Food & Drink

Bars Share Bewitching Cocktails for Halloween

Mixologists play mad scientist with these spooky recipes

Photo: Carly Lacoste

The Unreliable Narrator from Bar Marilou, New Orleans.

You decorated your lawn with tombstones and animatronic ghouls. You dressed up as Freddy Krueger to hand out candy. Are you really going to sip the same cocktails on Halloween as on any random Tuesday? Fear not (or do), we dug up a quartet of potent potions from Halloween-loving Southern bars.

The Unreliable Narrator

Bar Marilou, New Orleans


  • (Yield: One cocktail)

    • 1½ oz. Amontillado sherry

    • 1½ oz. sweet vermouth

    • ⅓ oz. grenadine

    • 2 dropperfuls citric acid solution*

    • 3 drops saline solution

    • Gummy skull


  1. Combine all liquid ingredients with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a gummy skull.

  2. *To make citric acid solution: Dissolve 1 tbsp. citric acid powder (available in grocery stores) in 1 cup filtered water.

  3. Photo: Carly Lacoste

The Devil’s Margarita

Superica, multiple locations around the South


  • (Yield: One cocktail)

    • 2 oz. reposado tequila

    • 1 oz. fresh lime juice

    • ½ oz. agave nectar

    • ½ oz. dry red wine, such as malbec or cabernet

    • Lime wheel, for garnish

    • Black salt, for garnish (optional)


  1. Combine tequila, agave, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, then strain into a collins glass and fill with fresh ice (option to rim with black salt). Pour ½ oz. red wine over the back of a spoon to float on top of the cocktail. Garnish with a lime wheel.

  2. Photo: Courtesy of Superica

I Put a Spell on You


  • (Yield: One cocktail)

    • 3 oz. pink lemonade vodka

    • ½ oz. elderflower liqueur

    • ¼ oz. Chareau liqueur

    • Soda water

    • Witch finger for garnish (available through Amazon or party stores)

    • Dry ice for serving


  1. Stir together first three ingredients in a glass with ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with witch finger. To achieve smoking effect, drop in a piece of dry ice right before serving. (Heed precautions for handling of dry ice.)

  2. Photo: Courtesy Southern Proper Hospitality Group

Black Magic

Andrea Rouillard, Alley Light, Charlottesville, Virginia


  • (Yield: One cocktail)

    • 2 oz. black cocoa milk*

    • 1¼ oz. Johnny Walker Black scotch

    • ¾ oz. Byrrh quinquina aperitif

    • ¼ oz. Fernet-Branca liqueur

    • ½ oz. Coca-Cola

    • Black sea salt

    • Slice of dried orange

  • *For the black cocoa milk

    • ½ cup whole milk

    • 1 tbsp. King Arthur black cocoa powder


  1. Add first four ingredients in a shaker and shake well. Strain into a collins glass over fresh ice. Add Coca-Cola and stir. Sprinkle a pinch of black sea salt on top and garnish with dried orange slice. (It looks like a full moon!)

  2. *To make black cocoa milk: Mix milk and powder well.

  3. Photo: Andrea Rouillard