Getting the Chills


By Frank Sabatini Jr.
Photos by Stacy Keck
(Published in the October 2010 issue)

Forget those eyeball martinis and black witchy-poo brews of yesteryear. Local mixologists have replaced them this Halloween season with a newfangled breed of themed cocktails that are laced with everything from bright-orange pumpkin paste to kicky tequilas poured from skull-shaped bottles. And if you’re feeling really freaky, look no further than the drink that was invented by the “Mother of All Drag Queens.”

Scary Spice

(pictured above)

Todd Camburn of Barrio Star will debut his bleeding-red Muertos Fresca (“fresh deaths”) this year in rock glasses rimmed with chili-spiked salt. The concoction involves an ounce-and-a-half of Kah Reposado Tequila (which, appropriately enough, comes in a skull bottle) that he blends with blood-orange purée, lime juice, agave nectar and cayenne pepper for a spicy-sweet result. Available from October 25 through November 1, the drink sells for $9 and comes garnished with a “level-seven” chili pepper for those who dare sink their canines into it.
2706 Fifth Avenue, Bankers Hill /

Bloody Queens >>>

“Yvonne’s Bloody Frozen Cosmo” is almost as popular as the quick-witted and anatomically mysterious divas that perform at Lips Restaurant. Served October 29 through 31, the slushy vodka-based drink was invented 15 years ago by “Yvonne Lame,” founder of the popular drag-queen establishment. Dispensed from a machine, the cocktail blends generous volumes of Smirnoff Citrus with cranberry juice and a splash of sour. It’s served in a hurricane glass rimmed in grenadine-soaked sugar. The result? “Pretty bloody looking,” says general manager Brent Smithson.

3036 El Cajon Boulevard, North Park/

Sweeney Nod

A tribute to the legendary headless horseman, the 13-ounce “Sleepy Hollow” drink at Alchemy combines cranberry chutney, pumpkin paste and nutmeg with one and-a-half ounces of vodka. Mixologist Frankie Thaheld originally created it for Thanksgiving last year, but realized that it was a better fit for Halloween because of its vivid orange hue. Garnished with a speared cranberry, it’s priced at $9 and available October 29 through 31.
1503 30th Street, South Park /