The Cocktail Mistress: Halloween Cocktail to Make Your Party Standout

I am one of those people who loves to play in the kitchen, to look at what happens to be in the “empty” cupboard and produce a delicious dinner. I love to wander through the grocery store or farmer’s market and allow myself to be inspired by the ingredients to create something new.

When I finally allowed myself to explore the world of the well-made cocktail, it allowed me to combine two of the things that delight me – entertaining and being creative with ingredients – and enhance my parties with a custom cocktail.

In the next week the Halloween parties will be flying fast and furious, and you don’t have to have a “custom” cocktail for yours, but it is nice to have a “featured” cocktail. The advantage of a serving a specialty cocktail for your parties is that you can have something special beyond wine and beer, but not have to stock a full bar.

Featuring a particular cocktail also allows you to do most of the prep ahead of time so you don’t spend a lot of time mixing drinks individually and can enjoy your guests.

To get your started, I am going to start you off with a drink inspired by the Bloody Mary, the Bloody Caesar. The Mary has been called “the most difficult cocktail in tIMG_1562he world”, but I’m going to make it easy for you because I’ll give you a no-fail recipe.

Important information as you go forward:

  • Don’t bother with expensive vodka (I’ll express my thoughts about vodka at another time, but trust me on this one; expensive booze is a waste in this particular case)
  • You will be tempted to by Clamato; resist the urge. Although the original recipe calls for it, it is not as delicious. I’m not even entirely sure it’s food.
  • Don’t make your pitcher of drinks too far ahead of time; the flavors break down quickly.
  • Keep it cold once you’ve made it to keep the flavor bright.
  • Track down the smoked salt. It is delicious and you will find yourself adding it a lot of things, not just cocktails. If you can’t find it, go with celery salt instead.

The Bloody Caesar is a great Halloween drink because well, it’s bloody, and it might scare people a little; I mean really, a cocktail that contains clam juice? Yes. Because it is delicious.

Don’t be afraid….

This drink is served in a tall or large glass that has lots of room for ice.

These quantities are on a per serving basis. Multiplied amounts to make by the pitcher for ease of serving are in parentheses.

2 oz inexpensive vodka (2 cups)
3 oz freshly squeezed tomato juice (3 Cups)
[I have a weakness for V-8 but not the low sodium stuff – it’s really nasty.]
3 oz bottled clam broth (3 Cups)
1 lemon wedge (4 Tbls)
1 lime wedge (4 Tbls)
2 dashes tabasco sauce (1-1/2 tsp)
1-1/2 tsp prepared horseradish (4 Tbl)
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce (1-1/2 tsp)
1 pinch ground black pepper ( 1 tsp)
Celery stalk or lime wedge, for garnish

Stir ingredients together in a pitcher and keep cold.

Pour smoked salt into a saucer. Rub the edge of the glass with a lime wedge to wet it and the dip it in the saucer of salt to rim the glass. Fill the glass with ice and pour cocktail over.

Garnish with a celery stalk, or a lemon or lime wedge. Resist the urge to load down the glass with pepperoni, cheese cubes, pickle spears, pizza slices, etc. As a chef friend of mine said, “That s**t has gotten out of hand.” It’s a cocktail, not lunch.

Yeah, at some parties this Halloween, people will be serving cocktails with all kinds of dry ice mist, or floating brains, but do any of those actually taste good? I say it’s better to drink in good taste.

Your instruction from The Cocktail Mistress: Do what scares you.


katesciandraKate Sciandra is the internationally published author of “The Mindfulness Habit: Six Weeks to Creating the Habit of Being Present” and is the expert on applied mindfulness, making it possible for anyone to quiet their mind and develop a strategy for using mindfulness for leadership, management, living, playing, and working. 
A piece of Kate’s heart remains in WNY where she was raised by a West Sider father and a Southern Tier mother. The rest of her resides in Minneapolis, where she has, after decades of looking, failed to find a truly decent order of wings. She can be found at and Facebook and Twitter.