Once the domain of children alone, Halloween has exploded as an adult party of epic proportions. Of course, no spirited bacchanal would be complete without the booze to up the ante. And the bars and restaurants in the City of Angels (or is it Devils, this week?) aim to please. From the spooky to the sublime, here's a sampling of sweet and savory drinks celebrating All Hallow's Eve. Who needs to be a kid when you can have your candy and drink it too?
The Mixing Room at the JW Marriot downtown at L.A. Live will play host to a cast of ghoulish spirits, both sophisticated and campy. The winner — on pure visual appeal — is the Bloody Eyeball, a devilish concoction of Charbay blood orange vodka, fresh-squeezed orange juice, blood orange simple syrup and, of course, a lychee “eyeball.” More classic choices include the Devil's Handshake with Cazadores Reposado tequila, simple syrup, ginger, egg white and angostura bitters, and a traditional Corpse Reviver No. 2 with Ford's gin, Lillet Blanc, maraschino, lime juice and absinthe flambé. 900 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown; (213) 765-8600.
A vegan restaurant with kick-ass cocktails? At Crossroads, lead bartender Jeremy Lake, formerly of Rivera, has whipped up some seasonal sippers for vegans, herbivores, carnivores and all other variations. The Torn 'n Frayed mixes Pierre Ferrand 10-year-old cognac with creme de cacao, pimento dram, lemon, mint and a cinnamon stick. And, if you find yourself craving a Widow's Kiss, you'll enjoy the mix of Old Overholt rye, calvados, chartreuse, Benedictine and bitters. 8284 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 782-9245.
If you're a fiend for pumpkin pie, head over to the Americana at Brand for Katsuya's Pumpkin Spiced Martini. A pumpkin pie in a glass, it's all cream and spice with a combination of Ciroc peach vodka, pumpkin spice liqueur, pumpkin spice cream liqueur, simple syrup and, of course, cinnamon. No fork required. 702 Americana Way, Glendale; (818) 244-5900.
Monday night, Oct. 28, sees the official beginning of Halloween week at Ray's and Stark Bar at LACMA. From 7 to 10 p.m., you can feast on a selection of sausages and dip your nose into the foggy Dragon's Tail, an autumnal blend of scotch, allspice dram, lime and bitters. If that isn't intriguing enough, come for the floor show — chef Kris Morningstar will carve into a deep-fried stuffed whole hog's head — with a chainsaw. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 857-6180.
Lesley blogs at 12 Bottle Bar, tweets at @12BottleBar and is the author of the book Gin: A Global History. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.