Goblin Punch

When we first saw Deadhead Rum, we knew it was begging to be included in a Halloween cocktail! C'mon, it's a friggin' shrunken head bottle!

But what cool packaging sometimes hides is a lack-luster product...not the case with this stuff. Though you often think of Mexico as a place for tequila and mezcal, this Mexican rum has a unique flavor, with hints of vanilla and oak. 

It's got a robust flavor that is perfect for cocktails - including this silly little Halloween-inspired drink made green with Midori melon liqueur. 

So, give it a shake, pour it up and get your Halloween party going!

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
coupe or cocktail glass

ingredients:

2 oz Deadhead Rum
.5 oz Midori melon liqueur
.5 oz fresh lime juice
2 dashes grapefruit bitters
.5 oz simple syrup
grenadine, lime zest and cherry for garnish

method:

Combine rum, midori, lime, bitters and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake to chill and strain into glass. Garnish with a lime zest-wrapped cherry and a few dribbles of grenadine on the rim.

Black Night

If ever there were proof that you can have fun with your cocktails and still make them themed, this one is it! 

Made with Virgil Kaine Ginger-Infused Bourbon, we've darkened things up with muddled fresh blackberries, a little black currant liqueur and a touch of sweet vermouth. The spice of the ginger pairs perfectly with the fruit flavors - and it's all rounded out with the addition of sweet vermouth. Seriously, if you don't believe us, try it without the vermouth and you'll see what a difference one ingredient can make!

But the real key to this cocktail is double-straining. Nobody wants a bunch of damn seeds in their cocktails, so do it right and strain this cocktail. 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
muddler
strainer
fine mesh strainer
cocktail or coupe glass

ingredients:

5 fresh blackberries (plus more for garnish)
2 oz Virgil Kaine Ginger Infused Bourbon
.5 oz Creme de Cassis liqueur (or dark blackberry liqueur)
.5 oz sweet vermouth

method:

Muddle blackberries in your cocktail shaker before adding remaining ingredients and filling with ice. Shake vigorously and double-strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a couple blackberries and serve.

Bloody Brain Shot

Talk about some Halloween goodness right here! This scary-looking shot is achieved through the magic of curdling. Yup, curdling. 

With a little acidity in the Pickers Vodka base, the cream of the Blue Chair Bay Banana Cream Rum creates the look of a brain sitting at the bottom of the shot glass. But, despite the look, it's actually pretty darn tasty!

The trick to the look is using a straw to slowly drop the rum into the glass. When done, a few drops of grenadine add the remaining 'gross factor' perfect for any spooky occasion. 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
strainer
shot glass

ingredients:

1 oz Pickers Vodka
.5 oz Barsmith Lime Juice (or Rose's Lime)
.5 oz Blue Chair Bay Banana Cream Rum
a few drops of grenadine

method:

Combine the vodka and lime with ice and shake briefly to chill. Strain into shot glass. Using a straw, drop the banana cream rum into the glass to create a 'brain' in the glass. Add a few drops of grenadine and serve.

Morgue-arita

We're not typically ones for novelty drinks with silly names and gimmicks. Oh wait...maybe we are. We are talking about booze, after all. 

In a time when everyone seems to take themselves (and their craft) so damn seriously, what's the problem in having a little fun with your cocktails? None. That's what we say. 

So we're putting together a few Halloween cocktails with all the kitsch we can pack into 'em... but don't go thinking just because they have silly names or colorful garnishes that they're not tasty...because they are. 

Take this spin on a margarita for instance. We're using one of our favorite new tequilas, Sangre de Vida. Not only does it come packaged in a very appropriate hand-painted skull, but the shit is seriously tasty. To make it festive, we added some color with Aperol and used black ash salt to rim the glass (find it at specialty food stores or online). 

equipment:

cocktail shaker
rocks glass

ingredients:

1.5 oz Sangre de Vida Blanco Tequila
.75 oz Aperol
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.25 oz agave nectar, plus additional for rimming glass
black ash salt for rimming glass

method:

Rim the glass by dipping the edge in agave nectar and black ash salt. Set aside. Combine tequila, Aperol, lime juice and agave nectar in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and transfer contents to prepared glass. 

