To paraphrase that famous Mean Girls quote: “In the real world, Halloween is when kids dress up in costumes and beg for candy. In Cocktail World, Halloween is the one time a year when a bartender can come up with creepy, macabre and OTT drinks and no other bartenders can say anything about it.”
And so we approach All Hallows’ Eve, a date that coincides with another opportunity for cocktail creativity – Día de Muertos. And what better way to get into the ‘spirit’ of this spooky celebration (groan) than with some altogether eerie concoctions. We’ve rounded up some of the best of these dastardly-themed drinks available in London over the next week for your sipping pleasure – cue plenty of novelty glassware…
A dastardly duo at
Shrub & Shutter
Not content with giving a single option for trick or treat drinking this October, the guys at Shrub & Shutter have created a pair of Halloween-inspired cocktails to tempt your tastebuds. They’re already known for their creative garnishes and spectacular serves, and this trio of spine-tingling sips don’t disappoint.
Start the night with a Werewolf of London (pictured above) – a howlingly good mix of Whitley Neill Gin, Wolfschmidt Kummel, Maraschino liqueur and Black Pepper & Juniper shrub. Add a zing of fresh lemon, a werewolf orange garnish and a boozy maraschino cherry for a treat at the end, and you have a sublimely seasonal cocktail with aniseed and caraway flavour, balanced with cherry sweetness.
Death Defying Drinks with Licoreria Limantour at
Those magicians of mixology at Dandelyan like to experiment with crossing boundaries – and what better excuse than Halloween to play with the concept of cheating death? Yes, their limited-edition, multi-sensory menu presents five cocktails influenced by the ideas of preservation and zombification, by extending the life of botanicals beyond nature’s intentions. But just as exciting as the prospect of these diabolical drinks is the fact this menu has been created in collaboration with renowned Mexican bar Licoreria Limantour, with two of their top barmen joining the gang in South Bank and bringing their laid-back Latin vibes along with unusual South American ingredients that includes dried herbs, chilli and wood.
Mondrian London, 20 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PD
The Black Moon at
Forget cob-web-strewn haunted houses and misty graveyards – that’s soooo 2016. For Halloween this year MNKY HSE in Mayfair will be transformed into an Aztec jungle of creepy crawlies, snaking vines, crumbling stone pillars and ancient curses, and the bar team have created a suitably sinister cocktail to match. The Black Moon is a heady mix of Monkey Shoulder Whisky, Cherry Heering Liqueur, dark chocolate liqueur, honey, coffee, fresh orange and whisky bitters, and will be available for the duration of the week leading up to Halloween.
10 Dover St, Mayfair, London W1S 4LD
A terrifying trio at
New ‘rebellious’ restaurant and bar on the Soho block, Flavour Bastard, are certainly getting into the swing of the season with their limited edition trio of ghoulishly-themed cocktails created by their Head of Bar, Nick Jones.
Try the Dark Water – a mix of Estancia Raicilla, Escubac, agave syrup, Elixir Chartreuse and charcoal, served with a spoon full of sugar (assumedly to help the medicine go down), or perhaps the Shakti De – Cognac, bitter orange, cherry brandy and Ancho Reyes, finished with an autumnal spice spray. Doesn’t sound macabre enough? It’s served with actual organs on the side – well, a duck heart and liver lollipop, anyway…
The China Ghost at
Newly renovated, stylish and sexy – Courtesan dim sum restaurant and late night cocktail bar in Brixton has all the ingredients one needs for a night out that goes well past the witching hour. And in celebration of All Hallows’ Eve, they’ve created the China Ghost – an elegant and fragrant concoction of Finlandia Vodka, Rose Liqueur, Lychee, Rose Peony Tea and Pomegranate Syrup. As wraith-like as a just-glimpsed phantom, this spectre-acular cocktail might look delicate, but still makes an impression in the flavour stakes.
69 Atlantic Road, SW9
The Hellraiser at
Whether you consider this cocktail a trick or a treat is really down to how much spice you enjoy in your life… but trust Rudie’s Jamaican restaurant and bar to bring some fire to your belly now Halloween has rolled around. The Hellraiser cocktail is a kooky concoction of vodka, Chambered and Prosecco, garnished with on of the hottest chilli in the world, the Scotch Bonnet. Lip-tingling and spine-chilling – do you dare eat the garnish at the end?!
50 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 7XB