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 Elixir and Cocktail Ambassadors, 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 Iron Chef and partner in Magic, Martinis and Mario, an upscale private event.
|H. Joseph Ehrmann concocts the Blue Blazer.|
Adapted from H. Joseph Ehrmann
Serves 1 2 ounces 100-130 proof whiskey
2 ounces water
1/2 ounce simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, dissolved to a viscous liquid) Put the whiskey and water in an insulated pewter or silver mug and light it on fire. Holding one mug in each hand with the handle pointed straight back, slowly pass the drink from one mug to the other, gradually increasing the length of the stream. Pass 8-10 times and extinguish. (The flame very well might go out by itself, but if it does not, you want to cover the mug to cut off the supply of oxygen and extinguish the flame. You can do this with the second mug.) Pour into a coffee mug, add lemon and syrup and serve.
Adapted from Tony Abou Ganim
Yields 12 to 15 servings 12 jumbo eggs
5 cups 2% milk
3 cups spiced rum
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Freshly ground nutmeg Whisk eggs and milk in large heavy saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture coats a metal spoon. DO NOT BOIL. Remove from heat. Place pan in a large bowl of ice water and stir frequently until cooled, about 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, pumpkin, vanilla and ground cinnamon. Cover and chill eggnog mixture at least 2 hours before serving. Sprinkle each serving with ground nutmeg just before serving.