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Spooky brews for all you ghouls

Every Halloween party can benefit from a little liquid courage. Here are a few spooky libations sure to please the costumed crowds that show up at your door.

Monster Mash (Blackberry Cobbler)

3 cups gin

1 cup of dry sherry

1 cup frozen blackberries

1 cup sugar

1 orange

2 lemons

A dozen sprigs of mint

Combine the cup of sugar with an equal amount of water in a saucepan set on medium-high heat. Stir until the syrup is clear and almost boiling, then drop the heat to medium-low and dump in your blackberries. Stir for about three to six minutes, until the blackberries have colored the syrup and are soft but still hold some shape. Kill the heat, and take the next few minutes to slice the orange and lemons into thin rounds.

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Once the mixture has cooled to room temperature, combine it with the remaining ingredients in a large pitcher. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to muddle (and mash) the fruit and mint together. Refrigerate the pitcher for as long as you can. Serve by pouring the concoction through a strainer and into a glass full of ice. Make sure you use a lot of ice on this one, as its quite booo-zy and benefits from dilution. Garnish with blackberries and fresh mint.

Dracula's Nightcap (Kir Royale)

2 standard-size bottles of champagne

1 cup Chambord

Maraschino cherries

For the culinarily-challenged, this one is one is perfect -- only two ingredients and a garnish. As long as you like your cocktails sweet, no flavor is sacrificed. Combine the champagne and Chambord, a blood-red raspberry liqueur, in a large pitcher.

You'll want to refrigerate the ingredients before combining -- if you let this one sit in the fridge too long, you'll lose all the carbonation. If you have the patience to pour each drink individually, the champagne will stay bubbly for longer. To serve, pour into a chilled wine glass (or a coupe, if you have one) and garnish with a single cherry. Enjoy your night, and then crawl back into your coffin for a long day of sleep.