We've had embarrassing cocktails, hangover-curing cocktails, caffeinated cocktails, and just about every other kind we can think of, but we've never had cocktails so terrifying, they made our skin crawl. This Halloween season, bartender Masa Urushido at Saxon + Parole in New York City has come up with a menu of drinks designed to stir up our deepest phobias, from death to blood to fire and beyond. If that sounds like your kind of drink, we've got five of his most thrilling cocktail recipes right here.
Anyone who suffers from pyrophobia (the fear of fire) might want to lean back when Urushido serves his Up in Flames. A garnish of flaming cinnamon creates a fast display of actual fire; but this delicious drink is about more than the pyrotechnics, and gets flavorful nuances of smoke and char from the bourbon and grilled peaches. For arachnophobes, the Wicked Web Tonic arrives complete with spiders in the ice cubes—plastic ones, but enough to startle anyone with a spider-phobia.
“I wanted the drinks to evoke the spooky element that Halloween is known for, but keep them refined and approachable,” Urushido told The Feast, explaining that for the blood-phobic, the Berry Transfusion cocktail "uses a beet grenadine that looks like blood and travels down the ice like blood through veins."
Whether you want to horrify your party guests, or serve a spine-tingling cocktail your dinner date won't forget, here are 5 cocktails to try at home, if you dare.
Up in Flames
Inspired by pyrophobia: the fear of fire
2 parts Maker’s 46
¾ part lemon juice
¾ part grilled peach sherbet*
2-3 mint leaves for garnish
Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with mint leaves and top off the drink by flaming ground cinnamon.
To make peach sherbet recipe: Grill 2-3 peaches, until nicely charred. Mix the peaches in a blender with a roughly equal amount of white sugar and strain.
Inspired by hemophobia: the fear of blood
1 ½ parts Ménage à Trois Berry Vodka
¾ part fresh lemon juice
¼ part crème de cassis
½ part of beet grenadine*
Gooseberries and mint for garnish
Shake vodka, lemon juice and crème de cassis with ice and strain into a stemless wine glass filled with crushed ice. Top with beet grenadine. Garnish with gooseberries and mint.
*To make beet grenadine: Mix ½ cup of concentrated beet juice, 1 ½ cups of pomegranate juice, and 2 cups of sugar. Heat and reduce until the mixture becomes a syrup.
Inspired by necrophobia: the fear of death
1 ½ parts CRUZ Reposado Tequila
½ part Mezcal
¾ part Fino Sherry
½ part pear liqueur
Stir ingredients and strain over large ice cube. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Inspired by achluophobia: fear of the dark
2 parts espresso-infused Sugar Island Spiced Rum*
½ part ginger beer
½ part fresh lime juice
Candied ginger for garnish
Shake espresso- or coffee-infused rum and lime juice over ice and strain into a Collins glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wheel and candied ginger.
*Espresso-infused spiced rum: Mix ¼ cup of ground espresso or coffee with room temperature spiced rum. Let the mixture soak for 30 minutes. Strain and set aside.
Wicked Web Tonic
Inspired by arachnophobia: fear of spiders
1 ½ parts Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila
Herbal tonic water (such as Fever Tree)
3 dashes celery bitters
Fresh rosemary sprigs for garnish
Pour Tres Agaves Blanco Tequila into Collins glass over ice; top with tonic water and stir. Add dashes of celery bitters and garnish with fresh rosemary. For festive ice, place plastic spiders inside ice trays. Fill with water and freeze overnight.
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