The Thirteen Drinks of Halloween 2020 – One

Since we began this journey, I have avoided themes. So, we haven’t had Tiki Tuesdays or Midori Mondays or anything of that sort. It’s not that I don’t approve of themes, I love them, it is just that I am remarkably inconsistent and hate feeling like I “have ” to do anything. With that said, I am going to try something new and finish out the month with a series of themed cocktails, so won’t you please join me now as make the Black Widow.

We are kicking off our “Thirteen Drinks of Halloween” with a super simple, easy to make total travesty of a cocktail. This drink embodies a lot of what I think is wrong with Halloween “themed” drinks. I am a big fan of originality, but when you go searching, many of these drinks are just versions of existing drinks in a costume. This is a great example, the Black Widow is just a classic Cape Codder with black vodka subbed in for a spooky appearance. In fact, the only reason I included it, was to finally use that Blavod black vodka that my brother bought a couple of decades ago that has been collecting dust on my parents shelf these many years. Oh, and to complain about this kind of drink. The black vodka is actually a pretty good vodka, just infused with black catechu bark, to give it that signature nearly black hue. Let’s make this Cape Codder, I mean Black Widow and then I will complain about the other thing that bothers me about this drink.

This one is built in the glass and is super easy. Grab something tall like a collins glass. You could make this in most anything, but the tall glass will help you get a more pronounced layer between the vodka and cranberry. Speaking of cranberry juice, pour 3 ounces in your glass and add ice to fill. Next, grab a wide spoon and pour 2 ounces of that Blavod Black Vodka, slowly over the back spoon to help get a nice division between the liquids. Pouring over the back of the spoon slows and spreads the vodka and keeps it from mixing as freely. It takes a bit of practice, but the effect is worth it. That’s it. I told you it was easy. Ideally, you’d pop a spooky reusable straw in there, but I didn’t have any straws with bat wings or anything, so I went garnish free and let the drink do the talking for me. I mean look at that stratification. If this were a standard Cape Codder, I’d stir it and add a lime wheel, but that just doesn’t work in this variant.

Admittedly, it is pretty and it tastes good. Not complex, but good. Perfect for summer sipping on the beach, which makes sense, that is what it was designed for. It’s not very Halloween, except for that great look. But…and here is the kicker. That gorgeous drink, is just a bunch of vodka sitting on top of cranberry juice. If you drink it as is, that’s what you are going to get, either a big shot of vodka with a cranberry chaser, or, if you use a straw, a lovely drink of cranberry juice with 2 full ounces of vodka to wash it down. Now, this may be right up your alley or fit your particular idiom, but the drink actually needs to be stirred to be complete. This gorgeous, ready for instagram beverage then transforms into a murky dark, kinda brownish, reasonably unattractive cocktail that is nowhere near as beautiful or even as good as the straight Cape Codder with a lime wheel.

There you go, the first cocktail is a beach drink in a halloween costume, that doesn’t quite work. Over the next 12 days we will explore a different cocktail and see if we can find things that work as drinks and as decor. I’ve done some research and we have some interesting stuff coming up. Will it work out? Who knows? Either way, I will give it to you straight as we work our way through the Thirteen Drinks of Halloween, 2020 edition. In the meantime, stay safe, stay hydrated and stay spooky, my friends.