Wine & Spirits: Halloween Cocktails

by WL Author

Washington bars scare up witches brews, creepy concoctions and spine-tingling sips on Oct. 31.

By Kelly A. Magyarics

The Misty Mummy at Capitale is just one of the Halloween-themed liquids creations at District bars. (Photo by Vithaya Photography)

Hurricane Sandy got you down? Have no fear — Wednesday is Halloween. So after she’s barreled through and left her trail of downed power lines and treebranches, flooding and misery, head to one of these area bars on October 31 for some liquid treats.

Capitale (1301 K St. NW, 202.962.3933) will be mixing up the Bruja Brew, with Tequila, lime juice and Cointreau, smoked with applewood and peppercorn, and topped with dry ice; Or try the Misty Mummy, a cinnamon-tinged fizz wrapped in King Tut-worthy streamers. The two libations are $12 ($10 during happy hour). Capitale shared a variation of the Misty Mummy with WL Wine & Spirits for your own Halloween happenings:

The Misty Mummy
Recipe courtesy of Capitale, Washington, D.C.

1 ½ oz. Cinnamon-infused vodka (see Note)
¾ oz. simple syrup
¾ oz. lemon juice
1 egg white
2 drops black food coloring
Soda water

Combine the vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, egg white and food coloring in a cocktail shaker. Shake without ice, and then add ice and shake again. Strain over ice in a tall Collins glass wrapped in white streamers and top with soda.

To prepare the cinnamon-infused vodka:

Take a 750 ml bottle of vodka and add a handful of cinnamon sticks. Shake the bottle each day for several days, until the desired cinnamon flavor is achieved. Remove the cinnamon sticks, or keep them in the bottle for additional flavor.

Public Tenley's deceptively potent punch mixes vodka, apple cider and fruit juice. (Photo by Vithaya Photography)

Public Tenley’s (4611 41st St. NW, 202.237.1793) Wicked Witch PUBLIC Apple Punch ($10) is a witch-worthy brew with vodka, cider and fruit juice. Don’t be fooled by the drink’s easy drinking nature—it’s a ghoulishy potent potable.

The Bloody Bang ($11) at 901 Restaurant (901 9th St. NW, 202.524.4433) combines Emperor Imperial Vodka, Champagne and raspberry purée. The restaurant promises it will unleash your inner zombie so you can continue your revelry until dawn breaks.

Graffiato (707 6th St. NW, 202.289.3600) is celebrating Halloween Jersey-Shore style with The Fist Pump ($13). A mix of dark, light and 151-proof rum, Applejack, papaya purée and pineapple juice, The Fist Pump is garnished with orange and cherry. Additionally, they’ll be offering two seasonal cocktails: the Smashing Pumpkin 2.0 ($10) has pumpkin spice Moonshine, lemon, Allspice Dram, maple, Old Fashioned bitters and pumpkin ale; the Hot Tottie ($10) mingles Laird’s Apple Jack, Rittenhouse Rye, pumpkin puree, lemon, honey, Angostura bitters and nutmeg.

Mixologist Horus Alvarez at U Street hotspot Vinoteca (1940 11th St. NW, 202.332.9463) uses the ubiquitous orange orb in the Harvest Pumpkin ($12). He infuses Boyd and Blair potato-based vodka with locally sourced, fresh pumpkin and squash and reaches for his grandmother’s recipe to make a pumpkin candy purée with brown sugar and spices. He mixes both with Domaine de Canton and tops the sipper with a piece of candied pumpkin.

Bar Pilar and Café Saint-Ex are both hosting a rock star Halloween party on October 31 from 7 PM until close, paying tribute to two of the hottest pop and rock stars of our time. Café Saint-Ex’s (1847 14th St. NW) Halloween soirée is themed around Ozzy Osbourne, the ‘Prince of Darkness’ himself. Saint-Ex encourages guests to dress like their favorite Osbourne (Ozzy, Sharon, Kelly or Jack), and will offer Ozzy-inspired cocktails for $7. Jam to rock and metal music upstairs or spins from DJ Ari Goldman downstairs.

Just down the block, Bar Pilar (1833 14th St. NW, 202.265.1751) is hosting a Thriller Halloween, encouraging guests to dress like Michael Jackson. They’ll be mixing up cocktails like Graveyard Punch and the Old Overholt-based Pumpkin Manhattan. Tunes from the King of Pop and fab bands will be blasting with a fog machine recreating that Thriller video ambiance. The best MJ costume wins a $50 bar tab, with judging done at 11 PM.

Kelly Magyarics is a wine and spirits writer, and wine educator, in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website,, or

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