For October, I give you some Halloween-inspired cocktails, including a grown-up pumpkin spice smoothie, a blood-red warming toddy and a couple of drinks that put your extra trick-or-treats to good use. Boo!

Coffee Crisptini

Coffee Crisptini

Last year, I was inspired to use some of the proliferation of Halloween candy for cocktails, because why not? It’s fun to infuse spirits and I often infuse vodka with locally harvested fruit, such as sour cherries and lowbush cranberries. However, this is a different take, using my favourite of the Halloween minis, one that the kiddos often don’t like—Coffee Crisp!

Ingredients

  • 2 oz Coffee Crisp-infused vodka*
  • 1 oz espresso, cooled 
  • 1/2 oz Kahlua
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup (see recipe below)
  • 1 egg white (may be omitted)
  • 6 drops Free Pour Jenny’s Coffee-Pecan Bitters 
  • Crushed Coffee Crisp

Instructions

    1. Add all of the liquid ingredients to a cocktail shaker with NO ICE.
      Dry shake. This emulsifies the egg white. If not using egg white, skip this step.
    2. Add some ice, and shake again. Strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass, and garnish with crushed Coffee Crisp. 

    *Make Infused Vodka: Infuse 8 oz vodka with one crushed mini Coffee Crisp bar, stir and rest for 2 to 3 hours. Strain through coffee filter into a clean jar. 

Notes

Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Place ingredients in a small saucepan; heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, just until the mixture comes to a simmer.
Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let the syrup cool completely.
Pour syrup into a clean jar, label, and store in the refrigerator. Syrup will keep for up to 2 weeks.

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Cranberry Toddy

Cranberry Toddy

This season was a great one for lowbush cranberries, even if it wasn’t a great year for many other things. To me, cranberries signal the arrival of fall. They’re one of my absolute favourite ingredients as we roll into the colder months. With its deep red hue, this cocktail looks very much like autumn.

Ingredients

  • 2 oz rum
  • 2 oz unsweetened cranberry juice
  • 2 tsp birch syrup
  • 6 drops Free Pour Jenny’s Cranberry Bitters
  • 6 oz boiling water
  • Several lowbush cranberries

Instructions

  1. Combine liquid ingredients in a mug, stirring to dissolve sugar.
    Garnish with lowbush cranberries.

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Fright Russian

Fright Russian

Would The Dude approve of this Halloween-y riff on a White Russian, his favourite drink? I think not. Don a bathrobe, put your feet up and enjoy this one. Careful man, there’s a beverage here!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 oz white rum
  • 3/4 oz Kahlua
  • 3/4 oz Baileys Pumpkin Spice
  • 1 1/4 oz fat-free creamer 
  • 1 dropper full Free Pour Jenny’s Solstice Bitters 
  • Mini Halloween candy

Instructions

Add liquid ingredients to a shaker filled with ice.
Shake until chilled and frothy.

Spiked Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Spiked Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Here is one for the grown-ups. Skip the drive-through and try this homemade pumpkin spice smoothie instead! Spiked with rum for the adults and perfect for the kids if you leave the booze out. It is delicious. I love to make this with the Silk Road Spice merchant’s Chai Spice blend. If you don’t have it, you can substitute pumpkin pie spice in a pinch.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Silk Road Chai Spice blend
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla oat milk
  • 2 oz rum (Havana Club 7-year is great here). May be omitted for alcohol-free version
  • 10 drops Free Pour Jenny’s Solstice Bitters

Instructions

Place all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth.
Pour into a tall glass and serve with a straw.

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A few notes on alcohol consumption: these cocktails are strong and they should be consumed in moderation. One serving of spirits is 1 1/2 oz. A good rule of thumb is to have a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage. Cheers!