Halloween is almost here. Some friends and I decided we needed to create, borrow, and adapt beverages for our favorite Halloween crime classics—both books and TV shows. We got together to mix and test the drinks below. So grab a cocktail shaker and your favorite Halloween crime fiction novel or DVD and let’s get started.
HALLOWEEN TV EPISODES
• Castle: “Vampire Weekend”
The Episode: Beckett and Castle find themselves trying to solve the murder of a man killed with a wooden stake who hung out in the “vampire underworld” while trying to decide what to wear to a Halloween party.
The Drink: “The Castletini” – Three parts champagne, one part cranberry juice, and a splashof blood orange liqueur. This drink is really well suited for any episode of Castle. You can also have a glass of Vampire merlot (available from World Market).
• NCIS: “Chimera”
The Episode: In Greek mythology a Chimera (pronounced Ki-mera) is a monster with the head of a goat, the body of a lion, and a dragon’s tail. When Gibbs and the team head for a ship, called Chimera, they find that the crew has disappeared, except for the dead body of one crewman.
The Drink: “The Chimera” – Two parts whiskey; one part blood orange juice, a tablespoon of sugar (a Halloween version of the whiskey sour). True Gibbs fans may want to have a steaming mug of black coffee instead.
• Bones: “Mummy in the Maze”
The Episode: Temperance Brennan and Seely Booth investigate the discovery of two dead women found disguised as mummies, one in a Halloween maze, the other in a haunted fun house. Dressed as Wonder Woman and a nerdy scientist they have to work quickly to prevent the death of a third woman.
The Drink: “I Want My Mummy” – Three parts ginger ale, one part cranberry juice and a splash of pomegranate liqueur for just a little kick.
• Any Episode of True Blood
The Episodes: The show follows the adventures of telepathic waitress Sookie Stackhouse as she fights vampires and werewolves. It is based on the Southern Vampire Mysteries series by Charlaine Harris.
The Drink: “The Blood Shot” – Two ounces vodka, one ounce cassis liqueur, and one ounce cold water. Wax fangs optional.
• Juliet Blackwell’s The Witchcraft Mysteries from Secondhand Spirits to In a Witch’s Wardrobe.
The Books: Lily Ivory run her vintage clothing shop in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood while practicing a little magic on the side. Lily solves murders, casts spells, and vanquishes a demon or two all with the help of her familiar, Oscar, who takes the form of a pig.
The Drinks: “Lily & Oscar’s Hex Stopping Potion” – Three parts cranberry juice, a shot of vodka, and a splash of blood orange liqueur. Stir three times and drop in a generous teaspoon of cherry Pop Rocks right before serving for that extra magic. For those who prefer beer, there’s always Wychcraft from Wychwood Brewery.
• Agatha Christie’s Hallowe’en Party
The Book: A thirteen-year-old girl announces at a Halloween party that she witnessed a murder. Then she herself is found dead. Hercule Poirot is on the scene to discover if there has been one murder or two. This story was also immortalized in a Mystery! episode staring David Suchet.
The Drink: “Poirot Pumpkin Coffee” – Make your favorite coffee. Pour over ice wait until cool. Add a shot of Pumpkin Pie Cream liqueur. We melted white chocolate, poured it onto wax paper, and let it harden to create the ghosts you see in the photo.
• Sybelle and the Seven Ravens: A Sweet Zombie Fairy Tale by Clare Curtis
The Book: A reimagining of the Grimm fairy tale, The Seven Ravens, with a zombie twist for children and adults alike. Sybelle must save her brothers from her own mistake by becoming a zombie, endangering her own future with her one true love.
The Drink: “The Corpse Reviver #2” – No, we didn’t make this one up because it is just perfect the way it is. You can find the recipe here. Other zombie options include: Zombie Zin from the Chateau Diana Winery for the adults, or blood orange soda for the little brain eaters (both available at World Market).
• Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
The Book: The classic differs widely from the endless Frankenstein derivative movies, cartoons and stories. If you haven’t read this book, you don’t really know Frankenstein.
The Drink: “The Bubbling Cocktail” – A mixture of blended kiwi, mint, and sugar, this drink looks like the perfect science experiment. Martha Stewart has exact details on how to make this drink in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions here. This drink was so perfect, we kept it exactly as we found it.
A big thank you to the drink development and testing team: Pat, Janet, Nancy, Dianne, and Shannon. What’s your favorite Halloween themed crime episode or book? Are there any drinks above that you’re game to try?
Deborah Lacy is an avid mystery reader and aspiring novelist. You can follow her on Twitter @quippy.
Read all of Deborah Lacy’s posts for Criminal Element.