Bars' Spooky Spirits Answer Halloween Call

LAS VEGAS ( MainStreet) -- In honor of the time of year when seeing a few ghouls, creeps and witches at the bar isn't necessarily a bad thing TravelsinTaste sought out some ghoulish yet mouthwatering libations being served to bloodthirsty guests across the country:

San Diego is certainly getting into the spirit. Downtown RA Sushi will celebrate Halloween at Boo Bash 2011, at which guests can enjoy a variety of "Potent Potions" such as Grape Ghoulade made with Three Olives Grape Vodka, lychee juice, blue curacao, cranberry and fresh lemon; the Manic Mango, made with Absolut Mango Vodka mixed with Bols Pumpkin Spice Schnapps, mango liqueur, orange juice and a splash of soda; and Sinners Sangria, which is red wine mixed with fruit flavor and a large dose of Satan's elixir ... sake.
The Witches Brew (Bacardi Dragon berry rum, Blue Curacao, Creme de banana and fresh-squeezed lime juice) is a concoction of Las Vegas' palazzo.

For those of you feeling a little crazed this holiday, the Saltbox has crafted the Mental Ward 10, made up of High West's Bourye bourbon, pomegranate, molasses, lime and sugar. For something more tame, The Grant Grill's Smashing Pumpkin -- as seen on The Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate, is pumpkin and star anise-infused rum, Grand Marnier, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, saffron syrup, cardamom bitters and fresh meyer lemon.

Chilled to the bone? The Femur Shot at Searsucker is served in steer femur bones and designed to be sucked out, bone marrow style. The steer femur bones are clean and boiled, then stuffed with coconut, lime and vodka.

Need to awaken your inner werewolf? The Full Moon -- Double Cross vodka, Valrhona white chocolate, vanilla-infused pisco and sal de camargue -- is intense, perpetual, lethal and available at Donovan's Prime Seafood.

In Las Vegas, Fusion Mixology bar in the Palazzo is serving cocktails sure to satisfy your inner ghoul. The first is the Candy Corn, a shot served pousse cafe style or "layered" with Merry's White Chocolate liquer, Tuaca and Absolut Mandarin (dyed orange). They'll also debut the Witches Brew, the perfect combination of sweet and sour with Bacardi Dragon Berry rum, Blue Curacao, creme de banana and fresh-squeezed lime juice.

At Tabu Ultra Lounge in the MGM Grand you can find a Black Widow. This notorious creepy crawler is regarded as one of the scariest in the west, but not here, where its Black Cherry Effen Vodka, simple syrup and lime juice combination is to die for. And if you do die for it, the lounge's Smoking Zombie is sure to wake the dead with Skyy Vodka, Seagram's gin, Bacardi Rum, triple sec and sour mix. Dry ice and Chambord Liqueur perfects the concoction.

Of course, Dracula's drink of choice is the Vampire's Blood. This delectable Tabu poison is mixed with Absolut Berri Acai, peach schnapps and a splash of fresh pomegranate juice, then garnished with three raspberries.

If you opt instead to celebrate Day of the Dead or El Dia De Los Muertos, the Mexican custom of honoring departed loved ones with an abundance of good cheer, refreshing drink and delicious food rather than mourning, Jose Andres and his team at China Poblano in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas are serving some innovative appropriately themed cocktails, including the Jarritos, made from Del Mageuy Mezcal Vida, housemade citrus soda, sous vide pineapple and jicama with chile piquin and orange, as well as the Harvest Moon, made with Herradura Silver Tequila, grilled and fresh corn, pressed pineapple, D'Aristi Mayan Liqueur, sal de gusano with hand-cracked ice.

For a traditional celebration of the pumpkin with an unconventional spin, Chef Dean Max is serving a Pumpkin Pie Martini with Jack Daniels Honey Bourbon and homemade pumpkin puree at 3030 Ocean in the Marriot Harbor Beach in Fort Lauderdale. At his new farm-to-fire concept in Dallas, Asador, he's taking it to the extreme by serving a vodka infused with Belgian waffles and a cocktail made with housemade apple cider and cinnamon cream floater. Both are bound to delight your taste buds.

In the big apple, the trendy Empire Hotel has its signature Halloween cocktail, the Jack O' Lantern. Available at The Lobby Bar, it consists of Jack Daniels, Lucid absinthe, Orange bitters and sugar cubes. Meanwhile, the Park Avenue Tavern is getting into the Halloween spirit by decking out in Boardwalk Empire, prohibition-inspired costumes and hosting an open bar including top shelf liquors and Halloween treats. Happy Halloween!

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