What I Did:
We had a "white bar" (no hard alcohol), and served:
- Bottled water. I got "Undertaker's" spring water from the National Funeral Museum. These were slightly more expensive than some bottled waters, but the labels were great and I only purchased a dozen bottles (which proved to be more than enough).
- Spiced cider (Recipe).
- Punch (Recipe).
- "Vampire" Wine. This is a Transylvanian wine with great gothic labels. It's available from many local suppliers, or by mail order from http://www.vampirewine.com/.
- Beer. I did a lot of research and compiled a large list of Halloween-themed beers (View List). We offered a selection.
I had begun to make a coffin out of plywood (plans are available at the Casa de Sade Website), and intended to line it with plastic, fill it with ice, and use it as a "cooler." I unfortunately ran out of time, so the sodas and beer were put into a galvanized tub full of ice, and the lid of the coffin was propped in front of the tub.
- Use a computer to make your own spooky labels for beer, wine, and bottled water. If you don't have the time or inclination to do it yourself, do a Web search on "personalized wine labels" to find companies that will do them for you.
- There are several manufacturers of spookily-titled liquors whose wares tend to show up around Halloween. Three-D Spirits, Inc. makes REDRUM, Jolly Roger Caribbean Rum, and Voodoo Spiced Rum. There's also Black Death Vodka, Blavod (a black vodka colored with catechu), Heart of Darkness red wine, and many others. Keep an eye out for themed beverages at your local liquor supplier.
- Sonja suggests distributing jugs of mixed drinks (with a few plastic spiders hot-glued on for effect) around the room and letting guests refill their glasses as desired. Label them with names like "Embalming Fluid" or "Rattlesnake Venom" if desired.
- Make Eyeball Radishes and use them in martinis instead of an olive. You can also freeze them into ice cubes and serve in other drinks.
- Freeze water in round or oval ice cube trays with two blueberries in each individual ice cube slot. When frozen and turned out into punch glasses, these cubes will look like skulls with dark, sunken eye sockets.
- Any "red" cocktails such as Bloody Marys, Mimosas made with blood orange juice, lemon-lime soda and cranberry juice, etc. are a natural.
- Serve mixed drinks with spooky names. Check out the Links page for Websites devoted to drinks. You can also see a few themed drink recipes in the Recipes section.
- There are a number of other suggestions for wines and sodas here.