Queztal

Tiki. Rum. Punch. Maple Syrup. These all go together, right? Right. We know the whole maple syrup thing sounds weird, and we weren't sure about it ourselves at first, but once we tried it we were hooked. Almost any cocktail is going to have some sort of sweet component to it. This is usually simple syrup, occasionally with a flavor included, but almost always made with basic white sugar. Don't get us wrong, we are big fans and users of simple syrup, but why not mix it up a little bit? 

To avoid any confusion, we are talking about real, pure maple syrup. If you use something in a plastic or woman-shaped bottle you're drink won't be right, as that is corn syrup, which is completely different. Real maple syrup will have a slightly thinner texture and a more subtle flavor than it's processed counterpart.

Enough about syrup, let's talk rum punch! While perfectly drinkable all summer long, this recipe will keep your tiki dreams alive well into the fall. The recipe below is for one drink, but is easily translated into a party punch that will serve many

Equipment

Cocktail shaker

Ingredients

1.5 oz Pyrat Rum
.5 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz orange juice
.5 oz pineapple juice
1 oz maple syrup
2 dashes bitters

Method

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until well mixed and strain into a glass with fresh ice.

Black Daiquiri

Tiki drinks don't get much more classic (or easy to make) than a daiquiri. The tart lime juice mixed with sweet rum will put you right into a Key West state of mind. We know that Ernest Hemingway was a big fan of these drinks, inspiring small modifications at his favorite places and even getting some new versions of this classic named for him. We made a little modification for ourselves, and we think that if Hemingway had gone black, he might not have gone back. 

You may hear daiquiri and think of a bright red strawberry frozen drink served in a neon plastic vessel somewhere near a beach. That really could not be further from what a true daiquiri is. Typically a daiquiri is made with white rum, lime juice, and sugar, shaken up and served over crushed ice.  It has a very light, refreshing flavor that is dominated by lime juice. While our version has the same components, we have highlighted the many flavors of sugar instead. That doesn't mean we're trying to sell you a sweet drink, just a cocktail with a richer depth of flavor that can be enjoyed year round. 

Instead of white rum, we've used black, which retains much more of the molasses flavor that gets removed from the white stuff. And instead of white sugar, we made our daiquiri with a demerara simple syrup, made with demerara sugar, which is a less refined type of sugar with much more flavor than it's white cousin. Without making the drink any sweeter than it traditionally would be, these ingredients add a comforting warmth to this beach classic.

Equipment

Cocktail shaker
Crushed ice

Ingredients

2 oz Kraken Black Rum
1 oz Eli Mason Demerara Syrup
1 oz fresh lime juice

Method

Combine all ingredients in cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Shake until shaker feels frozen on the outside and strain into cocktail glass over crushed ice.

Barbacoa

As much as we love mezcal, it isn't necessarily the best spirit for mixing. It has a very strong, distinct smoky flavor, much like that of a scotch. That's probably why a mezcal is most often enjoyed neat or on the rocks with little more that a piece of lime. We here at 3st strive to bring you the best in cocktails, so we did a little experimenting with the stuff and came up with something that really highlights the flavors of mezcal, but also softens it with complements. Now we know you might be thinking "bell peppers in a cocktail?" And that is certainly a fair question. The campfire flavors of the mezcal don't lend themselves to sweetness very well, so we went the savory route. We used ginger and citrus to round out the drink. This drink ended up being quite popular at our recent Tikitober event, so we hope you'll try it out and enjoy it too!

Equipment

Cocktail shaker
Crushed ice
Muddler

Ingredients

1.5 oz Los Amantes Mezcal Reposado
1 oz ginger simple syrup
2-3 1 inch slices green bell pepper
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
.5 oz fresh lime juice

Method

Muddle bell pepper and ginger syrup in cocktail shaker. Add ice cubes (not crushed) and remaining ingredients. Shake and strain over crushed ice. Garnish with a new piece of bell pepper.

