Ghouls, spice and everything nice: how to boost your drinks offer this Halloween

By Sara Hussein

- Last updated on GMT

How to boost your drinks offer this Halloween

Related tags Apple

One in five adults will be celebrating Halloween this year, according to Green King’s Leisure Spend Tracker.

More importantly, one in four 18 to 24-year-olds are planning to spend Halloween in a pub.

Halloween presents an opportunity for operators to experiment with their cocktail flavours, according to Rob Poulter, on-trade consultant at Diageo, who suggests mixing drinks with seasonal flavours such as apple juice with spiced rum or whiskey to create interesting serves.

Pumpkin serve

The Russett Apple and the Talisker Toffee Apple Old-Fashioned cocktails offer a simple fruity blend of apple and spiced spirits. Alternatively, Baileys Pumpkin Spice, a limited edition cream liqueur, gives a rich, creamy texture to a drink with a hint of pumpkin flavour. And why not dress up cocktails with garnishes such as chillies or red sugar syrup to add a spooky effect?

More than two thirds of adult consumers will be opting to drink a cocktail after a meal, adds Poulter. An exclusive food and drinks menu is likely to attract the customer’s fancy if advertised effectively. Use creative names to get into the Halloween spirit. 

South London pub the Gorringe Park in Tooting (Yummy Pub Co) will offer something different to its customers with its Zombie Cocktail and Dry-ice Pumpkin Cocktail, along with its Halloween Hot Apple Pie signature dish, or its Battle-Axe Burger.

Halloween Pie

Operators could also aim to boost their wet sales by branching out into their hot drinks options to offer a more varied choice to their customers.

Licensees have numerous cards to play to ensure successful trade and revenue.

With the right tools and presentation customers are in for a treat this Halloween.

Top 10 tips to tap into the Halloween sales opportunity:

  1. Drinks offers:​ boost your cocktail offer by including premium spirits in your serves.
  2. Presentation:​ use skull shaped glasses or a witch’s cauldron-style bowl to create interesting serves that can be shared in a group. Alternatively, hollow pumpkins work just as well.
  3. Names:​ use creative names for your drinks to inspire undecided customers.
  4. Menus:​ compile a Halloween-themed menu to promote your offers on the night.
  5. Taste:​ experiment with flavours by infusing drinks with spices like cinnamon and ginger and other seasonal ingredients.
  6. Garnish:​ themed decorations, such as plastic bats, edible eyeballs or jelly spiders, can add more eye-catching features.
  7. Food pairing:​ combine Halloween-inspired cocktails to Halloween dishes, either as an after-dinner option, or as part of a themed menu.
  8. Don’t keep customers guessing:​ display images of your drinks around the bar and on chalkboards to inspire undecided customers.
  9. Maximise your hot drinks menu:​ offer customers the chance to try a variety of new products in other beverages, including a Baileys Pumpkin Spiced Latte.
  10. Bookings and drinks offers:​ create VIP areas in your venue. Operators could include an exclusive pitcher offer or purchase when they pre-book online. 

Halloween-themed cocktails

Smirnoff Ghouls’ Goblet

Ghouls lifestyle


  • 35ml Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
  • 150ml ginger ale
  • 1 drop food colouring
  • 2 slices of orange
  • 2 sliced of lemon
  • 12 pieces of gummy worm sweet


  • Place 12 gummy worm sweets, or one per space, in an ice tray. Top each with water
  • Add different food colouring, then freeze
  • Add 2–3 gummy worm sweet ice cubes to a tumbler glass
  • Pour Smirnoff No.1 and top with ginger ale
  • Cut wheels of lemon and orange and place on top of the drink to garnish

Units:​ 1.5 

The Red Widow 

The red widow


  • 35ml. Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka
  • 100ml tomato juice
  • 1/2 tsp wasabi
  • 1/2 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 dash soy sauce
  • 2 pieces of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 wedge of lemon
  • 1 leaf of celery


  • Fill a julep cup or highball glass with ice cubes
  • Using a jigger, pour Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka and tomato juice into the glass
  • Add crushed garlic or wasabi and a dash of soy sauce
  • Stir the mixture thoroughly using a bar spoon until well combined
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge, a celery leaf and two cherry tomatoes

Units:​ 1.5 

Hot Drink 

Baileys Pumpkin Spice Latte 

Pumpkin Spice Latte


  • 50ml Baileys Pumpkin Spice Cream Liqueur
  • 110ml latte
  • Chocolate shaving


  • Add 50ml Baileys Pumpkin Spice to a regular latte
  • Top with chocolate shavings

Units:​ 2.0 

Related topics Spirits & Cocktails

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