For the last two years, my boyfriend has gone crazy with decorating the front yard for Halloween. It started off innocent enough with a few tombstones, but then last year he kicked it up a notch with a fog machine, homemade coffin, treasure chest, two-story high spider web, skeletons, hanging ghosts, and a gigantic spider. So naturally, we also threw a party to go along with the lawn decor because I mean, how could we not?
I like to make everything from scratch so I got busy Pinterest-ing decor and food ideas (you can check out my Pinterest board filled with Halloween ideas here), and then I enlisted the help of my friend and hobbyist mixologist, Dan Magro, to conjure up some signature drinks for the evening. For those of you who don’t know Dan, he’s the author of Suck It Up: Extraordinary Cocktails for Everyday People so he kinda totally knows what he’s talking about.
I gave Dan free rein to be creative and he was mindful to incorporate our “Spiders & Skeletons” theme that had a black-and-white color palette so that the drinks matched and didn’t feel out of place. He decided on two different cocktails (I love an over achiever) with one being tequila based and the other being vodka based. Both were equally delicious. And you know it’s a good cocktail and a good party when Dan and I had to do an emergency refill of the dispensers halfway through the night.
- 2 oz blanco tequila
- 1 oz lime juice
- 3/4 oz agave nectar
- Activated charcoal* (don’t worry, it has no taste or grit)
- Spider-infused ice cubes^ (optional)
To make spider-infused ice cubes, simply freeze a washed plastic spider in a large ice cube tray like this one.
To make the cocktail, in a glass, muddle one 265mg capsule of activated charcoal, thoroughly extracted. Combine remaining ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass. Serve over one large spider-infused ice cube.
- 1 oz citrus vodka
- 8 fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 oz ruby red grapefruit juice
- 1 oz ginger turmeric simple syrup
- 1 oz lemon juice
- Gummy bones or skull candies for garnish (optional)
In a glass, muddle raspberries with vodka until thoroughly extracted. Combine with remaining ingredients (except gummy candies) in a shaker filled with ice. Shake rigorously and strain into a martini glass, making sure to catch any raspberry seeds. Garnish with skull or white bone gummy. We used these cute “vampire” teeth and skull candies from Sockerbit.
To make the ginger turmeric syrup, we’ll quote an excerpt from Dan Magro’s book Suck It Up: Extraordinary Cocktails for Everyday People:
“Take roughly ¼ cup of ginger root and wash it thoroughly, leaving on the skin. Place the ginger in a blender, along with 2½ cups of water, and blend until smooth. Strain the liquid into a stove pot, removing any pulp, and add 2 cups of cane sugar. Bring the contents to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of turmeric, then reduce to a simmer, stirring until dissolved. This will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.”
For more cocktail inspiration, you can follow Dan at instagram.com/danmagro.
^ Plastic spiders are not to be consumed and can be a choking hazard if not securely frozen in large ice. Do not use small cubes as the ice melts faster and the black spider will be hard to see in the darkness of the cocktail.
* Activated charcoal can, in certain circumstances, absorb medication’s active ingredients (such as birth control) before your body gets a chance to. Consult your doctor if you are on regular medication of any kind before consuming activated charcoal.