Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Movies is Good: Cocktails is Good, Too

 by JB

I return, JB the avuncular neighborhood barkeep, with more Halloween libations to improve this year’s COVID-shrunken holiday.

Last year, the fine folks at Super 7 put out a new set of Universal Monsters glassware, and I came up with some Universal-lee delicious adult beverages to fill them. You can read that column here.

That was so much fun, as Halloween rolled around this year, I wondered if I could repeat the task. “Four new delicious drinks?” the Fates screamed, laughing at the incompetence and lethargy of a mere mortal, “No way, Jose!”

To prove the Fates wrong, I consulted the Internet. I consulted my lovely wife, who selflessly volunteers to taste these new concoctions every year and prove they can’t kill anyone. I enlisted the aid of eminent Florida mixologist Grant Peyton, who really knows his stuff and can drink anyone under the Mason-Dixon line right under the table. (When it came to absinthe, we were on the same page, proving that great, inebriated minds think alike.) Thanks, Jan. Thanks, Grant. You both made these drinky-drinky drinkers even more scarier/hairier than last year... and drinkier... Halloweiner... Tippy-top-ee-er!

Because no one loves elaborate theming more than me, all of this year’s cocktails revolve around the works of Stephen King. Stephen King rules.
Cocktail #1: Pet Semetary Zombie Cat

½ ounce White Rum
1 ½ ounce Golden Rum
1 ounce Dark Rum
½ ounce Peach Brandy
1 ounce grapefruit juice
½ ounce Rose’s lime juice
½ ounce Grenadine syrup

This variation on a classic Donn the Beachcomber recipe can be endlessly “played with” to suit an individual’s taste. Play around with the ratios until you pass out and/or howl at the moon. Remember, sometimes dead is better. Fill tall glass to the rim with ice. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake well for 30 seconds. Pour over ice. Meow. Crunch.
Cocktail #2: Firestarter Whiskey Cocktail

1 ounce Jack Daniels Tennessee Fire whiskey
1 ounce 151 Rum
2 ounces Apple Cider
I ounce Ginger Ale
Half a mandarin orange
¼ ounce Grenadine

Combine whiskey, cider, ginger ale and grenadine in a cocktail shaker; shake well. Pour contents over ice. Peel the half a mandarin orange so that the peel resembles a little boat. Float the orange peel boat in the drink and fill it carefully with 151 rum. Light the rum. Be careful. If there is any chance that you will light anything other than the rum, stop! Don’t do it! Safety First! When you grow tired of admiring the flame, “sink the boat” into the drink and stir. Yummy. This one is so crazy delicious that the ghost of George C. Scott playing John Rainbird is going to come looking for you!
Cocktail #3: Annie Wilke’s Number One Fan Cocoa for the Sheriff

4 ounces hot chocolate (We used Trader Joe’s. Yummy. Don’t skimp.)
1 ounce silver Tequila
½ ounce elderflower liquor
1 marshmallow

Make hot chocolate according to directions. Stir in Tequila and elderflower liqueur. Cut marshmallow in the shape of a book and use toothpick to draw pages on it with the hot chocolate. This is the “marshmallow manuscript” that you will float in the drink as a garnish. Later, Annie will grow so enraged by this cocky-doody manuscript that she will break both your legs. That’s going to hurt. The drink, on the other hand, is delicious and comforting.
Cocktail #4: The Mist Corpse Reviver

1 ounce Gin
½ ounce Triple Sec
½ ounce sweet white Vermouth
¼ ounce absinthe
1 ounce Rose’s lime juice
1 ounce fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Lemon peel

This one surprised the wife and I with how delicious it was. It actually tasted like a drink we would pay big money for in some fancy saloon. We think it was the absinthe, but it might just be... ratios.

ANNOYING HISTORICAL PAUSE: Harry Craddock, lead bartender at London’s Savoy Hotel is credited with inventing this drink in the 1920’s as a hangover cure. This was back when absinthe was legal. Absinthe was made illegal for almost fifty years; many people believe it was banned because it was a hallucinogen. WRONG! Turns out one of the ingredients of the original liqueur was tincture of wormwood... which was POISON! Modern absinthe is safe to drink... and delicious if used sparingly. Did I mention this cocktail was our favorite of the four?

Combine all ingredients except garnish in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour over ice. Garnish with a strip of lemon peel. Drink. Savor. Revive! This cocktail even winds up the color of the mist in the Frank Darabount film. (Well, the color version.) Yummy. Sip. Sip. Slow down. What’s Thomas Jane saying, and why does he have that gun?
Try these recipes in your basement Saturday night in whatever tawdry ritual is substituting this year for a proper Halloween bash. No, just because you’re wearing a mask DOES NOT MEAN you get to go bar-hopping. Damnit--be safe! Be drunk and safe.


  1. You've just made my Saturday Halloween frolic a lot more interesting. Thanks a bunch.

    If I could throw my drink-hat into the drink-ring...

    Bloody Mary (3 Drinks Minimum, to conjure the correct drunk-ghost)

    Tomato Juice
    Calamata Olive Brine
    Worcester Sauce
    Tabasco Sauce
    Celery Salt
    Freshly Ground Pepper
    Celery Stick (Garnish, Stirring)
    Lengthwise Quartered Pickle (Garnish, Stirring)

  2. Thanks, Louis!
    Like the Zombie, there are so many variations on the classic Bloody Mary that I find my head swimming... in the lake down past the marsh... where the caretaker warned us never to go...

  3. These drinks all sound amazing! Thanks for sharing these ghoulish recipes, JB!

  4. I really need to upgrade the alcohol in my "bar". When i say bar, I mean bottom cabinet in the kitchen I rarely use.

  5. I'm 100% toasting Halloween night with a "Firestarter." Cheers!

  6. I might start with the last one first, and by #1 I'll be yelling at the halloweenkiddies to "GET OFF ME LAWN, YE, BUCCANEERS! "