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Top 10 Halloween drinks

Featuring hip, horror-themed cocktails, pig’s blood and chicken bone, we round up a collection of drinks perfectly suited to conjuring up a night of frightful imbibing this Halloween.

With bartenders increasingly pushing the envelope when it comes to creating innovative serves, evermore unusual ingredients are appearing on the menus of some of London’s most trendy venues.

Take the White Lyan’s Moby Dick Sazerac for example, indeed a delightful beverage – just don’t let its key ingredient of sperm whale secretions put you off. And if ever there was a time to sample a Bloody Mary with real blood it’s halloween – available at Berner’s Tavern.

From the sublime to the downright disgusting, this list celebrates the strangest, oddest and most intriguing of drinks, perfect for celebrating this year’s All Hallows’ Eve.

Click through to discover some of the most ghoulish cocktail creations… 

Cereal Killer

Despite its sinister sounding name the Cereal Killer is an incongruously child-like cocktail served with a shot of playful nostalgia with its plastic milk carton container and stripy straw. Available at London’s Berners Tavern, it combines Havana Maestro rum with Kahlua, white chocolate, Coco Pops milk and chocolate bitters. We’ve not yet tried one but have been told it’s murderously good.

Corpse Reviver #2

The original Corpse Reviver was first mentioned in print in 1861, with early recipes blending brandy, Yellow Chartreuse and Maraschino and was said to be used as a “hair of the dog” hangover cure, hence the morbid epithet. The Corpse Reviver #2, a twist on the original created by The Savoy’s Harry Craddock, consists of equal parts gin, lemon juice, Cointreau, Kina Lillet and a dash of absinthe, added either before shaking or used to coat the rim of the glass. The final blend is then garnished with a Morello cherry that sits neatly in the bottom of the Martini glass. The #2 first appeared in Craddock’s Savoy Cocktail Handbook in 1930 and is still served at The Savoy’s American bar to this day.

Sour toe cocktail

A bar in Canada is responsible for perhaps one of the most gut-wrenchingly disgusting cocktails known to man – the Sourtoe cocktail, complete with human toe. The Downtown Hotel in Dawson City, Yukon, has included a toe in its “Sourtoe Cocktail” as part of a tradition that dates back to the 1970s. Those who are brave enough can have the toe dropped into their drink in order to become a member of the “Sourtoe cocktail Club”. More than 50,000 people have already joined the club, however one daring individual recently went a step further by swallowing the toe down with his drink – a Yukon Jack whisky – despite there being a CA$500 fine for doing so. The bar is now on the lookout for another toe  – its previous grisly garnish having been donated by a man who accidentally cut his off with a lawn mower.

Hangman’s Blood

This cocktail was devised in the 1960s by novelist and playwright Anthony Burgess, who is perhaps best known for the novel, A Clockwork Orange. Not for the faint-hearted, this potent concoction contains a double shot of gin, rum, whisk(e)y, brandy and Port all poured into a pint glass. But that’s not all. To this add 4oz of Champagne and then top up the pint with Guinness.

Burgess wrote in The Guardian of this cocktail: “It tastes very smooth, induces a somehow metaphysical elation, and rarely leaves a hangover … I recommend this for a quick, though expensive, lift.”

Smoked brain zombie beer

Earlier this year a Philadelphia brewery released an American pale stout infused with smoked goat brains in tribute to the hit US TV show, The Walking Dead – a post-apocalyptic horror-drama which follows a group of survivors living in a world overrun with zombies known as “walkers”. The Dock Street Brewing Company said the goat brains, which are cooked over hot coals before being added to the beer mix, give an “intriguing, subtle smoke” flavour to the pale stout. The beer also contains more conventional ingredients including cranberries, which were said to add a “sinister, bloody hue” and “slight tartness”, malted wheat, oats and flaked barley and fuggle hops.

Bloody Mary with pig’s blood

While a Bloody Mary alone might be enough to fulfil your halloween-themed drink quota, trendy Soho bar The Talented Mr Fox has gone a step further by adding a dose of real pig’s blood to its version of the classic cocktail. The ghoulish beverage also contains black pudding, clarified tomato juice, spiced hydrosol and vodka. The man behind the serve is the Talented Mr Fox himself, Matt Whiley, who first cools the black pudding and vodka in a sous vide bag at 80 degrees for 24 hours. A pig’s blood and black pudding distillate is then created before adding spiced tomato juice which is double filtered.

Bone Dry Martini

Created by mixology maverick Ryan Chetiyawardana, the Bone Dry Martini mixes Mr Lyan Vodka with a bone tincture made from roast chicken bones dissolved in phosphoric acid and mineral salts. It features on the creative menu at White Lyan in Hoxton, East London – a venue which has made waves across the global bartending scene since it opened in October last year with its strict “no perishables” rule, banning the use of citrus and ice in favour of pre-batched cocktails and house-made only spirits.

Snake wine

This particularly horrifying concoction is made by infusing whole snakes, and sometimes the odd scorpion, in rice wine or grain alcohol and leaving it to ferment. It was first  enjoyed in China during the Western Zhou dynasty and like many of the more unusual beverages to come out of Asia, its consumption is said to bring about healing properties according to traditional Chinese medicine. Any venom contained in the snakes is thankfully dissolved in the liquor and made harmless. The Huaxi street night market of Taipei, Taiwan, is known for its snake foods and wine products. Earlier this year a woman in northern China had to receive hospital treatment after a particularly hardy snake preserved in rice wine jumped out of the bottle and bit her hand...


Based on Mary Shelley’s classic 1818 horror Frankenstein, Drankenstein was dreamed up by Tim Federle, a broadway actor and self-confessed “word nerd and cocktail enthusiast” and included in his Tequila Mockingbird book alongside many more literary-inspired cocktail creations.

“Mary Shelley created more than  a monster when she anonymously published Frankenstein at age 21 – she also birthed one of pop culture’s greatest misattributions: Frankenstein is the name of the whacko doctor, not the green-faced, peg-necked creature. (He gets his own nicknames including “vile insect” and “wretched devil”, courtesy of his dear old dad). Experiment with the following Halloween-ready, bright green concoction. Heads up: more than a few couples have played their own cerion of doctor after downing more than a few of these”, wrote Federle.

  • 1 ounce melon liqueur 
  • 1 ounce Tequila 
  • 1 (12-ounce) can club soda
  • Pour the liqueur and Tequila over ice in a highball glass, then fill to the top with the club soda.

The Moby Dick Sazerac

Finally we come to The Moby Dick Sazerac, another creative cocktail from the folks at White Lyan made with ambergris, a sperm whale secretion that can be foraged from the ocean, Peychaud’s bitters and served with a strip of edible, absinthe-infused rice paper. The ambergris is broken down in neutral grain spirit with the tincture then aged and used as part of the pre-batched sazerac recipe. “The ambergris is basically a waterborne fur ball that whales cough up. Dogs go mad for it, it’s got an amazing musky aroma. The cool thing about ambergris is that it naturally accelerates other aromas and helps to lift different aromas from the drink as it warms up,” Chetiyawardana told db. The unusual ingredient is bought in at £35 per gram and is flown in from New Zealand.

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