Samhain Sips

MMMM spooky season: orange and purple twinkly lights all over. Fake spiderwebs. Front lawn tombstones with clever epitaphs (“Here Lies Mozart Decomposing” is a particular fave), haunted house scares (which are mainly scary because actors in costume making creepy eye contact is worse than interactive theatre), and everywhere lies the idea...just the IDEA that you may garner a bag of sweets: a childhood mind muscle memory. Ideally they are sweets you can line up, categorize, rank, and maybe trade. Or, if you are me, patiently taste your way through over the coming weeks making mental notes: sweet, chocolate, nut, citrus, weird… Well Halloween candy is dandy, but Samhain sweet sips are the s*#t. A dessert drink is to be considered, to be desired, to be relished. Some a little more sophisticated, some a little trashy. This trio may border on the trashy side, and that’s okay. Admittedly, these are practice for the goth cocktail book I am trying to find a publisher for (IT SHALL HAPPEN—do you know any publishers?), so I am open to feedback. TO be clear this is a trio of DESSERT Halloween drinks. I am not going for sophistication. Hedonism is the name of my goth game… ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ PEANUT BUTTER CUP Serves Two Homage to THE best Halloween trick-or-treat get. When I first invented this, I got hate mail on reddit. But who are you if you haven’t been trolled by an incel? This makes two diminutive portions because it is quite rich. But…don’t let me stop you if you want the whole thing. After all the regular size Reese’s comes two cups to a package, and I never share those. INGREDIENTS -2 oz dark crème de cacao (for the love of a commitment to the dark side don’t use the clear kind) -1 oz vanilla vodka (reddit users also were mad that I said if you don’t have vanilla vodka, just use regular and add a dash of vanilla extract, being as it is essentially vanilla infused booze) -1 oz Bailey’s (or another Irish cream) -1 oz powdered peanut butter (if yours is lumpy try and break it up before adding) -1 tsp Dutch cocoa -Reese’s minis, skewered, to garnish -Espresso cups to serve METHOD Put it all into your shaker, add ice, and shake like you are trying to exorcise the demons from your shaker. Really though, you do need to shake hard to break up the peanut butter and cocoa. Strain into an espresso cup, a little goes a long way. Garnish with Reese’s minis. JUST THE SPICE LATTE MARTINI Espresso martinis have been enjoying a renaissance of sorts lately. And the great PSL (pumpkin spice latte) is a basic autumn treat going nowhere. So, what if I combined forces and made a latte martini? And what if…I left the pumpkin out? All you really taste in those lattes are the spices anyway. Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove, and ginger are classic spices. I dialed into the cinnamon, allspice and ginger since those exist in liqueur form, opting to garnish with nutmeg. Basic b? Maybe, but a happy one. Oh, I guess I was a little less basic. I traded out vodka for bourbon. This has no right to be called a martini, but I am. INGREDIENTS -1 ½ oz. Bourbon (rye should work too) -1 ½ oz. Mr. Black (but go ahead and use any coffee liqueur like Kahlua) -Scant 1/4 oz. allspice dram (I make my own, but it is buy-able and WORTH IT especially if you like tiki drinks) -1/4 oz. Cinnamon liqueur (I used Cannella cinnamon liqueur; you could possibly also make a simple syrup and infuse it with cinnamon sticks) -1/4 oz. Domaine de Canton Ginger liqueur -1 oz Cream (half and half likely works too) -Whole nutmeg METHOD Put everything but the nutmeg in a shaker. Add a few very large cubes. Shake like the dickens. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Grate a little of the nutmeg over the top and float the clove. Feel the autumn. You ARE autumn. POP-ROCK-ET FUEL Okay I don’t think I ever got Pop Rocks in a trick-or-treating sprawl, but they are candy and too much fun to consider for a cocktail where their fizziness coupled with somewhat sweet bubbles makes for a sparkle-tastic joy. I had to toy with this. In many iterations it was sweet in an obnoxious as opposed to luxurious way. Yes, I wanted dessert but…as sophisticated as Pop Rock 'zerts come? INGREDIENTS -¼ oz Limoncello -¼ oz Cynar -Dash Peychaud bitters -Demi-sec sparkling wine -Strawberry Pop Rocks METHOD Add the limoncello, Cynar, and bitters to a chilled glass. Top with demi-sec (you could also get away with other levels of sweetness of wine except for bone dry) and then add a hefty dash of strawberry pop rocks. Fly away on that bubbly sugar high. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Want to read more from Ellen? Check out her recent articles: Goth Rosé From Lalaland to Languedoc Ellen in Lalaland: Return of the Bar Covell Roussillon Ready Hard (Seltzer) Job, Someone Had To Do It You can also listen to Ellen's podcast , The Wine Situation here . Check out her recent transcripts of the Final Five questions: Wine Situation Final Five! With Beth Burnham Wine Situation Final Five! With Casleah Herwaldt

Domaine Carneros (Taittinger)

Verméil Demi Sec Sparkling Wine 2013

Strawberry leaf, white peach, and lime zest. Rich, creamy, yeasty notes of grilled bread. Vanilla. Nice mouthfeel, well balanced. Drinking this on the verge of the autumnal equinox, for which it seemed perfect. — 3 years ago


Cynar Ricetta Originale Artichoke

Oh hell my fave. If pushed this is my fave. Amaro. Ridiculously bitter.odd sweetness almost too much but not. Hell I LOVE CYNAR. — 6 years ago

Ron, Severn and 19 others liked this
Ellen Clifford

Ellen Clifford Influencer Badge Premium Badge

@Michael Meyer just tried and reviewing! Holy heck my fave so far. Wouldn’t say it is the bitterest if my tries—more like perfect
Michael Meyer

Michael Meyer Premium Badge

It is a beauty @Ellen Clifford. The honey notes make a nice contrast to the bitterness. is perfetto! 👌


Vanilla Bean Vodka

Alishia had this 9 years ago

Max and MD liked this

Old Fitzgerald

13 Years Aged Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Disgustingly good bourbon 🥃 best I have had to date! — 3 years ago

Ellie K
with Ellie
Mike, Severn and 1 other liked this



Made prosecco cocktails with this. Delish! — 7 years ago

Tempus Fugit Spirits

Creme de Cacao a la Vanille Liqueur

Sweet as Hell. To mix only. Angel's tip recipe sounds crazy sweet, but really good. And sweet. Had with Vanna Talinn. — 8 years ago

MR. Black

Cold Press Coffee Liqueur

Unique purist cold brew blended w/ clean vodka. — 6 years ago

Domaine de Canton

VSOP Cognac French Ginger Liqueur

Great with lemonade or just soda water. — 7 years ago

St. Elizabeth

Allspice Dram

Great with bourbon — 9 years ago