Halloween punch recipe

Holidays are reason enough to fix yourself a stiff one, but Halloween drinks are in a league all their own. Pick out a skull goblet and grab your cocktail shaker: we went behind the bar at Beetle House to find out how to make some scary good drinks.

Spooktacular SuppliesKitchen Gadgets to Help You Prep for Your Halloween PartyYou can serve them up at any Halloween party, or maybe a beautifully bewitching or seriously spooky cocktail is your version of a treat while passing out candy. You don’t want to get wasted while little kids are buzzing your doorbell, but in between trick-or-treaters, there’s nothing like a few sips of one of our Halloween-themed punches or autumn-inspired drinks. While you’re picking up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and mini-Snickers (or supplies to make your own candy bars), it can’t hurt to grab the ingredients for a Chowhound-recommended holiday cocktail.

Here are some more grown-up treats to get you in the holiday spirit.

1. Barbarossa Punch

blood red Halloween punch recipe


If you are serving a horde this Halloween, this big-batch, blood-red punch recipe will make them happy. It was inspired by a famous pirate, but feel free to label it “Red Rum” Punch at your party! Get our Barbarossa Punch recipe.

2. Zombie Cocktail

zombie cocktail


A bit summery for Halloween, but this tiki bar classic is a great choice for people who don’t like the taste of spirits but do appreciate their effects. (And if you want an easy, on-theme garnish, try the orange-wheel topper with a lime twist “stem” from this Jack-o’-Lantern Cocktail recipe.) Get our Original Zombie Cocktail recipe.

3. Glowing Severed-Hand Punch

glow in the dark halloween punch


A haunting big-batch option for parties—the quinine in the tonic water glows under black light, and the floating ice hands keep things cold and creepy. Get our Glowing Severed-Hand Halloween Punch recipe.

4. Hurricane Jello Shots

hurricane jello shot recipe


Jell-O shots like you’ve probably never seen them: sophisticated yet a spooky-enough bloody shade for Halloween, and these taste way better than what you remember from college too. Our Hurricane Jello Shot recipe was inspired by a classic Hurricane cocktail. (But if you want something less staid, try these Mad Eye Martini Jello Shots with lychee and berry “eyeballs” suspended in the bright green goo.)

5. Brandy Apple Punch


This is truly a festive fall cocktail, with cranberries, brown sugar, apple cider, brandy, and maple syrup. Before you drink, chill it for an hour. Garnish with Granny Smith apple slices. Get our Brandy Apple Punch recipe.

6. Smoking Swamp Halloween Punch


This is a treat that you have at a party, unless you want to go to the trouble of using dry ice and an ice block to get the smoking effect. The punch itself is a potent combo of gin, Green Chartreuse (which gives it a slightly greenish hue and herbal flavor), fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and some sparkling apple cider. Get our Smoking Swamp Halloween Punch recipe.

7. Hot Mulled Sherried Apple Cider


Simmer some apple cider or unfiltered apple juice oranges, cinnamon, honey, and cloves. It uses Amontillado sherry, a nutty, sweet, darker sherry from southwestern Spain. Get our Hot Mulled Sherried Apple Cider recipe.

8. Autumn Chiller


Have a nonalcoholic treat with this mocktail made with ginger beer, sparkling apple cider, orange juice, and cranberries. Get our Autumn Chiller recipe.

9. Homemade Pumpkin Spice Liqueur

Don’t use the fake stuff. This recipe calls for real pumpkin purée, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla beans. The liquor is aged rum, such as Appleton or Flor de Caña. Add it to your coffee, whipped cream, or any cider or basic, dark-liquored cocktail. Get our Homemade Pumpkin Spice Liqueur recipe.

Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC’s best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.
See more articles