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2 Bittersweet Halloween Cocktails with Wine

Not-too-sweet Halloween Cocktails

When trick-or-treating for Snickers bars no longer gives you the same thrill, how do you make Halloween delightful? Regardless of where the night takes you, we recommend starting it with a Halloween cocktail. The following 2 wine-based cocktails are inspired by classics that are refreshingly less sweet. After all, you’ll no doubt be able to find sugar everywhere else.

For these wine-based cocktails, we enlisted testing support of mixologist Benjamin Chew at Poppy Restaurant . He takes advantage of the natural tartness and tannin found in red wine to add complexity to cocktails.

Blood Letter Trinidad Sour

Blood Letter Trinidad Sour by Wine Folly
The Trinidad Sour’s traditional base liquor is a whole ounce of Angosturra bitters! We reduced the bitters and replaced it with Cabernet Sauvignon. Instead of simple syrup, we exchanged the sweetness factor with seasonally inspired maple syrup. It’s really, really good.

Blood Letter Trinidad Sour Recipe

  • 12 dashes angostura bitters (>¼ ounce)
  • ½ ounce maple syrup
  • juice of one-half lemon
  • 1 ounce Bulleit Bourbon
  • 1 ounce red wine (we used a high-tannin red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah or Petite Sirah)
  • burnt lemon peel for garnish

Tools: cocktail shaker, ice, strainer, coupe glass

Build ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a coupe glass. When you make this drink, take a peel of lemon and burn the zest with a match (or lighter) to add a heightened aromatic smokiness.
Madeline sips a Halloween cocktail
This drink was created by Benjamin Chew in Seattle, WA. The original Trinidad Sour was invented by Giuseppe Gonzalez at the Clover Club in New York City.


Ghostly White Wine Spritzer

A white wine spritzer is a wonderful drink for an all-night haunting because it’s not too strong. This particular variation requires a little bit of planning, but the payoff is well worth it because it glows! The quinine is the secret ingredient that makes tonic water glow under a black light. Since tonic ice cubes have a habit of melting quickly, there’s no need for added mixers.
Black Light Wine Cocktail by Wine Folly

Ghostly Wine Spritzer Recipe


  • 5 ounces Vinho Verde (preferred), Sauvignon Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Verdejo, Albariño or Vermentino
  • Tonic Water ice cubes

Make Tonic Water Ice Cubes If you make the tonic water flat before pouring into an ice tray, it will melt less quickly.

Place cubes in a large wine glass, pour white wine over ice and serve.

Want to see more wine cocktails? Check out these Herbal Wine Cocktails

Glow in the dark white wine spritzer by Wine Folly


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