We're getting spooky around here with this Poisoned Orchard Cocktail. Bursting with apple flavor, this signature Halloween cocktail is perfect for your upcoming costume party or a night curled up on the couch watching scary movies with a few friends.
Eek! Now that Halloween time is here, I don't know how to put into words how excited I am. Costumes, candy, eerie decor, scary movie marathons -- I love it all.
And, of course, those Halloween parties and fall festivals are always a blast. In fact, I consider Halloween the official kick-off to the holiday season. That calls for a celebration, and you can't have a celebration without a fun signature cocktail, right? Right.
This fall cocktail has everything you need to get into the Halloween spirit --- loads of seasonal apple flavor, creepy special effects and wicked witch vibes. With this Poisoned Orchard Cocktail, your Halloween will be as festive as it gets.
Ingredients for Poisoned Orchard Cocktail
Let's put together our ingredients. Here's everything we need to make this Poisoned Orchard Cocktail.
- Dark rum
- Apple brandy
- Cran-apple juice
- Lemon juice
- Cinnamon sticks
- Ginger beer
- Cinnamon and sugar for garnish
- Dry ice for a spine-chilling effect
How to Make Apple Spice Simple Syrup
Before we start on the rest of our cocktail, we need to first make an apple spice simple syrup. To get the most flavor out of the simple syrup, I like to give the mixture time to steep, so it's best to make this ahead of time.
In a small saucepan, we combine two sliced apples with water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves and cardamom. We cook the mixture until the sugar dissolves, and then we let it steep. After it steeps, we strain the mixture, and our apple spice simple syrup is now ready.
How to Make Poisoned Orchard Cocktail
If you're making just a few cocktails at a time, add the apple spice simple syrup, dark rum, apple brandy, cran-apple juice, lemon juice and ice to a cocktail shaker. Pop on the top and give it a good shake. Pour into glasses, top with ginger beer and add a small piece of dry ice if you're so inclined.
However, if you plan on making this Poisoned Orchard Cocktail for a Halloween party, I recommend mixing all the ingredients except the ginger beer and dry ice in a punch bowl and chilling ahead of time. Right before serving, add the ginger beer and dry ice to the punch bowl, and it's ready to go. How's that for easy entertaining?
Tips for Handling Dry Ice
I love using dry ice in my Halloween cocktails for those spooky bubbles and wispy steam, but you need to handle it with care. Here are a few tips I always follow.
- Dry ice can damage skin, so never grab it with your bare hands. Gloves are a good idea.
- Dry ice is sold in a large block at your grocery store and generally packaged in plastic and then in a paper bag. To break it up, I simply drop the dry ice bag in the paper bag, which I fold closed, on concrete a few times until it breaks into the size I need.
- Even when wearing gloves, I still use tongs to grab pieces.
- Do not store dry ice in your freezer. Dry ice can break your freezer, so opt for a portable cooler and keep the cooler slightly ajar.
This Halloween-themed cocktail calls for a cozy fall meal, and my cheddar-apple stuffed chicken thighs in a creamy garlic sauce are a tasty match. With all that apple flavor in this Poisoned Orchard Cocktail, it's perfect with the cheddar filling. And, of course, apples with more apples is just fun.
If you're feeling those creepy Halloween vibes, I hope you try this Poisoned Orchard Cocktail. Please let me know how you enjoyed this signature Halloween cocktail recipe in the comment section and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. You can also catch me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
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Poisoned Orchard Cocktail
- Small saucepan
- Fine-mesh sieve or strainer
- Cocktail shaker
Apple Spice Simple Syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 honeycrisp apples sliced with peel
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ tablespoon whole cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
Poisoned Orchard Cocktail
- 4 ounces cran-apple juice
- 2 ounces dark rum
- 1 ounce apple brandy
- 1 ounce apple spice simple syrup
- ¾ ounce lemon juice
- Regular ice
- Splash of ginger beer
- Cinnamon for garnish, optional
- Sugar for garnish, optional
- Dry ice optional (see notes for safety recommendations)
- For the apple spice simple syrup, add the sugar, water, apple slices and spices to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a low boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar dissolves, let the simple syrup steep. At least 10 minutes is good, but it's even better if you can give it 30 minutes to an hour. Strain and chill. If you'd like a rimmed glass for serving, reserve an apple slice or two. You can take care of this step ahead of time and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a couple weeks.
- Add cran-apple juice, dark rum, apple brandy, apple spice simple syrup, lemon juice and regular ice to a cocktail shaker. Pop on the top and shake vigorously for about 15-30 seconds.
- Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on a small plate and stir to combine. Take one of the reserved apple slices, cut it in the middle and run it along the rim of your glass. Dip the glass in the cinnamon and sugar. This step is optional.
- Add regular ice to your glass if not using dry ice. Strain in the drink from the cocktail shaker. Top with ginger beer and gently stir. If using dry ice, add a small piece to the bottom of your glass using tongs and not your bare hands. Let your guests know not to swallow the dry ice so either sip from the top until it stops steaming or wait until it stops completely, about five minutes. To serve a crowd, see the proportions below. Enjoy!
- To make 16 servings, double the apple spice simple syrup recipe and combine the entire double batch with 8 cups cran-apple juice, 4 cups dark rum and 2 cups apple brandy in a punch bowl and chill. When ready to serve, add 2 cups ginger beer and gently stir. Add a chunk of dry ice using tongs to the bottom of the punch bowl. Add more dry ice as necessary to keep up the effect.
- Do not touch dry ice with bare skin or ingest it. Make sure to use tongs to transfer the ice. Gloves are also a good idea. The ice will drop to the bottom of the glass. Either let your guest know to sip the cocktail from the top until it stops bubbling, or set the cocktail out to show off the fun effect but don't serve until the bubbling stops, about five minutes.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.