With Halloween nearly upon us, the time has come to drink thematically. This is a good thing: For too many of us, the tendency is to stick with the same few cocktails all the time, exploring the many variations on the same few themes.
There’s nothing wrong with this, of course—doing so leads to a deeper, more incisive appreciation of the drinks we love most. But it also, as a downside, results not only in far less drinking diversity, but also to occasionally missing out on new drinks that we just don’t give a chance to.
With that in mind, then, this is the perfect time to re-visit the classics of the canon and the flights of spiritous fancy that fit in particularly well as the day of the dead approaches.
And what better drink is there to ring in Halloween with than a bloody mary? This is a town with no shortage of standout ones, but the White Dog Cafe’s Sangre de Puerco, or blood of the pig, seems most appropriate. It leverages bacon-infused vodka and a bacon-stuffed olive to give even further depth to their in-house bloody mary mix.
If you’re feeling faux-literary, then honor this figuratively dark and stormy night with its eponymous cocktail. Southwark serves up a notable one, as well as an aptly-named Diablo cocktail. It’s tequila, creme de cassis, ginger ale and lime, and should succeed in getting you into the “spirit” of things. Tequila’s riffs on the same theme with their Margarita Diablo... plus, there’s the whole excellent skeleton motif there to get you in the mood.
Emmanuelle is whipping up a pisco-based drink called the Casket Girl. Time, on Sansom Street, crafts the Death in the Afternoon, which brings together absinthe and sparkling wine. They also, appropriately enough, offer a drink called The Presbyterian, with Jim Beam rye, bitters, and ginger ale—because a little religion on the day of the dead probably isn’t a terrible idea. You also could head on out to Citron and Rose for the Redemption cocktail, with slivovitz, pepper syrup, amaretto, and OJ. And Zahav mixes up a great drink called the Voodoo Dreams (Fernet-Branca, lime, ginger root), which is also custom-fit for this holiday.
Or you could just head to Eulogy and drink... well, whatever you feel like. Because it’s called Eulogy, and it’s Halloween. It doesn’t get more perfect than that.
Of course, you could really sink your teeth into the holiday and order the Dieu du Ciel Peche Mortelle (loose translation: mortal sin) or the Rogue Dead Guy.
And then you can go home and dream of butterflies and rainbows.
PW's Year of Beer: Carton of Milk