. Stir to combine, making sure everything blends together smoothly.
  • Meanwhile, place a large bowl into your hollowed pumpkin. Be sure your bowl is safe to handle dry ice (metal usually works best). Next, use tongs to fill the bottom of the bowl with dry ice, and cover with a slightly smaller (metal) bowl. This bowl will hold your punch, and be sure that both bowls are safe for dry ice (certain materials will shatter when exposed to dry ice).
  • Add the sparkling water to your punch mixture, and stir to combine.
  • To add a spooky element to your presentation, carefully pour hot water into the bottom bowl so that it contacts the dry ice, thus activating vapors that will slowly come up from underneath your punch.
  • If you don’t want to overcomplicate things, feel free to go the traditional punch bowl route.

Grave Digger Cocktail

For those of you who prefer your alcohol like you prefer your corpses—stiff—here’s the Grave Digger Cocktail (via Boulder Locavore) which brings together hard cider, whiskey, and ginger ale for an adult beverage with some real kick to it. Bottoms up!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Ounces Hard Cider
  • 1 Ounce Whiskey
  • Ginger ale
  • Crushed ice

Directions:

  • In a 12-ounce tumbler, or highball glass, combine the hard cider and whiskey.
  • Then, fill the glass with crushed ice and top off the rest of the glass with ginger ale.

Vampire Kiss Martini

This simple Vampire Kiss Martini (via Cooking with Sugar) falls on the sweet side of things, so for those of you looking to sink your fangs into something sugary, this is exactly what you’re looking for. Also, the recipe doesn’t call for it, but I’d suggest topping your drink off with a few drops of the strawberry sundae syrup to give an extra punch of “blood.”

Ingredients:

  • 3 Ounces Chilled Vanilla Vodka
  • Strawberry Sundae Syrup
  • Plastic Vampire Teeth for Garnish

Directions:

  • Rim a martini glass with the strawberry syrup, and then drizzle some on the inside of the glass so it resembles blood drips. For best results, prepare your glasses ahead of time and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
  • Pour vodka into a shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into prepared martini glass.
  • Add teeth on the side of the glass as a garnish.

Walkers’ Blood Sangria

If you’re looking for some fun ideas to help celebrate the return of The Walking Dead this October, look no further than this Walkers’ Blood Sangria, (via Cravings of a Lunatic) which is easy to make, and is sure to have guests shambling back for seconds (and thirds). Keep in mind the sangria needs to sit for a bit before serving, so do plan accordingly!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (750 ml) Bottle of Merlot
  • 2 Cups Pomegranate Juice
  • ¼ Cup Cointreau, or Any Orange Liqueur (you can also substitute orange juice)
  • 2 Cups Sparkling Water
  • 2 Cups Ice (or you can freeze wine cubes ahead of time, too)

Garnish:

  • 1 to 2 Cups Pomegranate Arils
  • 1 to 2 Oranges, Sliced

Directions:

  • Pour the Merlot in a pitcher, then add in the pomegranate juice and the Cointreau, stir well.
  • Put the mixture in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
  • Remove the mixture when you are ready to serve and add the sparkling water.
  • Add in the ice (or wine ice cubes) if desired.
  • Stir well and enjoy!

The Witch’s Heart Cocktail

I’m a sucker for anything apple flavored that has a shimmer to it (I’m a girl, it happens), which is why this Witch’s Heart Cocktail (via The Flavor Bender) jumped out at me on Pinterest when I came across it earlier this year. It turns out Viniq isn’t horribly expensive, either (check your local BevMo), and if you’re feeling really ambitious, the powdered dry ice is a festive finisher to get the full effect of this concoction.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Ounce Apple-Flavored Vodka, Chilled
  • 1 Teaspoon Grenadine
  • Purple Viniq or Shimmery Ruby Viniq, Chilled
  • Powdered Dry Ice (Optional)
  • Martini Glass

Directions:

  • This is optional, but if you’re feeling witchy, add about ½ - 1 teaspoon of powdered dry ice to the bottom of your martini glass.
  • Pour the flavored vodka and Viniq to fill the martini glass, being careful not to fill your glass to the brim.
  • Pour in the grenadine syrup about one inch from the surface of the drink so that it sinks to the bottom of the glass, creating a "bleeding" effect.
  • If you want to top off your drink with a bit more razzle and dazzle, you can add about ½ teaspoon of powdered dry ice to the top of each drink, and serve with a stirrer to get a shimmery, smoky effect.

