For the ultimate spooky drink this fall, you’ll love this Zombie Brains Halloween Cocktail! Made with muddled raspberries and pomegranate juice, this festive Halloween cocktail shows off a deep-red hue that’s perfect for adding creepy, eerie vibes to your Halloween party.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
We can’t have a proper Halloween celebration without a signature cocktail, right? Right. You’ll love this ghoulish Zombie Cocktail for so many reasons.
- Great for Halloween parties and scary movie nights alike.
- Only uses real ingredients — no weird electric green liqueurs or mixers here.
- Shows off a taste of fall with the fresh pomegranate flavor.
- Quick and simple to shake up.
- Comes with a gory yet fun decorative idea.
Vodka: Some of my favorite widely available brands are Grey Goose, Absolut, and Tito’s. For more recommendations, you can check out this list of best vodkas for cocktails.
Chambord: This is a black raspberry liqueur and adds a nice richness.
Pomegranate juice: I like to use 100% pomegranate juice rather than a concentrate. You can typically find this in the refrigerators located in the produce section of your grocery store.
Orange juice: For the best flavor, I recommend freshly squeezed orange juice.
Ginger ale: This gives our drink a sparkling finish and hint of spice for fall.
Step 1: We grab our cocktail shaker, throw in a handful of raspberries and muddle until they break down. Not only does this give our cocktail plenty of fresh raspberry flavor but it also turns those little zombie brains into a juicier consistency that I imagine zombies enjoy.
Step 2: After we muddle the raspberries, we add the vodka, Chambord, pomegranate juice, freshly squeezed orange juice and a handful of ice.
Step 3: Now we pop on the top and give the cocktail shaker a good shake.
Step 4: We replace the cocktail shaker top with a Hawthorne strainer and strain the drink into ice-filled glasses.
Step 5: For our final touch, we pour a splash of ginger ale on top and gently stir to combine.
How to Make the Zombie Brains Garnish
See the innards in the photos? Those are actually smashed raspberries. As the raspberries sit, they continue to release their juices and get even oozier, making for the perfect Halloween decoration.
To make them, we simply muddle the raspberries on their own. I like to then put the mashed raspberries on a tray with the drinks for a fun and creepy presentation.
You may have also noticed that gory red rim. This is simply dyed sugar.
For the red sugar rim, we mix together some sugar with red food coloring until it's dyed to our liking. We then run an orange slice along the rim of our serving glass and then swirl it in the red sugar.
Just like that, we have a fun red rim for extra Halloween spirit.
Handling Dry Ice for Cocktails
Dry ice makes for a fun Halloween cocktail, especially if you're serving this drink at a party. But is it safe to put dry ice directly in your drink? Technically, yes, you can put dry ice directly in a drink, but you need to take some precautions.
- Make sure you get food-grade dry ice.
- Wear gloves and use tongs when handling. Dry ice can severely damage your bare skin.
- Buy dry ice the day you plan to use it. When you get home, drop the bag on a hard surface, like concrete, while it's still in its sealed plastic bag.
- Cut open the bag and place it in a cooler, leaving a crack open to allow the carbon dioxide a place to escape.
- To add the dry ice to individual glasses, use tongs to place a small piece of dry ice at the bottom of the glass before adding regular ice.
- Let your guests oooh and aaah at the spooky mist, but don't serve the drink to anyone until the mist and bubbling stops. This ensures the dry ice has melted. Ingesting solid dry ice is dangerous, so you only want to serve it once it liquifies.
Frozen raspberries work great, but make sure you thaw them first.
You may have noticed that the ingredient list doesn’t include simple syrup. With the ginger ale, orange juice and muddled raspberries, I find this drink is sweet enough that simple syrup is unnecessary. Of course, you’re welcome to add a smidge if you’d like, but definitely try the drink first as directed.
While I prefer 100% pomegranate juice, a concentrated juice works if that’s all you have on hand.
Variations and Substitutions
Want to put your own spin on this drink? Here are a few ideas.
- Swap regular vodka for a flavored vodka, such as a pomegranate or raspberry vodka.
- Give it a spicier kick with ginger beer instead of ginger ale.
- Not a fan of pomegranates? Try cranberry juice instead.
- Try another liquor if you’re not a vodka fan, such as white rum or tequila.
- Make it a mocktail by using a zero-proof spirit or substituting the vodka with more pomegranate juice.
Use alternative kitchen tools if you don’t have cocktail-making supplies: You can use a mason jar for the cocktail shaker and a large wooden spoon for the muddler.
Chill your glasses before serving: You can simply place your serving glasses in the freezer 30 minutes before party time.
Shake properly: To get the proper force behind the shake, hold the cocktail shake at an angle and use two hands.
Only add the ginger ale after shaking: Shaking a carbonated beverage can make a mess and flatten the bubbles.
Given that this is a Halloween cocktail, we need a recipe that screams fall. Pork and pomegranate make for a great pairing, so try this crispy pork schnitzel for an Oktoberfest and Halloween celebration in one. This schnitzel is served with a creamy gravy to make for some serious fall comfort food.
For lighter snacking, you'll also love this drink with this spooky Halloween charcuterie board. The pomegranate and raspberries perfectly complement those rich meat and cheeses.
Turn on your favorite horror movie — bonus points if it involves zombies — and pour yourself this Zombie Brains Halloween Cocktail. You'll quickly feel the Halloween vibes with this delicious cocktail in hand.
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Zombie Brains Halloween Cocktail
- Cocktail shaker
- Citrus juicer
- Jigger or small measuring cup
- ¼ cup raspberries
- ¼ cup pomegranate juice
- 2 ounces orange juice preferably freshly squeezed
- 2 ounces vodka
- 1 ounce Chambord
- Regular ice cubes
- Dry ice optional, for spooky effect (see notes for safety recommendations)
- Splash of chilled ginger ale
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle raspberries until they break down.
- Add the pomegranate juice, orange juice, vodka, Chambord and regular ice cubes.
- Put on the top and shake vigorously for 15-30 seconds.
- If using dry ice, use gloves and tongs (not your bare skin) to drop in a small piece of dry ice before adding regular ice to the glass. Remove the cocktail shaker top and replace it with a Hawthorne strainer. Strain the drink into an ice-filled glass.
- Top with ginger ale and gently stir to combine. Wait for the dry ice to stop misting and bubbling before serving to ensure it has melted. Enjoy!
- I prefer freshly squeezed orange juice, but you can also use store-bought orange juice, especially if you scale this up to serve a crowd.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.