Halloween Spirits

We've been thinking about Halloween Party hosting and have a couple cocktails to share and some thoughts on variations. The great thing about making cocktails is sometimes tweaking them to your guests tastes or simply what you have on hand.


Pumpkin Punch (this is a take on Planters Punch, nice and spicy!)


1 750 ML bottle of dark Jamaican rum

1 750 ML bottle of Brandy

19 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice (approximately 2.5 cups strained of pulp)

19 oz roasted pumpkin simple syrup (recipe below)

50 dashes Angostura bitters

1 Liter Soda water

1 block of ice (can be made with a washed out juice or milk carton which can be easily peeled away)

Add all ingredients except soda in large punch bowl and chill. When ready to serve, add ice and top with soda. Ladle over ice. Makes approximately 25 drinks.


Roasted Pumpkin Simple Syrup


Halve one small pumpkin crosswise then cut into quarters. Scoop out the seeds and strings. Place pieces, hollow side down, in a large baking pan covered with aluminum foil and add a little water. Bake, uncovered, at 375 until soft. Cut roasted pumpkin into 1 inch cubes. Simmer in equal parts sugar and water (for above recipe use approximately 2.5 cups sugar: 2.5 cups water: 2.5 cups pumpkin) 30-40 min. for maximum flavor. For variations, add fresh ginger, vanilla beans, fresh grated nutmeg or fresh cinnamon. Cool and strain with damp cheese cloth.

And now the variation... we tried this drink with an aged non-spiced full bodied rum (7yr Flor de Cana from Nicaragua) instead of the above recipe's dark Jamaican rum and brandy combo. The dark Jamaican rum makes for a sweeter spicier punch while the Flor de Cana brings the pumpkin flavor to the foreground. But whichever recipe you choose we recommend fresh shaved nutmeg for the perfect seasonal garnish.

Satan's Kiss (makes one drink)

2oz Gin
1oz Lillet
1oz lemon juice
1oz simple syrup

Shake and then float 2oz Pinot Noir on top. Tip: use the back of a spoon held above the glass to disperse the Pinot so that it more easily floats on top of the drink. Also, if you can get your hands on Meyer lemons, you can cook down the zest with simple syrup and lemon oil and then puree. Use the puree in place of the lemon juice for an even thicker base that will make it even easier for the Pinot to float.
We came up with a variation of the Satan's kiss below. Instead of the Pinot Noir float, use a bit of Port in the bottom of the glass to start then pour the base on top and do an alternate float. Because the Port is fortified, it's a thicker wine. It also adds additional sweetness if your using only the lemon juice.
Enjoy! Mwahahaha.

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