Whether a twist on spiced cider or apple pie, a riff on the king of Halloween candies, or a particularly strong brew, here's a selection of cocktails from some of L.A.'s most creative bartenders to help you out if you find yourself hosting a Halloween party instead of haunting someone else's. And, if you don't feel like making these yourself, you can always pay a visit to the bars that are mixing them.
4. Bobbing for Apples at La Cuevita
As La Cuevita's bartender Sol Trece explains, "Everyone knows about the traditional Halloween game in which kids submerge their faces in big bowls filled with water and try to catch the floating apples with their teeth. Since this cocktail is made with actual apple pie filling, if it's not properly strained, little pieces of apple will sneak through. But if they do, even better." Becherovka, an herbal liqueur, adds spicy notes with its bittersweet profile and the reposado tequila adds a warm, vanilla character thanks to the oak whiskey barrel aging process.
Bobbing for Apples
From: Sol Trece, La Cuevita
Note: This recipe calls for the bartender's choice of tequila; you can substitute your own favorite brand.
Makes: 1 drink
1.5 oz. Sino reposado tequila
.5 oz. Becherovka
.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
.5 oz. honey syrup (equal parts honey and water)
3 bar spoons of apple pie filling
1. Chill a coupe glass in the freezer.
2. For the honey syrup, combine equal parts water and honey, stirring until combined.
3. In a mixing glass, combine all ingredients and shake vigorously.
4. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
3. Candy Corn Old Fashioned at the Mixing Room
Few images are more evocative of Halloween than orange-yellow and white candy corn. At the Mixing Room in the JW Marriot at L.A. Live, Director of Beverage Drew Foulk opts for an infinitely simple, altogether classic cocktail -- the Old Fashioned -- but tweaks it for the holiday with the addition of simple syrup made with candy corn.
Candy Corn Old-Fashioned
From: Drew Foulk, the Mixing Room
Note: This recipe calls for the bartender's choice of bourbon; you can substitute your own favorite brand.
Makes: 1 drink
2 oz. Breaking and Entering bourbon
1 oz. candy corn simple syrup
Dash orange bitters
1. To make the candy corn simple syrup, add 1 part candy corn to 1 part water and simmer over low heat until candy corn pieces dissolve completely. Chill until needed.
2. In a mixing glass, stir bourbon, syrup and bitters with ice.
3. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
4. Garnish with an orange peel and a Luxardo cherry.