The Devil’s in the Drink

by Danilo Brunetti

It’s the spookiest time of the year, but if you’re too old for trick-or-treating, we’ve got an equally tasty but much more sophisticated alternative. Read on for a list of five frightful cocktails from Rome’s hottest bars that will have you shouting “bool”.

Shaking up a Storm
Simone Mina, bar manager of Ch 18 87, (Via di Monte Testaccio, 30) the cocktail bar of the historic restaurant Checchino dal 1887, has invented a drink sure to get you in the Halloween mood. 1000 Storm is inspired by the eponymous graphic novel by Tony Sandoval, an ethereal tale of magic, spells, and parallel worlds. The cocktail combines Mezcal Espadin, Vecchio Flora Marsala wine, Mistrà Ca é liqueur, and a dash of Angostura bitters.



The Day of the Dead

The bar staff of La Punta Expendio de Agave (Via Santa Cecilia, 8) present a cocktail that pays homage to the Mexican celebration of the dead, when families honor their departed loved ones and the barriers between the world of the living and the dead temporarily vanish. El Dia de los Muertosis a concoction of Mezcal Los Siete Misterios Espadin, espresso, lime and orange juices, egg white, and passion fruit, topped by a dusting of Hoja Santa powder.


I Put a Spell on You

The trek to the nearby hillside town of Frascati is worth it for a chance to be bewitched. Manuel Boncompagni, bartender of La Belle Epoque (Via Borgo S. Rocco, 21 – Frascati) cocktail bar, has worked his mixology magic in The Witch’s Potion. To link the Italian tradition of the Janara witch, famous for the preparation of a magical ointment that allowed her to y, and the infamous American witch trials, the drink combines Jim Beam bourbon with Italian spirit Liquore Strega infused with roselle tea, adding a touch of lemon juice, orange zest, and sugar.

Take a Bite

There’s nothing quite so frightening (nor so enticing) as a vampire. Sabina Yausheva, barmaid of Bar Julep at Hotel de la Ville 8 (Via Sistina, 69 ), presents Vampire’s Breakfast, a sexy concoction of ingredients that will whet your appetite for blood. Almond milk, Don Papa rum, Pallini cinnamon rosolio liqueur, and Pal- lini vanilla syrup make a sweet and fortifying tipple, and the bright red drops of Pallini Amarena syrup would tempt Count Dracula himself.

Magical Elixir

Forget witches, the most powerful potions were made by Indian shamans, infused with sandalwood and used in magical rituals, healings, and purifications. Alessandro Antonelli of the Sky Stars Bar at A.Roma Lifestyle Hotel (Via Giorgio Zoega, 59)  was inspired by these wise men to create Shaman, a drink that uses the sous-vide technique. The ingredients (10-year-old Laphroaig whisky, Maker’s Mark bourbon, Amaro Formidabile, Giardini d’Amore Femmes mandarin liqueur, and Old Fashion Aromatic bitters) are smoked with sandalwood in a vacuum-sealed bag, then slow-cooked before being chilled with ice directly in the glass.