Painkiller

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

One of the newest members of the tiki family, the Painkiller was originally invented at the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands. Quickly rising in popularity, this cocktail is one of the few tiki drinks to actually incorporate coconut, giving it that real toes-in-the-sand beachiness that you might not find in it's more metropolitan cousins.

An important aspect of the painkiller is the rum used to make it. A Navy-Strength rum is imperative to the original recipe. Navy-Strength rum is generally bottled at cask strength, or at a higher proof than most rums. The name comes from British sailors who, while conquering and pillaging the Caribbean, were given a daily allotment of rum. The sailors tested the rum to see if it had been watered down by lighting it on fire and seeing if it would burn. This was the proof they needed and is also the origin of the term proof in relation to alcohol. 

Equipment:

Cocktail shaker

Ingredients:

2 oz Navy-Strength Dark Rum (Pusser's or Smith & Cross)
.75 oz pineapple juice
.75 oz orange juice
.5 oz cream of coconut
freshly grated nutmeg
pineapple leaf for garnish

Method:

In cocktail shaker with ice, combine rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, and cream of coconut. Shake vigorously and strain into glass filled with fresh ice. Top with nutmeg and garnish with pineapple leaf.

Floridita

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

You've heard of a daiquiri. You've heard of Ernest Hemmingway (we hope). And you might know that those two things go together like Pat Sajak and Vanna White. Used to be, when we thought of a daiquiri, it was of the strawberry variety; bright red and fresh out of the island oasis machine, possibly topped with canned whipped cream. How misinformed we were! The original daiquiris of Hemmingway's day were simple concoctions of rum, sugar, and lime with crushed ice. Papa Doblo (Daddy Double), as he was known to the bartenders in Cuba, earned his name by ordering two drinks at a time. Sometimes referred to as Daiquiri #2, the Floridita stays true to it's roots, embellished only with a little bit of Luxardo and grapefruit juice.

When it comes to frozen or blended drinks, ice becomes a measurable ingredient. You don't want to use too much or too little, otherwise the proportions of booze will be off, and we certainly don't want that! We consulted a bartender friend of ours on the matter and he gave us a great tip on measuring the perfect amount of ice. Simply fill the glass you plan on serving your drink in with ice, and dump that right into your blender. The liquid will fill in the gaps. This recipe makes one drink but is easy to multiply, just measure your ice accordingly.

Equipment:

Blender
Bar spoon

Ingredients:

2 oz Flor de Cana White Rum
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.5 oz Luxardo
.5 oz grapefruit juice
granulated sugar
maraschino cherry for garnish

Method:

Combine two bar spoons of sugar, rum, lime juice, Luxardo, and grapefruit juice in blender with (measured) ice. Blend until smooth and garnish with a cherry. Ideally the drink will be thick enough for the cherry to rest on top with out sinking. Thats how you know you used the right amount of ice.

Singapore Sling

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

Originally created in a bar in Singapore 100 years ago and one of the oldest cocktail recipes still popular today, the Sling was adopted into tiki culture early on by Trader Vic (a pioneer of tiki drinks in the US) in a section of his drink menu titled "Drinks I Have Gathered from the Four Corners of the Globe." This menu also included such notables at the Pimm's Cup and Pisco Punch. Like it's cousin the Mai Tai, the Singapore Sling is probably most often thought of as a sweet, red drink full of rum that you enjoy at the hibachi grill, rather than the complex, tart, slightly bitter gin based cocktail it actually is. If anything, the Singapore Sling stands as the least saccharine tiki drink popular today, with all sweetness imparted by juice and the booze itself.

The famed mixologist D.A. Embury once said that "Of all the recipes published for [this drink] I have never seen any two that were alike." This one is based on one of the commonly accepted "original" recipes, but made it a little more modern and easy to make at home.

