Halloween-themed cocktail books

Saturday, October 30th, 2021 00:00 |
Spirits of the Otherworld blends mixology and magic.

From cauldron-esque cocktails billowing with liquid nitrogen “smoke” to blood-red drinks chilled with ice orbs that resemble disembodied eyeballs, Halloween-themed cocktails are popular draws at bars all October long.

Halloween’s not only for kids, the holiday has become important for the bar industry.

The below new releases are aimed at a consumer audience. Dive in to help drive themed menus and social media posts all weekend long.

These collections are sources of drink recipes, to be sure, but they’re also a rich vein of chilling tales and drinks-adjacent lore ideal for entertaining guests as they sip on spooky, spellbinding cocktails.

Chilling Cocktails: Classic Cocktails with a Horrifying Twist

The concept: drinks inspired by characters from horror novels and movies. Familiar drinks are reborn in incarnations inspired by movies; for instance, the Bloody Mary becomes the “Bloody Marion”, named for a character in Psycho, while Planter’s Punch is reborn as “Redrum”, a reference to The Shining.

The deep-dive movie synopses written by Jason Ward, a journalist who writes about film, are where this book really shines.

For example, not only is the classic Sex on the Beach transformed into the “Reckless ’80s Teenager”, it’s accompanied by a lively explainer about the plot of Friday the 13th and its cultural significance.

Moon, Magic, Mixology: 70 Celestial Drinks Infused with Cosmic Power

This follow-up from the author of 2020’s WitchCraft Cocktails, Julia Halina Hadas, another useful addition to the spooky cocktail book genre, focuses on the “mystical connection between the moon and drink”.

Overall, it’s a gentle, dreamy look at “lunar libations” that leans into Wiccan rituals and the astrological signs of the moon.

Sections on “Lunar Spirits” and “Edible Elements” contain some particularly interesting tidbits that can yield talking points about various potions; for example, anise, nutmeg, or clove can be used for purification, while dill is helpful to release hexes.

Spirits of the Otherworld

Blending mixology and magic, this book examines the esoteric philosophies that have fueled the dark arts of their times, and links them to themed cocktails like theOak and Mistletoe, reminiscent of ancient European forests, or the Do What Thou Wilt, which pays homage to the secretive Hellfire Club.

The authors, Allison Crawbuck and Rhys Everett, know how to mix a drink and weave a tale: They’re co-owners of a London cocktail bar and co-directors of The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History (in which the bar is housed).

Of note, many of the drinks feature Devil’s Botany, an absinthe brand owned by the co-authors. -

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