The nine best wicked wines and crafty cocktails for a howling Halloween at home have been revealed.
With just the right measure of costume drama and intrigue, these fright-night tipples are inspired by the dark side - but of course, please drink responsibly.
1. The Unexpected Red 2019, Australia, £6.50, Co-op stores
Hauntingly good and worth hunting down, this spellbinding blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and sagrantino (a rich tasting Italian variety) locks you in with its appealing aromas and flavours of blackcurrant, baked cherry, violets and soft spice.
Super-delicious and dangerously easy to drink, it’s the perfect serve with Halloween specials, such as chilli con carne with witches’ fingers pastry toppers.
2. The Waxed Bat Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec 2019, Mendoza, Argentina, £10.99, Laithwaite’s
With an abundance of ripe, black fruits, this mystic blend of malbec and spicy shiraz bolstered by cabernet sauvignon exhibits shockingly good blackberry, plummy and floral aromas, plus a gorgeous velvety smooth texture with accents of liquorice, spice and violets gliding easily along into a deftly balanced finish.
3. Chronic Cellars Space Doubt Zinfandel 2018, California, USA, £15, Sainsbury’s
We think this spine-chilling label merits a wicked grin – and if you really want to sin with zin, this dense, ripe Californian is a great excuse to fire up the outdoor grill for sizzling spare-ribs.
Fragrant and fruit-forward, with vibrant jammy flavours of cherry, boysenberry and blueberry, cracked pepper and sweet spice, everything comes together in a ghostly good glass.
4. Hooting Owl Trick and Treat – Limited Edition Colour-Changing Gin, £38 for 70cl, Hooting Owl Distillery
The magicians at Hooting Owl have nailed the spirit of Halloween with their colour-changing gin.
As if by magic, the gin miraculously changes from blue to pink when mixer is added, thanks to the natural ingredients being PH reactive.
The trick is to serve it over ice, top with tonic and garnish with a slice of fresh blood orange. What a hoot!
5. Dead Man’s Fingers Walking Dead Sunrise
With the ripe, fleshy taste of mango, veil of vanilla and citrusy tang, this fun take on the tequila classic uses Dead Man’s Fingers Mango Rum (£22 for 70cl, Tesco), the latest flavour from spiced rum brand Dead Man’s Fingers.
Ingredients: 50ml Dead Man’s Fingers Mango Rum, 20ml lemon juice, 20ml orange juice, 30ml mango juice. To garnish, skewed eyeball candy and syringe filled with Campari to squeeze into your drink as desired.
Method: Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into a tall glass and for an added spooky touch, fill a syringe with Campari and serve on top of the glass, alongside some eyeball candy sweets on a skewer.
6. Grey Goose Lady in Black
This seductive serve made with Grey Goose L’Original Vodka (£39 for 70cl, Tesco) will cause a stir, especially if you don your witches’ hat and style the blood-red cocktail with decadent black tableware and candlelight, for some extra drama.
Ingredients: 35ml Grey Goose L’Original Vodka, 35ml fresh pomegranate juice, 10ml cognac, 10ml crème de cassis, 10ml clove water (1 clove infused for 8 hours).
Method: Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain into a black bottle and chill the pre-mix until your ready to serve. Garnish with a blackberry on a pick.
7. Casamigos Smoky Halloween Colada
A creepy interpretation from Casamigos, take the earthy, smoky flavour of Casamigos Mezcal (£64.95 for70cl, The Whisky Exchange) and top it with some chilling coconut and fiery tropical juice – and you’ll be ready for bartending pranks such as black lava sea salt to rim the glass.
Ingredients: 60ml Casamigos Mezcal, 20ml fresh lime juice, 20ml fresh pineapple juice, 20ml Coconut Puree by Coco Real (£5.45, The Drink Shop), 10ml ginger syrup, 10ml grenadine, equal parts sugar and black lava salt for the rim and dried citrus to garnish.
Method: Use a clear Tiki or hurricane glass. Wet half the rim with lime wedge or wheel and dip into sugar/black lava salt mixture. Pour grenadine directly into the glass. Half fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add rest of ingredients. Shake vigorously and strain into the glass. Add pebble ice, fill to top creating a dome like effect, and garnish with a citrus wheel.
8. The Boë Haunted House Apple and Lime Cocktail
For a creepy, citrusy cocktail, mix Boë Gin Apple & Lime (£28.79 for 70cl, Amazon) with a few unexpected ingredients to create this deliciously eerie, dual-colour concoction.
Ingredients: 60ml Boë Gin Apple & Lime, 20ml lime simple syrup, juice from half a lime, 1tsp lime marmalade (optional), 1 egg white, basil leaves, butterfly pea flowers (available from selected supermarkets and tea stockists), liquorice laces to garnish.
Method: Add a handful of butterfly pea flowers to a teacup or jug and top with 100ml boiling water. Leave to steep. This will create that vibrant violet colour to your drink.
Cut the liquorice laces into four 6cm strands. Wrap another lace around in the middle and loop through to secure.
Add the rest of the ingredients to a shaker and muddle basil. Seal the shaker and dry shake (without ice) for 30 seconds. Once foamy, fill the shaker with the ice and shake again for another 30 seconds.
Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with liquorice spider. The butterfly pea tea should be lovely and purple by now. Pour 30ml butterfly pea tea over the drink to achieve a purple float.
9. Bacardi Pumpkin Kit By Floom x Bacardi (serves 4), £25, Floom.com
Can’t be faffed to get your fangs out and want all the hard work done for you? Spirits giant Bacardi have teamed up with artisan online florists Floom and hunted down everything you need to make a pumpkin punch.
The kit includes a pumpkin ready to be gutted, bottle of Bacardi Spiced Rum (70cl), party cups which light up when filled with their petrifyingly good punch potion, spooky transferrable tattoos and string of Halloween lights. Just grab a bag of ice.
Always drink responsibly.