Equipment:

Cocktail shaker
Cocktail strainer
Hurricane-style glass

Ingredients:

1.5 oz london dry gin
.5 oz Benedictine
.5 oz Cherry Heering (or cherry brandy)
.5 oz fresh lime juice
1 oz pineapple juice
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
club soda

Method:

Fill shaker with ice. Combine gin, Benedictine, Cherry Heering, lime juice, pineapple juice, and bitters. Shake vigorously. Fill hurricane glass with fresh ice and strain cocktail into glass. Garnish with fresh fruit. 



Mai Tai

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

Invented (arguably) by Trader Vic in his Oakland, CA restaurant in 1944, the Mai Tai gets its name from from a friend of Vic's, who tasted his first ever concoction and remarked that the drink was "mai tai," a Tahitian colloquialism that roughly translates to "awesome." We can't argue there. 

You might hear Mai Tai and think of some drink you had at a Chinese restaurant somewhere that was extremely sweet and bright red, garnished with pineapple and cherries, but in actuality that drink couldn't have been further from the real thing. Sometime in the illustrious 70's the Mai Tai went off the rails in American restaurants, becoming bastardized into some sort of rum punch made with shitty, cheap liquor and finished with whatever sweet juice and grenadine was available. Of course they were popular! Your mom and her friends (and everyone else) loved sweet, fruity drinks of an unnaturally red hue! 

We want to put those days behind us and drink the real thing; which is a refreshing, boozy concoction straight from the beach.

Equipment:

Cocktail shaker
Crushed ice

Ingredients:

2 oz Afrohead XO Aged Dark Rum   (Appleton Estate is traditionally used)
.75 oz fresh lime juice
.75 oz orgeat syrup
.5 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao 
fresh mint
Luxardo Maraschino Cherry

Method:

Fill cocktail shaker and with crushed ice. In shaker combine rum, lime juice, orgeat, and curaçao. Shake vigorously and strain over crushed ice in a tall glass. Garnish with mint and cherry.

Scorpion Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Ben Clemons

Now this is our idea of a drink! We've all had the ubiquitous Long Island Iced Tea before, (Just admit it. Its ok you were young...) and we have the Scorpion Bowl to thank. While most Tiki drinks were actually invented by a handful of guys in the United States, the Bowl is based on the idea of "communal drinks," which was a part of South Sea drinking custom. The Polynesians knew there was nothing quite like sharing a giant bowl of booze with their friends!

For this drink, you will need the vessel known as a scorpion bowl or tiki bowl. These are available in a range of options and prices. Other than buying online, you will probably have to keep your eyes peeled at flea markets or antique stores to find one. If you do find one grab it! They aren't all that common in the wild, but otherwise easy to buy with your trusty computer. Traditionally decorated with demons to guard your drink, they can also be found covered with palm trees, hula girls, and other South Pacific imagery. Another feature might be a volcano in the center of the bowl. Trust us, get the one with the volcano if you can, the added theatrics are well worth it. 

The easy association to make is between tiki drinks and rum, but actually a wide range of spirits are used to create these libations. Remember these cocktails were invented by Americans who had access to all sorts of ingredients. That is why you will find things like gin, cognac, sherry, and curaçao included. Our Scorpion Bowl recipe is actually quite easy to make, so invite a few friends and lets get started.

Equipment:

Scorpion Bowl

Ingredients:

3oz london dry gin
3 oz light rum
3 oz brandy
3 oz fresh orange juice
1.5 oz orgeat syrup
1.5 oz fresh lemon juice
1.5 oz amontillado sherry

for the volcano:
2 oz 151-proof rum
ground cinnamon

Method:

Fill Scorpion Bowl with ice. Add gin, rum, brandy, orange juice, orgeat, lemon juice, and sherry to bowl and stir to combine. Fill volcano with 151 rum and carefully set on fire before serving. Toss pinches of cinnamon into fire to create a crackling, fireworks effect.

Serves 2-4 people