Boo-oo-ooze! 3 Gothic Cocktails to drink at Halloween

Halloween is more and more a part of New Zealand life, but what to drink when you are slightly disdainful of everything commercial and yet still consider October your High Holy season?  Laura Macfehin gives you some spooky yet sophisticated drinks options!

The Bride wore Black

Despite its somewhat sinister sound the Merry Widow Cocktail is named after the rather jolly operetta of the same name that was popular in the first decade of the twentieth century.

Even so, I consider this to be a very goth cocktail, partly because of the somewhat complex mix of aromatic ingredients and partly because Lily Elsie who became famous in the English version of the production is such an Edwardian Goth inspiration to me with her big hats and lace!


Lily Elsie in The Merry Widow


The Merry Widow Cocktail

1 ½ Dry Gin

1 ½ French (Dry) Vermouth

1 Dash of Peychaud’s Bitters

2 Dashes Absinthe, Pernod, or Herbsaint (I used Pernod)

2 Dashes Benedictine

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Tastes– like aniseed and well laid plans.


The Original Vamp

Theda Bara was one of the silent screen’s earliest sex symbols and a super favourite at Eclectic Ladyland!  Her on-screen dominatrix-persona gave rise to her nick name The Vamp (short for vampire– which in context was a woman who demoralised men and took their money rather than a blood sucking fiend!)

Despite being marketed as an exotic destroyer of men, by all accounts in real life Theda Bara (or Theodosia Burr Goodman, as she was baptised) was a regular old sweetie, living in a normal apartment with her mother and designing and making most of her own wigs and costumes.

theda bara
Theda Bara ‘The Vamp’

The Theda Bara Cocktail

2oz gin

1oz Raspberry liqueur (like Chambord)

Juice of half a lemon

Mix gently in an ice filled shaker and strain into a glass.

Tastes– sweet but with a dangerous edge.


Unholy Orders

Written by a teenage Matthew Lewis and published at the end of the eighteenth century The Monk is considered one of the prototypes for Gothic literature.  Its convoluted plot involves murder and seduction within a Catholic monastery, with elements which became common Gothic tropes.

What better way to honour this venerable tome than with a liqueur reputedly based on a secret formula by monks at a Benedictine monastery in Normandy.  I love Benedictine– it smells like a liniment your great-grandfather might have used and it tastes great as a toddy or cut with citrus.  The obvious choice for this drink was blood orange, of course!


The Monk

2oz Benedictine

4oz blood orange juice

a dash of Peychauds bitters

Shake briefly in an ice-filled shaker and strain into a glass or other unconsecrated vessel.

Tastes– like bad habits and citrus, with a hint of the blood of your enemies.


What will be drinking as the veil thins?  Let me know!

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