Friday, August 28, 2009

Haunt Cast Extension

This month's episode of my segment on Haunt Cast had a few drink recipes featured. My boss, g-host Chris Baker asked if I would mind posting these on my blog. Anything for a fellow haunter and budding alcoholic!
I'm posting my transcript of the segment, and I'm adding a few other recipes I didn't get a chance to talk about on the podcast. I'm also adding links for you to follow should you want more in-depth information. It's really amazing how quickly an eight-minute spot goes by, and how much editing is needed to fit within those parameters.

August 2009 Haunt Cast
Welcome back, boils and ghouls, to the Charmed Pot. Before I get started on this month’s topic, I need to take care of some business with the guys here at Haunt Cast. Boys, I don’t mind you leaving the seat up, but the tighty-whities lying everywhere is just disturbing. Igor wanted me to tell you that skid marks aren’t in his job description, either, and-what’s this? A thong? Monogrammed? Let me grab my tongs to turn this over to see what it says… G.O.E.? Oh, wow, guys. Too scary! Please, just pick this up before next month, o.k.?
Now for the important question: cocktails, anyone?
If you’re planning to serve drinks at Halloween, repeat after me: Life is too short to drink cheap domestic swill! It’s especially too short to serve swill to your guests. You invited them over to enjoy their company and to spend some quality time with them, so why not let them know you value them by what you serve?
You don’t have to break the bank to serve good cocktails, and you don’t need a full bar, either. Unless you’re able to hire a bartender, mixing numerous different drinks in one night is not only pricey, but it takes you away from your guests and diminishes your enjoyment of the evening. In order to stay focused and keep your costs down, decide on one or two signature drinks for the evening, and perhaps consider serving a punch or a good beer, as well.
In researching for this podcast, I ran across a concept called molecular mixology on Molecular mixology takes the basic concepts of its father, molecular gastronomy (or the chemistry and physics behind food preparation), and applies it to cocktails. It explores the study of the effects of sense memory on the impact of a cocktail on its drinker, as well as the mechanics of creating a drink that is half hot and half cold, or creating the paradox of the solid drink. While you don’t have to create these drinks for Halloween, if you decide to use this concept to choose your signature drinks for the evening, it helps to understand what smells and textures people have of their childhood’s Halloween memories. Pumpkin, cinnamon and clove scents are strongly evocative of our favorite holiday. Bubble gum and chocolate are synonymous with Halloween, and both have strong smells and distinctive textures that can be translated into a bubblegum or chocolate-based cocktail. I found a great recipe for the Bazooka Bubblegum Cocktail, which uses Double Bubble bubble-gum infused vodka, on
If all that seems more complicated than making a flying crank ghost, you can choose from a number of Halloween-themed drinks. Here’s a list of them, any of which can be found by a quick internet search:
The Eyeball Highball, courtesy of Martha This drink is an ordinary vodka martini, but with a twist. Radishes and olives. The tops and roots are cut from the radishes. [See the above picture. Looks cool, huh?]You then peel the radishes, leaving just enough color to appear like veined eyeballs. With a melon baller, cut a ½ inch diameter hole in the center of the radish, then squeeze in a half olive, cut side facing out. After you’ve made enough of these to fill an ice cube tray, fill the tray with water and freeze. Voila! Eyeball ice cubes!
The Zombie is a late 1930s favorite named for its effect on its drinkers. There are many variations, and here’s one of them:
1 1/4 oz lemon juice

3/4 oz white rum

3/4 oz 151 proof rum
Shake over ice in a shaker, and strain into a large highball glass over crushed ice.

For that pumpkin smell, try this recipe for pumpkin nog: [I either got this from Mr. Macabre's site or Pumpkinrot's. I don't remember which.]
1 can (15 oz.) LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 can (12 fl. oz.) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pint vanilla ice cream
2 to 3 tablespoons rum (optional)
Ground nutmeg

Directions: Place pumpkin, evaporated milk, honey and cinnamon in blender container; cover. Blend until smooth. Add ice cream and rum. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

Other Halloween cocktail recipes you can search for include:
Blood and Sand, Death in the Afternoon, and The Vampire’s Kiss. You can try this website:

For a good bowl of punch, try this:
1 package Lemon-Lime Kool-Aid mix
20 oz Vodka
1 Lemon, sliced
1 Lime, sliced
1 cup Sugar or more for taste
Fill with Water and ice
Mixing instructions:
Mix all ingredients in a large (1/2 gallon) pitcher. Shake and enjoy!

