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A Guide to the Most Ambitious (and Ridiculous) Halloween Cocktails Around Town

Spiced pumpkin mules, Jack Skellington cocktails and ghoulish margaritas this way.

Zentan bartender Matt Allred making a black cocktail with activated charcoal
Zentan bartender Matt Allred making a black cocktail with activated charcoal
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It wouldn't be fall without a list of pumpkin and Halloween-themed cocktails. Since the options for pumpkin-flavored concoctions are overwhelming, here's a list of a few of the more creative and ghoulish-sounding libations out there this October. The list is broken out into categories, from Halloween cocktails inspired by 80s and 90s music to literary homages.

Pumpkin Versions of Popular Cocktails

El Centro D.F is serving a pumpkin margarita with roasted pumpkin-spice infused tequila, agave nectar, squeezed lime juice and a cinnamon/sugar rim for $10.  The pumpkin-spice infusion consists of cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, sugar, pumpkin puree and reposado tequila.

Daikaya is offering a Spiced Pumpkin Mule cocktail with fresh pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, fresh ginger, turmeric, lemon, and bourbon for $8. The drink is kegged, carbonated, and served on draft.

Vinoteca's $12 Pumpkin Spice Latte Cocktail is a boozy version of pumpkin-lovers' favorite Starbucks drink. Bar Manager Horus Alvarez infuses Atlantico Reserve rum with pumpkins roasted in house, coffee, milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and cream.

Band-Themed Halloween Cocktails

Eat the Rich manages to combine Halloween and one of their favorite 80s bands into October cocktail inspiration. The bar has four drinks named after songs by the 80s horror punk/metal band Samhain. The Samhain menu includes the $9 Archangel, which blends gin, Averna, lemon, sugar and Miller High Life, and the $12 Diablos '14, which includes mezcal, pomegranate, celery, apple, bitters and lime. And the band is in town on October 31, for those who want to pregame with these cocktails before the show. Samhain will be playing at the Howard Theatre at midnight as part of their "30 Bloody Years" tour.

Graffiato offers the Smashing Pumpkin ($12) for fans of the Chicago alt-band. It comes with pumpkin moonshine, allspice dram, lemon juice, old-fashioned bitters, maple and pumpkin ale.

Literary and Movie-Themed Halloween Cocktails

Jack Rose Dining Saloon pays a nod to director Tim Burton with the Jack Skellington cocktail, named for the pinstripe-suit wearing skeleton in "The Nightmare Before Christmas." The $13 cocktail combines fresh-roasted pumpkins, gin, Absolut Elyx, lemon, apple bitters, simple syrup and Jerry Thomas Decanter bitters.

A couple of bars are serving up cocktails with a spooky literary theme. Quill at the Jefferson, which has a running Year of the Author cocktail series, is serving an Edgar Allan Poe Cocktail ($15) in November. It's based on Poe's family eggnog recipe and includes applejack brandy, spiced rum, yellow chartreuse, whole egg mixture, angostura bitters and nutmeg.

Zentan pays homage to Ernest Hemingway's "Death in the Afternoon" with its black cocktail, Death Before Dinner ($13). It gets its dark color from active charcoal but is a variation of the daiquiri, with Flor de Cana rum, maraschino, Orgeat syrup, grapefruit and lime juice. While this cocktail's intriguing color is plenty spooky, it is part of Zentan's fall menu and will be around past Halloween.

Plain Ol' Halloween Cocktails

Ulah Bistro offers its own Halloween-themed margarita and martini. The Morgue-A-Rita features fresh lime juice, triple sec, milagro tequila, blood orange juice and a slice of blood orange. The Black Devil Martini mixes dark rum, dry vermouth and black olives. Both are $10.

Julekha Dash