Magic Potion

Where to Sip Spooky Halloween Cocktails

Present Company is going all in with a menu of boo-zy drinks.

By Lauro Rojas October 17, 2019

The headless horseman carries around a candy pumpkin in this Present Company drink.

Image: Lauro Rojas

It’s the spookiest time of the year—fall weather is sort of here, pumpkins are adorning front door stoops, and some of Houston’s favorite bars are whipping up batches of double, double, toil, and trouble. One of these bars is Montrose favorite Present Company, known for its Instagramable cocktails and pastel colors.

“Not only are they sweet and potent, but there’s also a gawdy, visually appealing presentation to the cocktails,” says beverage director Rex Nielsen about his bar’s offerings this season. “You don’t have to follow this paradigm that others use but rather an amalgamation of what makes cocktails fun.”

Present Company’s specialty cocktails list consists of Juice the Beetle, an homage to the 1988 film Beetlejuice consisting of Belvedere vodka, Midori, cucumber, lime juice, and green apple Gatorade. With aromatics of cucumber and balanced out by the citrus, it has a crisp, refreshing taste.

Trick or Treat Yoself is the most technically balanced cocktail of the bunch with Tanqueray gin, crème de violette, lemon juice, and a blackberry reduction, accompanied by a candy corn side car. It’s garnished with a pink stem that’s reminiscent of tentacles shooting out of a lagoon, and its potency could creep up on you.

Headless Horseman has Crown Royal, Fireball, coffee liqueur, pumpkin spice caramel syrup, and lemon juice, and is topped with an edible rice paper motif of Washington Irving’s famous Headless Horseman. The sweetness from the homemade syrup will get any PSL fanatic excited. Or, another way to look at it: It’s Butterbeer with more booze.

Ghost Fashioned has a green hue and a sparse look, otherwise. Spirits consist of Johnnie Walker Black, Midori, crème de violette, and rhubarb bitters. By looks it’s the tamest of the quartet, garnished with a lime peel, but it’s most definitely the booziest of them all.

The Black Widow Smash at the Naturalist.

Other boozy Halloween treats

A few other bars and restaurants have rolled out spooky cocktails for this time of year. They include:

  • Frank's Americana RevivalThe River Oaks restaurant has created the Whiskey Jack (Irish whiskey, rosemary simple syrup, grapefruit juice, club soda, bitters), which is available through Halloween.
  • The Naturalist: The bar inside the InterContinental Houston Medical-Center is serving a Black Widow Smash (mezcal, blackberries, crème de violette, agave nectar, lemon juice, dry ice).
  • Bisou: The River Oaks nightlife-focused restaurant will showcase a menu of specialty Halloween cocktails as part of its Yelloween celebration on Oct. 31. 
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