Depending on where you live in the world, Halloween celebrations invariably end up as a night of debauched house parties, hazy memories, and “funny” costumes that have a tendency to miss the mark. The drink of choice for most revellers? Whatever the hell you can find in someone else’s fridge or grab quickly at a crowded bar – which more often than not means cheap beer.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Now that Halloween is upon us, here are some appropriately spooky cocktails to help you enjoy the holiday, especially if you plan on hosting a Halloween party. Just be careful, because the hangover can be a monster.

(That’s a Halloween joke, by the way.)

Monster Mash

Spicy with a basil snap, this will keep you on your toes for tricks and treats alike. But really, it’s that spooky green that makes it perfect for Halloween – and the endless “Monster Mash” loop that you’ll be listening to all night. (Courtesy of STK)

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 oz. Absolut Elyx
  • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 2 slices jalapeño
  • 4 basil leaves

Directions

  1. Muddle jalapeños and basil leaves into a mixing glass.
  2. Add vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake and strain into a martini glass.
  3. Garnish with a jalapeno slice.

The Vampire Hex

If Dracula had a drink – other than the blood sucked from his victims’ necks, of course – it wouldn’t be this dirty martini recipe. The garlic bitters make sure of that. But those two stuffed olives look an awful lot like bulgy eyeballs plucked straight from a bloodless corpse’s skull. (Courtesy of Emily Rodia, Art in the Age)

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 oz. Powderhorn rye vodka
  • 1/2 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin or Tribuno)
  • 3/4 oz. olive brine
  • 5-6 drops Addition Garlic Cocktail Spice bitters

Directions

  1. Add above ingredients to mixing glass. Add ice and stir until chilled.
  2. Strain into chilled coupe glass. Garnish with garlic stuffed olives.

The Zombie

Maybe tiki drinks and Halloween don’t seem like natural bedfellows, but it’s all about the name here. Limit two per person, unless you want to use that sheet from your ghost costume as a blanket after you pass out.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz white rum
  • 1 1/2oz. golden rum
  • 1 oz. dark rum
  • 1/2 oz. 151-proof rum
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. pineapple juice
  • 1 tsp. papaya juice
  • 1 tsp. superfine sugar

Directions

  1. Stir together all the ingredients except the 151 and pour into a 14-ounce glass three-fourths full of cracked ice.
  2. Float the 151 as a lid by pouring it into a spoon and gently dipping it under the surface of the drink. Take a match to this mixture; it will burn.
  3. Garnish with mint (either straight or dipped in lime juice and then superfine sugar) and/or fruit.

Bloody Mary

Again: the name. Sensing a theme here? Drink this in the morning – or the morning after. Depending on the colour of your costume (we’re thinking red; you know, demonic stuff), it can work the night of, too.

Ingredients

The Mix

  • 1/4 c. tomato juice
  • 1/4 inch horseradish, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire
  • 3-4 dashes hot sauce (Tabasco, Tapatio, etc.)
  • 1/2 lime, fresh squeezed
  • 1/2 lemon, fresh squeezed
  • 1 tbsp. vodka
  • dash of black pepper
  • dash of sea salt
  • dash of celery seeds

The Drink

  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 6-8 oz. Bloody Mary mix

Directions

  1. Blend horseradish, Worcestershire, celery seeds, and tomato juice until smooth.
  2. Add lemon, lime, hot sauce, salt, and pepper.
  3. Adjust the mix to taste depending on how spicy, salty, or citrusy you like it.
  4. Add a tablespoon of vodka to stabilize the mix and keep the juices fresh.
  5. Combine 6-8 ounces of the mix with 2 ounces of vodka into a glass. Pour back and forth into another glass with ice 3 or 4 times to mix.
  6. Garnish with a celery stalk and a lime.

Blood and Sand

OK, OK. Last one. But aside from the fact that this has “blood” in the moniker, it’s also a genuine classic. The depth of the scotch is balanced by a little sweetness from the cherry liqueur and the vermouth. Dark, but not too dark. Just like Halloween.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 oz. Scotch whisky
  • 3/4 oz. rosso vermouth
  • 1/4 oz. cherry brandy
  • 1 1/2 oz. orange juice

Directions

  1. Fill a rocks glass with big ice cubes. Shake up all the ingredients and pour them over the top.