For many folks, nothing is scarier around Halloween time than a cemetery. Not so in much of the Caribbean. All Saints Day and All Souls Day, which immediately follow Halloween on November 1st and 2nd, see West Indians flocking to cemeteries to celebrate departed love ones in our usual vibrant style. This is especially true in Grenada. Graveyard fetes here run well into the witching hours, the better for everyone, living or otherwise, to join in on the fun. In the spirit of these uncommon parties, I present to you the Haunted Graveyard Cocktail.
I adapted this recipe from one I stumbled upon recently at Sprinkles & Sprouts. Whereas their devilish tipple features Bourbon, you just know that my version would have to be all about rum, right?
Not just any rum, of course. For my Haunted Graveyard I went with Mount Gay Black Barrel.
- 1/2 Cup Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum
- 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
- 4 Orange Slices
- 4-6 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
- 2 Sprigs of Rosemary
Sinfully sexy Black Barrel has been a favorite of mine from the first time it touched my lips upon its introduction in 2014. As it undergoes a second maturation in oak barrels formerly employed in aging Bourbon, it’s a particularly good choice for a Haunted Graveyard Cocktail.
Editor’s note: A second great gateway rum for Bourbon drinkers is HSE Black Sheriff. As a rhum agricole produced in the grand tradition that has earned all rhums of Martinique the world’s only AOC designation for rums, Black Sheriff would no doubt add an exciting new dimension to the Haunted Graveyard. Black Sheriff is not available in the U.S., though, so another trip to Martinique will have to be in order to give it a try…
How To Make Your Own Haunted Graveyard Cocktail
Grab your cocktail shaker and load it up with your Black Barrel rum, maple syrup, orange wedges, bits of rosemary, and ice.
Note: It’s a good idea to mash those orange wedges a bit. I also use a tad less maple syrup than the original Haunted Graveyard Cocktail recipe to cut down on the sweetness. The bitters you’ll add as a garnish at the end also works in this capacity, adding more balance to the cocktail.
Step two: shake, shake, shake, and then shake some more!
You’ll want to give this one an added bit of extra time coming together, owing to the thickness of the syrup.
Now add some rocks to your tumbler and strain your mix over top.
Finally, add a few healthy dashes of Angostura bitters and garnish with another sprig of rosemary. That’s it!
Or is it…?
Per the original Haunted Graveyard Cocktail recipe, you can go a number of different ways with the bitters and garnish to suit your taste. The method outlined above is what I like, but as with all things mixology, I certainly encourage you to experiment… Responsibly, if possible.
A fabulously spooky added touch, per Sprinkles & Sprouts, is the smoking rosemary! Your rosemary garnish will definitely need to be of the older, dried variety to achieve the effect. Just grab your torch and set it alight!
Of course, you’ll want to employ a metal straw to enjoy your drink should you decide to spark up your Haunted Graveyard…
It’s worth the extra effort, though. The smoke works to accentuate the woody oak flavor in the rum, while also complementing the maple.
Give it a shot and let us know if our rum version of the Haunted Graveyard Cocktail helps to lift your spirits this Halloween…