Devil’s Margarita

For this Devil’s Margarita, (via Show Me the Yummy) we’re taking a trip to the Underworld and mixing Tequila with red wine for a sinful cocktail that’s also a devilish delight. I tried something similar to this back in June, and I will admit that I never thought you could mix tequila and cabernet, but that just shows what I know, because it was absolutely delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Ounces Tequila
  • 3/4 Ounce Lime Juice, Freshly Squeezed
  • 3/4 Ounce Simple Syrup
  • Red wine (Cabernet Works Best)

Directions:

  • In a shaker filled with ice, pour in tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake until chilled and pour into glass of choice.
  • Then, set a spoon at a 45-degree angle barely placed inside of the margarita. The back of the spoon should be facing the ceiling.
  • Pinch the top of the wine bottle with your finger, and slowly pour red wine onto the back of the spoon and let it drizzle on the surface of the margarita.
  • Pour until you have about 1/4 inch of red wine in the glass.

Note: If you don't have any simple syrup, you can mix equal parts white sugar and water into a microwave safe container, and heat until the sugar is completely dissolved to create your own.

Autumn Spiced Rum Apple Cider

Here’s another recipe that you can use as a punch to serve up to multiple guests for your Halloween parties this October (and if you triple it, that makes for just about enough to fill a standard punch bowl). This Autumn Spiced Rum Apple Cider (via Honey and Birch) takes your traditional autumnal favorite and gives it a punch of rum, making for a warm and inviting drink that’s perfect to usher in the season.

Ingredients:

Spiced Apple Cider:

  • 4 Cups Apple Cider
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 3 Star Anise

Cocktail:

  • 1 1/2 Ounces Spiced Rum
  • 1/2 Cup Spiced Apple Cider
  • 1/2 Cup Hard Cider
  • 2-3 Dashes Lemon Bitters

Directions:

  • To make the spiced apple cider, combine the apple cider, cinnamon sticks, and star anise in a sealable container like a mason jar. Seal the container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Shake well before using.
  • To make the autumn-spiced rum cider cocktail, fill a glass with ice. Pour the spiced rum and spiced apple cider over the ice, using a 50/50 mixture of each. Stir well.
  • Top with hard cider and lemon bitters.

Purple People Eater Cocktail

For our last recipe, this Purple People Eater Cocktail (via Homemade Hooplah) was something I found on Pinterest when looking up alcoholic drink recipes with grenadine (a personal favorite) earlier this summer. I love colorful drinks (and tend to enjoy my alcoholic beverages on the sweet side, too), so if you want to satiate your sweet tooth during October, I’d recommend giving the Purple People Eater a chance. Besides, who can resist that name?

Ingredients:

  • Simple Syrup
  • Purple Sugar
  • 1 1/2 Ounce Vodka
  • 1 Ounce Blue Curacao
  • 1 Ounce Sweet and Sour Mix
  • 1/2 Ounce Grenadine
  • 1 Ounce Cranberry Juice

Directions:

  • On a small plate, add purple sugar. Wet the rim of a glass with water and gently dab the top of the glass in the purple sugar, coating the rim. Set glass aside.
  • Next, combine vodka, blue curacao, sweet and sour mix, grenadine, and cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until combined.
  • Fill the sugar-coated glass with ice, and pour the cocktail mix into your glass

Note: If you don't have any simple syrup, you can mix equal parts white sugar and water into a microwave safe container, and heat until the sugar is completely dissolved to create your own.

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[Photo credits: All photos are from the respective links for each cocktail recipe. Top photo is from Culinary Ginger.]

In case you missed it, check here to read our other special features that celebrate the Halloween season.

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