On Halloween, in between handfuls of candy corn, snack-sized Butterfingers and packets of Pop Rocks, it's important to have a good cocktail to wash it all down.
But what makes a cocktail right for Halloween? The best ones will have seasonal flavors and unusual colors, provide an otherworldly effect (like smoke or fire) and satisfy a crowd.
H. Joseph Ehrmann, owner of San Francisco's
, believes that people are drawn to "anything that's custom designed, whether it's an original cocktail menu or something thematic." Top hotels across the country understand the impact of a unique cocktail, and some hire Ehrmann to create seasonal cocktail menus.
For your signature Halloween cocktail, Ehrmann recommends using fall flavors, because "people want a drink to remind them of the season that they're in." Another tip is to get creative with Halloween-inspired cocktail names.
To satisfy these requirements, try a Pumpkin Nog (recipe below). It was created by modern mixologist Tony Abou Gamin, who is best known as Chef Mario Batali's bartender on
and partner in
Magic, Martinis and Mario
, an upscale private event.
|H. Joseph Ehrmann concocts the Blue Blazer.
If you don't have the cash to hire Abou Gamin and are worried about getting stuck behind the bar, go with a group drink. "Punches are great for Halloween," says Ehrmann. "People almost expect it."
"I encourage people to research punch recipes online," says Ehrmann. He recommends
and Robert Hess'
, as well as books including David Wondrich's
and Dale Degroff's
Craft of the Cocktail