Halloween is a Saturday this year. A great chance to serve a few drinks. Our north Asheville friends are having people over again this year after the kids trick-or-treat. Always a great time. They’ve allowed me to contribute some booze. I’ve been trying to come up with something unique, delicious and worthy of Halloween night. I made a couple of false starts last week, pulled out some books from the cocktail library then had a revelation this past weekend.

I’m maintaining my love for the Manhattan that started back on July 4th with the Cherry Bounce Manhattan. That was a good drink. I pulled off a little of the Blackberry infused rye to make a few for a recent camping trip. Even better, a perfect combination with the light snow that was falling. For Halloween I want to add a little extra  <*punch*> to the drink. I played around with adding flavored liqueurs, but each one also added sugar. That made the combinations too sweet. The revelation was to infuse whatever flavors I want into the rye before mixing up the drinks! duh. Fortunately, I figured out this obvious solution while I still had time to get it done. I give you:

Fall infused Rye

  • 75cl Rye Whiskey
  • 12 oz frozen cherries
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon stick chips (~ 3 sticks)
  • 4 large strips of orange zest
  • grated zest of one orange
  • 10 allspice berries, crushed
  • 4-5 whole cloves

Infuse cherries and rye for 4-5 days. Add spices about 48 hours before straining. Add grated orange zest 12-24 hours before straining.

I’ve got some more Carpano Antica vermouth coming to mix up a few bottles of Halloween Manhattans. Why “Halloween”? Because that’s when we’ll drink them.

After having that revelation, I had another. Some people won’t drink brown liquors no matter how good the vehicle they come in. This came after discussing Martinis with a friend. He only drinks vodka based cocktails. Go figure. For those lost souls who want to party, but also want to keep the taste meter safe, I also have some vodka infusing with apples and cinnamon.  One of the false starts from the start of this process involved freshly made cherry syrup. I have a wine bottle’s worth of that left. I’m thinking it will be a good addition to the vodka, plus/minus some dry vermouth. Testing and final recipes formulation will occur on the 30th.

Apple infused vodka

  • 75cl Vodka
  • 6 apples, peeled. cored and diced
  • 1/8 cup cinnamon chips (~2 sticks)
  • 10 Allspice berries, crushed
  • 4-6 whole cloves

Infuse over 3-5 days, strain and bottle.

Can’t wait for Friday to take a first taste

Rye and Vodka getting ready for Halloween