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Our Guide To The Perfect Halloween Cocktail

Raise a glass to spooky season with these Halloween cocktails. Our Head Bartender Jess House talks us through three of the most iconic of all time and how to recreate them at home.


Created during the 1930s Tiki craze by drink pioneer Donn Beach as a hangover cure for one of his guests. The man allegedly returned to tell him that his drink turned him into a zombie for the rest of the day. And “The Zombie” was born. As Donn kept his recipe secret and altered it few times, there are many different recipes available. Here’s our favourite for Halloween cocktails:

  • 50ml golden rum
  • 30ml pineapple juice
  • 60ml light rum
  • 30ml dark rum
  • 15ml apricot brandy
  • 30ml orange juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 30ml lime juice


The best-known tipple from the 1930 cocktail book of The Savoy. It is said that drinking a few of these in succession could revive a corpse. The recipe is as follows, using 25ml of each ingredient:

  • Dry gin
  • Cointreau
  • Lillet Blanc
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 dash of absinth


Established in 1973, the Sourtoe cocktail is an actual human toe dehydrated and preserved in salt, used to garnish a drink of your choice. The first toe is said to have belonged to a miner and rum runner named Louie Liken, who had his frostbitten appendage amputated in the 1920s and preserved in a jar of alcohol.

Roughly 50 years later, in 1973, Yukon local Captain Dick Stevenson found the jar containing the toe whilst cleaning a cabin. Captain Dick brought the toe down to the Sourdough Saloon and started plunking it into the drinks of those who were brave enough. Thus, the Sourtoe Cocktail Club was formed.

Unfortunately, the original toe lasted only seven more years after its discovery. According to the Sourtoe Cocktail Club, “in July 1980, a miner named Garry Younger was trying for the Sourtoe record. On his thirteenth glass of Sourtoe champagne, his chair tipped over backwards, and he swallowed the toe. Sadly, it was not recovered.”

Since then, seven more toes have been donated to the bar. Toe number two was given after an amputation. The third toe came from a victim of frostbite, and was also accidentally swallowed. And toe number four was an anonymous toe, later stolen by a hunter. The fifth and sixth toes were supposedly donated by an old-timer in return for free drinks for his nurses. Toe seven was an amputation due to diabetes, and toe eight arrived in a jar of alcohol with the message stating “don’t wear open-toed sandals while mowing the lawn.”

In 2013, a man ordered a Sourtoe shot, swallowed it, and promptly exited the saloon. This is the first and only time the toe was deliberately consumed!

The rules have changed in the past three decades. The Sourtoe can be paired with any drink, but one rule remains the same: you can drink it fast, you can drink it slow—but the lips have got to touch the toe.

Clock off for the weekend and enjoy our Friday Cocktail Club every week in our Water’s Edge bar and lounge.

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