Reanimated: Drinks from the Crypt, Part the Second

We bring you part two of ’Drinks From the Crypt’—spooky drinks to slake your unholy thirst.


Featured photo by Bee Felten-Leidel via Unsplash.

Yes, my sweets, it is that time again. The wind is in the willows, the jack-o-lanterns’ jagged teeth are alight, and the pumpkin smashers and house TPers have begun their reign of terror in the night. If you are fearless (or foolish) enough to venture forth on this hallowed week, there are plenty of places to get your grog on.

All fell and fae folk: ready your carriages, sharpen your fangs, and fetch your goblets. You’ll want to fill them to the brim with these dark and dastardly drinks from the crypt.

A dark chocolate iced matcha drink. Next to the matcha is Halloween decor, skeleton hands wrapped around a pumpkin.
Frankenstein’s Matcha from Bustle & Brew. Photo courtesy of Jacob Klave.

Frankenstein’s Matcha

Bustle & Brew is a traveling coffee truck in South Florida. This season they’ll be passing through a graveyard near you to offer this abomination of nature: Frankenstein’s Matcha. It’s a dirty dark chocolate matcha made with ghoul’s choice of milk, espresso, and dark chocolate syrup. Finished with another drizzle of chocolate darkness, this monster may cause electric thrills of delight.

A cinnamon toast flavored hot latte in a porcelain cup on a black and white hexagon tile counter. The latte is finished in a rosetta shape and topped with sprig of rosemary.
The Cinnamon Toasty at Almost Famous|Crema. Photo courtesy of Laine Lott.

Cinnamon Toasty

This innocent-looking latte is from Almost Famous|Crema in Indianapolis. But don’t let its cozy appearance fool you: It will readily release the witch within. The Cinnamon Toasty is made with homemade toasted cinnamon syrup, a double shot of espresso, and steamed milk, then topped with brûléed cinnamon sugar topping. Perfect to entice unsuspecting strangers to your door for a nice “chat“ by the fire.

A cocktail glass with a caramel apple cocktail drink. Next to it is a bouquet of red flowers, a whole red apple, and an apple slice with a line of cinnamon dusted across it.
Toddy Café’s Caramel Apple Cocktail. Photo courtesy of Kyle Marshall.

Caramel Apple Cocktail

This Caramel Apple Cocktail from Toddy Café was created last year using apple-flavored whiskey and cold-brewed black tea concentrate. “October 31st happens to not only be Halloween but National Caramel Apple Day in the U.S.,“ says Kyle Marshall of Toddy. A perfect excuse to imbibe! With the available recipe, you can also brew your own poisonous potion to lure in a naive princess* … not that we condone that.

*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA (Faerie and Demonic Administration).

A latte in a lavender colored porcelain cup and saucer. Finished with a rosetta.
The Spooky Spice Latte from the Workshop in the Wool Factory. Photo courtesy of Sophie Adams.

Spooky Spice Latte

The Workshop in the Wool Factory of Charlottesville, Va., offers as a sacrifice: the Spooky Spice Latte. “One of our clever baristas came up with the recipe last year and it’s been a favorite spooky time treat!” says Sophie Adams, workshop manager at the Ghoul, er, Wool Factory. Crafted with salted vanilla syrup, activated charcoal, and edible glitter, this dark but glamorous potion is sure to curl your hair, plump your lips, and enhance your youth.

The cotton candy drink is in a glass tumbler with colorful sprinkles on top. Behind it is a fog of pink cotton candy.
Walkie Talkie’s Cotton Cobwebs. Photo by @agapephotographyoh.

Cotton Cobwebs

The mad geniuses at Walkie Talkie in Canton, Ohio, have created a whole line of frightening drinks called Nightmare on 15th St. Especially mystifying is this candy concoction ready to rot your fangs. Cotton Cobwebs is made with raspberry rooibos tea, house vanilla syrup, steamed milk, and pieces of cotton candy. And of course, it is caffeine free, leaving your nightmares to continue undisturbed.**

**May result in additional nightmares.

A martini glass with a dusting of charcoal on top in the shape of a black cat with a long tail raised above its head.
Death of an Imaginary Cat from Discourse Coffee. Photo by Amy Kolodziej.

Death of an Imaginary Cat

Bad luck? Not for this black cat. This potion appears so hearty you may wish to make it your familiar. The warlocks at Discourse Coffee in downtown Milwaukee brewed it just in time for the season of deviltry—and even provided the recipe from their ancient spell book. Scroll to the end for founder/creative director Ryan Castelaz’s whispered secret to Death of an Imaginary Cat.

Well, my sweets, the hour grows late. It is high time I scampered back to my cave dwelling for a night of gruesome tales by the fire. If you chance by these shops on your unholy pilgrimage, rest your pointed boots and indulge in the wicked delights of drinks from the crypt!

Recipe: Death of an Imaginary Cat

“We batch-brew Rishi Golden Triangle black tea, steeping for about 1 minute longer than normal to extract just a touch more drying astringency from the tea, which acts to extend the finish and counterbalance the sweetness and acidity.

Then, we combine Fernet and Green Chartreuse at a 1:1 ratio, and run it through our rotary evaporator to completely remove the alcohol at low temperature under vacuum, leaving behind an alcohol-free syrup.

Next, we reduce Sprecher’s Maple Root Beer by 50% before adding Turbinado sugar to create a rich, botanical syrup that lies somewhere in between the complexity of an Alsatian liqueur and freshly tapped maple syrup. 

We shake these ingredients with lemon juice for balance and with egg white for texture and structure that ties these elements together. Then we double strain into a coupe glass that’s been atomized with one spritz of a house-made rotary-evaporated hot sauce (made from sweet peppers, pineapple skin, and habaneros) to lend a gently spiced finish to the long linger.

As a final nod to the name, our director of design Olivia Molter hand-illustrated and cut a stencil of a spooky black cat, which we use to create the impression of this Halloween icon on top of the egg white foam, using activated charcoal.

This drink is wildly complex, bittersweet, tart, and deeply botanical. A kiss of lingering spice beckons the drinker for another sip.“

—Ryan Castelaz, founder/creative director, Discourse Coffee


J. Marie Carlan (she/they) is the online editor for Barista Magazine. She’s been a barista for over a decade and writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. When she’s not behind the espresso bar or toiling over content, you can find her perusing record stores, collecting bric-a-brac, writing poetry, and trying to keep the plants alive in her Denver apartment. She occasionally updates her blog.