We’re halfway through October, past thanksgiving and just days away from one of the best-loved universal holidays: Halloween. While Thanksgiving is all about food and family bonding, Halloween always promises an abundance of some less family-friendly activities: sexy outfits and copious amounts of alcohol. Sure, candy is a big part of the holiday, but we’re all about treats of a more adult kind. Here’s some ideas to make spooky spirits this Halloweekend.

Blood sucker

Ingredients

1 1/2 oz Bacardi

1/2 oz Cointreau

2 oz pineapple juice

1 tablespoon strawberry or raspberry puree

Pour rum, Cointreau and juice into a shaker with ice. Shake mixture, then pour into a rocks glass. Dip the end of a drinking straw into the berry puree, hold the tip of your finger over the other end and use the straw to squirt puree into the bottom half-inch of the drink, where it will sink in red blobs. Do not stir.

Eyeball Martini

Ingredients

14 medium radishes

7 pimiento-stuffed olives, halved crosswise

16 ounces gin or vodka

1 ounce vermouth

Trim the stem and root ends of the radish, then scrape red skin from radish, but leave just enough to retain a veiny appearance on the white flesh. Then cut a hole in the radish with a melon baller or with a regular knife; it should be about half an inch in diameter. In here, fit an olive half, cut-side facing out, into hole. Place the radish in ice-cube tray. Repeat with remaining radishes. Fill tray with water and freeze.

Mix vodka or gin with vermouth; stir with ice. Divide eyeball ice cubes among four glasses.

Strain martini; pour into glasses, and serve.

Bubbly Witch's Brew

Ingredients

Glass measuring cup

1 cup boiling water

1 cup sugar

2 cups packed mint leaves

6 kiwis

Blender

Cheesecloth

Fine sieve

Pitcher

Ice

1 litre club soda

Chemistry flasks (easily bought at a dollar store)

Straws

In a glass measuring cup, pour boiling war over sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves, then refrigerate till chilled.

Puree 2 cups packed mintleaves with 14 cup cooled syrup in blender. Add 6 peeled, quartered kiwis, and blend until just smooth. Add remaining syrup. our through a cheesecloth-lined fine sieve into a pitcher; discard solids. Stir in ice and 1 liter sparkling water or club soda. (For a cocktail version, add 1 cup vodka.) Pour into flasks, and serve with straws.

Makes 8 drinks.

Cadaver Cider

Ingredients

2 cups lemon juice

2 tablespoons coarse salt

8 large Granny Smith apples

32 whole cloves

2 gallons apple cider

2 (12-ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

2 cups spiced rum (optional)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together lemon juice and salt; set aside.

Peel apples and cut each in half through the stem; remove seeds and core. Using a sharp paring knife, carve a face on the rounded side of each apple half. Place apples in lemon mixture for one minute then drain on paper towels.

Place apples, face-side up on prepared baking sheet and transfer to oven. Let bake until apples are dry and begin to brown around the edges, about 90 minutes. Remove apples from baking sheets and press cloves into the "eye" sockets.

Combine cider, lemonade, and rum in a large punchbowl; float shrunken heads on top.

Bleeding Heart Martini

Ingredients

2 ounces dry vermouth

8 ounces premium gin

Ice cubes

4 pickled baby beets, each placed on a cocktail skewer

Chill 4 martini glasses in the freezer or fill with ice water and let sit until frosty, about 5 minutes (pour out water). Add the vermouth, dividing evenly; swirl to coat the glasses, then pour out. Add gin to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously until chilled; divide among chilled glasses. Garnish each with a skewered pickled baby beet, and serve immediately.

Screwed-Up Screwdriver

Ingredients

(Serves 1)

1/4 cup ice

1/2 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice

1 1/2 ounces black vodka

1 black liquorice twist, for serving

Place ice in a tall glass. Pour juice into glass. Pour vodka over the back of a cocktail spoon into glass so it sits on top of juice and creates a layer of black. Slice 1/4 inch off each end of liquorice, and use as a straw.

Red Rum

Ingredients

Black sanding sugar

1 Lime wedge

Ice

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 ounce light rum

3 tablespoons simple syrup

¼ cup pomegranate juice

1 ounce dark rum

Spread black sanding sugar on a saucer and rub lime wedge around the rim of your glass, then dip glass in the sugar to coat. Add ice to glass. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add fresh lime juice, light rum, simple syrup, and pomegranate juice. Shake and strain into glass, leaving space at top. Gently pour dark rum in so it floats on top.

Garnish the drink by spearing a liquorice spider or other insect-type gummy candy to a stir stick.

Bloody brain

Ingredients

1 1/4 oz. strawberry vodka

1/8 oz lime juice

3/4 oz Bailey's

splash of grenadine

Add vodka and lime juice to a shaker. Shake, then strain into a shot glass. Using a straw, dip some Bailey's Irish Cream into the shot. When you submerge the straw into the Bailey's, put your finger on top of the straw to hold the Bailey's in the straw. Dip the straw tip into the vodka and slowly release your top finger.

The Bailey's will curdle a little when it hits the lime juice and you should be able to make strands of Bailey's. Repeat the straw/Bailey's process to build a "brain" in the shot glass. Add a splash of grenadine to the concoction to add the "blood" to the mix.

Vampire Punch

Ingredients

1 scoop vanilla ice cream

1 oz. triple sec

1/2 oz. white crème de cacao

drizzle of grenadine

Preparation:

Blend all ingredients except grenadine until smooth, pour into a stemmed cocktail glass. Drizzle grenadine over the top.

Alien Intoxicant

3/4 oz Midori

3/4 oz peach schnapps

3/4 oz Malibu coconut rum

3/4 oz creme de bananes

sweet and sour mix

1 splash club soda

1/2 oz Blue Curacao

ice

Hand shake or blend with ice the Liqueur with the Sweet + Sour. Strain this mixture from the ice into a pounder glass with the Schnapps, Malibu, Creme de banane and soda. Float the Blue Curacao before serving.

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