Spooky Spirits for a Stellar Soiree

I have been having a great time poking around the internet and browsing around in retail locations looking the best finds for my next Monster Bash.  Throwing a stellar Halloween Soiree is what makes the blood rush through my veins.  It’s better than caffeine and for me, that is saying a lot.

What is the secret to a great bash?  Ambiance.  When it comes to this supernatural time of year, I like to make every corner and open space as interesting as possible.  The entire house gets a complete makeover from warm and inviting to a spectacular spook museum.  The secret?  Adding new items to the lair each year to keep it fresh and entertaining.

I have a taste for the macabre and creepy while staying away from the slasher type scares.  My preferences definitely runs old school movie monsters and fairy tale  fiends such as witches, vamps, werewolves, Frankenstein and all other manner of  ghouls that stalk the night.  I look for decor items that have a slight scare factor without being gory and gross, keeping in mind that my children and their friends will be in attendance as well.

The little ghouls and goblins have their own shorter table, with a non-spiked beverage, party favors and an eerie twist on the foods they love.  In the kids’ bathroom and their party area, the decor has more of a cartoon flavor to it to keep the scare factor at a minimum while still creating a festive atmosphere.  Of course costumes are required for both children and adults.

The next two weeks are devoted to spooky cocktails, dastardly treats and table decor.  If you have ideas I would love for you to share….connect with me on Fb at Home with Karie Engels and drop your ideas on the page or in a message.

The first thing on the list for setting up a stellar soiree are the cocktails.  I have a few to share with you for this first Spooky Spirits edition, using Black Vodka.  There are just a handful of manufacturers that make black vodka, Blavod, Smirnoff, Eristoff, Absolut and Belvedere.  If you would like to read more on the subject there are sites devoted to this deep hued spirit ~ here is one that I use, BlackVodka.com

I have several vamped-up cocktails as well as some eerie twists on favs to share with you as the week progresses.   Here are todays picks:

Ghost in the Graveyard


  • 2 ounces black vodka
  • 2 ounces creme de cacao or coffee-flavored liqueur
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
  • pinch of finely grated nutmeg for garnish

In a glass, combine vodka and creme de cacao, set aside.  Put ice cream in highball glass and slowly pour vodka mixture over ice cream.  Garnish with Nutmeg, serve immediately.


Screwed-up Screwdriver


Photo: Martha Stewart
Where all good things happen
  • 1/4 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces black vodka
  • 1 black licorice twist for serving

Place ice in a tall glass.  Add juice and pour vodka over the back of a cocktail spoon into the glass so it sits on top of juice to create a layer of black.  Slice 1/4 inch off each end of licorice and use as a straw.


Berry Scary Martini


  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 ounce black vodka
  • 2 ounces cherry juice
  • Fresh berries for garnish

Combine ice, vodka and cherry juice in a cocktail shaker;  shake vigorously.  Pour into martini glass.  Thread berries on a cocktail skewer.

This last one is by far my favorite as far as aesthetics for a spooky spirit.  I do want to enter a warning and an alternative to the serving suggestion.


Black Vodka Ghost Martini


Photo Credit: In Good Taste
  • 1/3 part black vodka
  • 1/3 part Chambord
  • 1/3 part cranberry juice
  • Club Soda
  • Blackberry for garnish
  • Dry ice pellets

Fill shaker half way with ice, combine vodka, Chambord, juice and shake vigorously. Pour in to glass and top off with 1 part club soda.  For an added eerie twist add a dry ice pellet to the glass.

My suggestion if you are a bit sketchy with the dry ice in the cocktail would be to make a version for show and not for actual imbibing.  Then create the cocktails without the ice for your guests.

*Note  Dry ice can be dangerous to work with, please warn your guests not to swallow the pellet by accident.  Always use heavy gloves when handling dry ice to avoid serious frost burn.


MarthaStewart.com, InGoodTaste

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