Cocktail & Other Recipes Occasion Halloween

11 Cocktails to Make for Halloween

With these cocktails, costumes are optional.

Death in the Afternoon cocktail
Death in the Afternoon Image: / Tim Nusog

The spookiest holiday on the calendar deserves scarily delicious drinks. After all, if you’re going to spend all that time prepping your costume and carving your pumpkin, you’re going to need something to help you unwind. With recipes ranging from a sweet Snickertini to an elegant Corpse Reviver (or two), there are no tricks here, only treats.

  • Let’s Pumpkin

    Let’s Pumpkin / Tim Nusog

    Homemade fall spice syrup is about to become your new favorite cocktail component. The lightly sweet blend of cardamom, star anise, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and orange adds a rich fall flair to any recipe, but it works particularly well in this. Just mix it with bourbon, ginger liqueur, pumpkin purée, and apple, lemon and pineapple juices, then serve it all in hollowed-out pumpkins topped with toasted marshmallow for a stunning presentation.

    Get the recipe.

  • Corpse Reviver No. 2

    Corpse Reviver No. 2 / Tim Nusog

    Originally created as a hangover cure, the Corpse Reviver No. 2 is great for, uh, creating one, too. The shaken mix of gin, orange liqueur, Lillet blanc and fresh lemon juice is delicious enough to raise the dead. But when it’s all strained into an absinthe-rinsed glass? That’s when things get really spooky. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Jack-o’-Lantern Punch

    Jack-o-Lantern Punch

    Phil Ward

    This punch can be made as a single serving or big batch. Whole cloves and ground nutmeg bring autumnal spice to rum and lemon and apple juices, while a dash of sugar adds sweetness and club soda keeps it fizzy and festive. Garnish with apple slices, cinnamon sticks and pumpkin seeds to set the Halloween spirit.

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  • Grave Digger

    Grave Digger cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This twist on a Spanish Coffee is a drink and dessert in one, making it perfect for a sweets-centric holiday like Halloween. Make a batch of vanilla-infused brandy a few days before, then shake it with coffee liqueur, Grand Marnier and espresso. For the most photogenic of garnishes, top it all with whipped cream, crushed Oreos and a tiny shovel to mimic a grave in every glass. 

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    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • Devil’s Margarita

    Devil’s Margarita / Tim Nusog

    This spin on a Margarita is delicious any time of year, but it’s especially appropriate for Halloween time. Blanco tequila, lime juice and simple syrup make a simple and delicious classic Margarita that’s brought to an entirely new level when it’s topped with a float of fruity red wine.

    Get the recipe.

  • Necromancer

    Necromancer cocktail / Tim Nusog

    Inspired by the Corpse Reviver No. 2, this cocktail has become a modern classic in its own right, with equal parts absinthe, elderflower liqueur, Lillet blanc and lemon juice, plus a dash of dry gin, coming together to create a refined and herbaceous sip.

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  • Snickertini

    Snickertini / Tim Nusog 

    If you don’t get any candy bars in this year’s trick-or-treat haul, just mix up a batch of these instead. Caramel and chocolate sauce help create a beautiful presentation inside a glass that’s filled with a sweet mix of caramel-flavored vodka, Baileys Irish cream, chocolate liqueur, amaretto and a dash of heavy cream. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Witches’ Brew

    Witches' Brew cocktail / Tim Nusog

    While other seasonal cocktails may skew sweet in the name of festivity, this cocktail’s magic potion employs a mix of Islay scotch, fino sherry, lemon juice, simple syrup and beet juice in a dark and spirituous sipper.

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    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • Undead Gentleman

    Undead Gentleman cocktail / Tim Nusog

    The Zombie is a Tiki classic as well as a perennial Halloween favorite, but it’s also a complicated cocktail to make. This version, by Martin Cate of Smuggler’s Cove, trims the recipe a bit while retaining all the flavor with two rums, falernum, cinnamon syrup, grapefruit and lime juices, Angostura bitters and an absinthe rinse. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Corpse Reviver No. Blue

    Corpse Reviver No. Blue / Tim Nusog

    Featuring all the complex flavors of the Corpse Reviver No. 2 plus a lovely blue hue thanks to swapping in blue curaçao in place of the usual orange liqueur, this cocktail was initially created as a joke but has become a popular drink on its own. One might even call it a Corpse Reviver in a blue costume. 

    Get the recipe.

  • Death in the Afternoon

    Death in the Afternoon cocktail / Tim Nusog

    This simple two-ingredient mix, a combination of absinthe and Champagne, is said to have been created by Ernest Hemingway. Its eerie yet elegant green hue renders it ideal for spooky sipping. 

    Get the recipe.