Whether you're hosting a Halloween costume party or just sticking around the house handing out Kit-Kats, October 31st calls for a drink or two. The easiest way out is pumpkin beer (though if you're not into that stuff, we have a few other seasonal ales and lagers to recommend.) Want to get a little more ambitious? Mix up one of our favorite Halloween drinks from the list below.
No gimmicks here: this is the fall cocktail for folks who aren't interested in pumpkin-spiced anything. The Ampersand is a simple classic, and its copper color makes it the perfect signature cocktail for any autumn gathering. Made with cognac, rich Old Tom gin, and sweet vermouth, and seasoned with orange bitters, this smooth sipper will have your guests asking for the recipe. (No need to write it down; it's just equal parts.)
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Pumpkin Bourbon Cider Milkshake
For boozy milkshakes, we're pretty partial to bourbon, thanks to its rich flavor. This pumpkin-laced shake balances the spirit with sweet-tart reduced apple cider along with cinnamon, ginger, and maple syrup. A dollop of maple-sweetened whipped cream on top? That's a treat.
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The Candy Apple
On a scale of one to bobbing-for-apples, this drink is about as easy as it gets: just take your favorite crisp, dry cider and mix it with a dose of toasty, malty brown ale. The result is a drinkable caramel apple, with the tartness of the cider perfectly wrapped in toffee-like brown ale. No cocktail shaker required.
The Smokin' Pumpkin
Deeply smoky Rauchbier takes the sweet edge off of pumpkin ale in this simple two-ingredient drink. Pop and pour—we love the rich, bacony flavor of this combo, perfect for serving with Halloween-night chili or pepperoni pizza.
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This blood-red drink gets its rosy color from pomegranate juice, and a splash of apple flavor from hard cider and apple brandy. Ginger liqueur adds sweetness and spice to balance out the tart flavor of the pomegranate.
The Varnish's Milk Punch
Now you see it, now you don't. This clarified milk punch is a fun little trick: it starts with milk that's cleverly curdled when mixed with citrus, cognac, and rum. When you strain the curds and zest away, you're left with a clear punch that's rich, creamy, and bright. It can be served hot or cold.