Our guide to the perfect Halloween cocktail

To toast Halloween this year, our Bar Manager Yohann talks us through three of the most iconic cocktails you might want to try (or not, depending on how brave you’re feeling!) to celebrate in style.

ZOMBIE

Probably the most famous of the three, The Zombie was created during the 1930s Tiki craze by drink pioneer Donn Beach as a hangover cure for one of his guests. The man allegedly returned to only to tell him that his drink turned him into a zombie for the rest of the day. The Zombie was born. As Donn kept his recipe secret and altered it few times, there are many different recipes available. We will give you the two most commonly used…

This first recipe was retrieved by Jeff Berry while researching the origins of Tiki cocktails by talking to Donn Beach employees:

  • 50ml Puerto Rican golden rum (Bacardi Gold or Havana Gold for example)
  • 50ml Jamaican rum (Appleton)
  • 30ml demerara 151 rum (Lemon Hart)
  • 15ml Donn’s Mix (2:1 mix of grapefruit juice and cinnamon syrup)
  • 15ml Velvet Falernum
  • 25ml lime juice
  • 7ml grenadine
  • 2 dashes absinthe
  • 1 dash angostura bitters

The second recipe includes more juice and apricot brandy, but it is still as lethal!

  • 50ml golden rum
  • 60ml light rum
  • 30ml dark rum
  • 30ml pineapple juice
  • 30ml orange juice
  • 15ml apricot brandy
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 30ml lime juice

CORPSE REVIVER #2

Once you turn into a zombie, what could be better than coming back to life as a corpse reviver?

The best-known tipple from the 1930 cocktail book of The Savoy, it is said that drinking a few of these in succession would revive a corpse again. The recipe is as follows:

  • 25ml dry gin
  • 25ml Cointreau
  • 25ml Lillet Blanc
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 1 dash of absinth

THE SOURTOE

Established in 1973, the Sourtoe cocktail has become a Dawson City tradition and is exactly what it sounds like: an actual human toe that has been dehydrated and preserved in salt, used to garnish a drink of your choice. The first toe is said to have belonged to a miner and rum runner named Louie Liken, who had his frostbitten appendage amputated in the 1920s and preserved in a jar of alcohol. Roughly 50 years later, in 1973, Yukon local Captain Dick Stevenson found the jar containing the toe whilst cleaning a cabin. Captain Dick brought the toe down to the Sourdough Saloon and started plunking it into the drinks of those who were brave enough. Thus, the Sourtoe Cocktail Club was formed.

Unfortunately, the original toe lasted only seven more years after its discovery. According to the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, “in July 1980, a miner named Garry Younger was trying for the Sourtoe record. On his thirteenth glass of Sourtoe champagne, his chair tipped over backwards, and he swallowed the toe. Sadly, it was not recovered.”

Since then, seven more toes have been donated to the bar. Toe number two was given after an amputation. Toe number three came from a victim of frostbite, and was also accidentally swallowed. Toe four was an anonymous toe, later stolen by a hunter. The fifth and sixth toes were donated by an old-timer in return for free drinks for his nurses. Toe seven was an amputation due to diabetes, and toe eight arrived in a jar of alcohol with the message stating “don’t wear open-toed sandals while mowing the lawn.” In 2013, a man ordered a Sourtoe shot, swallowed it, and promptly exited the saloon. This is the first and only time the toe was deliberately consumed!

The rules have changed in the past 27 years. The Sourtoe can be paired with any drink, but one rule remains the same: you can drink it fast, you can drink it slow—but the lips have got to touch the toe…

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Give your Fridays a kick with our offer from 5pm – 11pm, where you can snap up two cocktails for £10.