Halloween isn’t just for kids. In fact, some of the best parts about the holiday — scary movies, fall beers, costume parties, and seasonally themed alcoholic beverages — are for grownups only. Or at least, they should be.
So, with the spirit of the season in mind, we found 10 of the most outrageous and horrific Halloween-themed shots and cocktails for your Halloween partying pleasure. Because why should the kids get all the treats?
Pumpkin Pie Shots
A Pumpkin Pie Shot isn't exactly frightening, unless you're afraid of indulgent desserts. Either way, these sweet shots are an easy and effective way to usher in the season. The recipe is easy enough: two ounces of caramel vodka, two ounces of pumpkin spice liqueur, and two ounces of RumChata. Shake it all up and pour into a sugar-rimmed shot glass. For even more sweet flavors, dip the shot glasses in corn syrup before rimming the glass.
Black Cat Cocktail
No bad luck here — the Black Cat Cocktail is a simple and sweet recipe that is sure to be a hit at your Halloween shindig. Just mix one ounce of vodka, one ounce of cherry brandy (or any cherry liqueur), a splash of cranberry juice, and cola all over ice, and voila. Garnish with a cherry for even more fruity flavors.
Blood Clot Shots
The Blood Clot Shots recipe calls for one slightly complicated step. But at its core, it’s a fun and decorative shooter. The shot is just one ounce of Jack Daniel’s Fire Whiskey, one ounce of hard cider, and a few drops of red food coloring in a shot glass. To create the "clot," add a few mini marshmallows to the shot glass, and using a chef’s butane torch, char the top to create a thick, coagulated look.
Blood and Guts Cocktail
Created in honor of The Walking Dead, the Blood and Guts Cocktail features an oozing, zombie-esque appearance, but is much more delightful in taste and aroma (or so we assume). You’ll first need to prepare a serving of both grape and raspberry Jell-O. After your “guts” are ready, smash the Jell-O up and mix with two ounces of vodka, 12 ounces of lemon-lime soda, ice, and one teaspoon of grenadine into a collins glass. The final product is an oozing, alcoholic Shirley Temple.
Black Magic Jell-O Shots
Black Magic Jell-O Shots serve as a simple and sweet party favor this Halloween. You’ll only need blueberry and grape Jell-O, vodka, and black sugar to get this concoction going. Simply add both Jell-O mixes, water, and vodka to around 24 plastic cups, refrigerate, top with black sugar, and you’ve got some black magic fun this Halloween. Hold the alcohol and the kids can enjoy this festive treat, too.
Candy Corn Shots
Candy corn can be quite polarizing, but luckily for those anti-candy corn folks out there, the Candy Corn Shot doesn’t exactly taste like the bite-sized treat. This is a quick and easy recipe — just layer crème de banane, a white chocolate crème liqueur, and orange Curaçao in that order in a shot glass, and you'll have an effortlessly Halloween-themed shooter.
Vampire’s Kiss Jell-O Shots
The Nosferatu-approved Vampire’s Kiss Jell-O shot is as festive as it is fun. Simply prepare black cherry Jell-O mix, combine with black vodka and orange juice (or a fresh blood orange), refrigerate for four to six hours, and boom, you’ll be the life, err, "undead" of the party (and probably afraid of the light the next day, too).
The Suicide Shot is a seasonal favorite for its simplicity and overall horribleness. Simply pour a shot of spiced rum and add a couple of dashes of Tabasco to the top. The only reason this qualifies as a Halloween shot is because of the look of horror it induces after one or two of them are tossed back.
If you’re looking to gross out your friends and family this Halloween (and why wouldn’t you?), Specimen Cups are the way to go. The shot is intended to look like, well, a certain bright yellow bodily fluid, mixing dissolved lemon and mango gelatin with vodka in what’s a truly memorable shooter. We suggest going the extra mile and serving this festive shot in actual medical specimen cups, available on sites like Amazon, for that added gross-out factor.
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Bloody Brain Shooters
The Bloody Brain Shooter combines quick and painless prep with a very cool final appearance. You’ll need strawberry vodka, lime juice, an eyedropper, grenadine, and Bailey’s Irish Crème. Shake the vodka and lime juice together and strain into a shot glass. Using the eyedropper, add a few drops of Bailey’s to the top of the shot. The Bailey’s should curdle a bit, creating a very cool brain cell look. Finally, just splash in some grenadine for the blood effect, and shoot it back.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on October 19, 2010. It was updated on October 24, 2019.