There’s also Beetlejuice punch:
1/2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz Melon liqueur
1/2 oz Blue Curacao
1/2 oz Raspberry schnapps
1/2 oz Cranberry juice
Sour mix
Pineapple spear
Mixing instructions:
In a tall mixing glass with ice pour the vodka on the bottom. Then fill the glass 3/4 full with sour mix. Pour in the rest of the ingredients one at a time. Garnish with pineapple spear and cherry

To make a punch look scary, try this unique Medusa ice shape using a cheap plastic mask, latex gloves and the Haunter’s best friend, duct tape:
1. Using duct tape, tape up all of the mask's orifices, such as the nostril holes, inside and out. Place the mask face-down in a plastic container (such as a sterilite bin), stabilizing the mask in place with some packing material such as packing peanut2 or bubble wrap.
2. Using food coloring, dye about 3 cups of water light green (this should require only about one drop of the coloring). Pour the mixture into the mask, filling it about halfway.
3. Lay some gummy worms as desired around the head of the mask, creating Medusa's hair and using clothespins to hold them in place. Freeze the mask, at least overnight.
4. To create the hands, fill the latex gloves with water (one glove holds about 1 1/2 cups water, so you'll need about 3 cups for both). Using rubber bands, tie the gloves at the wrists to seal them shut. Place the hands flat on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper, to prevent them from sticking. Freeze the hands, at least overnight.
5. Remove the mask from the container, remove the face from the mask mold, and remove the hands from the gloves. (They should come out easily, but if not, place the hands and face in another container filled with room-temperature water to loosen them from the molds.) Turn the face upside-down to reveal the green face with worm hair.
6. Prepare the punch of your choice and gently slide the face into the punch. Add the hands -- one on each side, palms facing up.

A little known fact: fresh tomatoes can be frozen whole and used throughout the winter, so be sure to set aside a few for your Bloodthirsty Mary recipe for the hair of the dog cure on November 1:
Serves 4
3 cups tomato juice
3 tablespoons freshly grated or drained prepared horseradish, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup vodka
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Hot sauce, such as tabasco
Celery stalks, for garnish
Scallions, dark-green parts only, for garnish
1. In a pitcher, stir together tomato juice, horseradish, vodka, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and hot sauce to taste.
2. Pour into ice-filled glasses. Garnish with horseradish, celery, and scallions, as desired.

I don’t need to remind haunters that presentation is everything. Since you’ve gone to all the trouble to make the world’s greatest yard haunt to impress and terrify your friends and neighbors, take the time to make your drink presentation just as impressive. Resist the temptation to use cheap plastic cups to serve your drinks. While convenient and easy to clean up, plastic cups say “Frat House” rather than “Haunted House.” Since cocktails and alcoholic punches suggest a certain level of sophistication, serve your drinks in glasses appropriate to the drink. You can purchase inexpensive barware at Target, online at a foodservice or restaurant equipment supplier, or you could even check eBay. If someone breaks it, no big deal, just throw it away.
For the guests who don’t consume alcohol, have one or two “virgin” drink options available for them. [Also have a good non-alcoholic beer such as St. Pauli Girl N.A.]
And of course, don’t forget to pick up some good beer, such as Flying Dog Old Skratch, or any of the special Autumn brews that are appearing in stores. Again, ban the cheap domestic swill from your home!
As time goes by, you’ll hear me say again and again: buy ahead of time so you spread your expenses out. If you have the space, buy a case or two of beer early and hit Costco for your larger bottles of liquor. As an aside, I’ve been told that Kirkland brand vodka is actually Grey Goose in disguise, and it’s half the price.
Remember not to store your alcohol in a hot garage, as the beer will go skunky and the temperature fluctuations will ruin your booze. Oh. And don’t drink it before Halloween. Keep your personal booze separate from your party supply.
One more thing about drinks: monitor your guests’ consumption and make certain no one walks out your door drunk. In many states, the person serving alcohol is liable for the accident their buddy causes. It’s not worth losing your house or your friend, so have a list of cab companies ready by the phone. It’s easy to do and gives you peace of mind.
That about wraps it up for the cocktail tutorial.
See you next time everyone! Until then, stay scary!

Another site you can go to is Colonel Tiki's Drinks. This post has monster-movie themed drinks that look fantastic. The Webtender has a list of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and punches for you to peruse.
Go here for a "blood rimmed" martini, to Savvy Housekeeping for yet more Halloween cocktail recipes, and Martha Stewart for a good-tasting black vodka martini.

If you don't have enough ideas for cocktails by now, I'll pray for you!

And as they say, enjoy responsibly!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you have given me a one stop shopping place for my "what are we serving at the Graveyard the year" drink tasting party coming up in a month or so!

    Woohoo!!! Off to the liqour store...Darn Oregon and Washington...they don't sell liquour in Costco.

    Days like this I really miss California :)

    Loved the post cast. Stayed up later than I should listen to it last night! You are evil :D In that good way that I like so much!



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