Halloween is a night for mayhem, mysticism and magic. What better reason to try these sleight-of-hand cocktail tricks this October?
Make cotton candy vanish by mixing up a Magic Mojito, a signature cocktail at The Bazaar by José Andrés in Los Angeles. Place cotton candy in a glass, then pour in the contents of a mojito shaker, sans simple syrup. The trick: The liquid dissolves the cotton candy, which is a substitute for simple syrup. Lucas Paya of The Bazaar says this technique works with any cocktail that uses simple syrup.
Mystify with a margarita made with invisible salt. The glass rim of The Bazaar’s Salt Air Margarita appears to be salt-free, yet each sip says the opposite. For this trick, use a magic wand—or a hand emulsifier—to make “salt air” with salt, water, lime and soy lecithin. Then place the mixture on the surface of the margarita.
Give a good-natured scare with the Explosive Caipirinha, created by Chef Marcel Vigneron of Modern Global Tasting in Los Angeles. The drink wows with unexpected fireworks on the palate. Vigneron’s trick: dip glasses in honey, then pop rocks. This lively rim will complement any citrus cocktail.
Making Halloween party cocktails that fright and delight adult trick-or-treaters is easy. The techniques in these three cocktails yield sophisticated cocktails with a touch of whimsy: a ghost-like cloud of salt air on a margarita, cotton candy that disappears in a martini glass before your eyes, and a Caipirinha that literally pops with each sip. With Halloween cocktails like these, who needs candy?
Salt Air Margarita
Salt air is the secret to making a margarita that delivers a whisper of salt with each sip.
2 ounces Cazadores Blanco Tequila
¼ ounce Cointreau
¾ ounce fresh lime juice
½ ounce simple syrup
2 tablespoons salt air (recipe below)
For salt air:
8 ounces water
4 ounces lime juice
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon lecithin
Combine Tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and simple syrup. Pour into a hand immersion blender to create volume.
To finish margarita: Combine salt air and margarita mix in a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Top with salt air.
Courtesy of Lucas Paya, beverage director, ThinkFoodGroup and The Bazaar by José Andrés
Dazzle guests by making cotton candy disappear and transform into a mojito.
5 wedges of lime
5 mint leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
2 ounces Flor de Caña light rum
1 ounce fresh lime juice
2 ounces lemon-lime soda
1 martini glass-sized ball of cotton candy
Muddle lime wedges, mint and sugar in a shaker. Add rum, lime juice, simple syrup and ice. Shake vigorously. Place cotton candy in martini glass and strain contents of shaker over it, in full view of your guests.
Courtesy of Marcel Vigneron, executive chef/founder of Modern Global Tasting (a catering company)
For a cocktail that nods to childhood delights, rim a cocktail glass with Pop Rocks.
½ cup agave nectar
2 packets of pop rocks
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce lime juice
1½ ounces agave nectar
2 ounces Leblon Cachaça
Salt to taste
Serrano chili pepper
Dip the rim of a rocks glass in ½ cup agave nectar, transfer to a plate of pop rocks. Add ice to glass. Shake lemon and lime juices, nectar and cachaça over ice and strain into glass without dislodging pop rocks. Add salt and chili pepper to taste.