Poker Night Drink Recipes for a ‘Full House’ Halloween Party

Poker Night Cocktails Grouping - photo property of Cheri Loughlin

With Halloween on the table this month Poker Night plays out to be a great theme for a gangster style, casino or Monte Carlo Halloween party.  Party planning could range from simple to extravagant depending upon the number of guests invited.  With the purchase of poker chips and cards all you need is a good game to get the party started.  Go Monte Carlo style with glitz, glamour and luxury making the night a black tie affair.  Take the casino route with multiple table games available to guests.  A gangster theme gives guests the opportunity to dress in the fashion of Al Capone, the characters of The Godfather or more modern versions such as The Sopranos.  Once the style has been chosen a few drinks are in order.  Serve up rounds of these great cocktails and you’re sure to have a ‘full house’.

Ante Cocktail Recipe

Ante cocktail. Perfect for poker night. Uses brandy, calvados and Dubonnet {photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist}

Ante cocktail. Perfect for poker night. Uses brandy, calvados and Dubonnet {photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist}

Ante – Robert Hess

1-3/4 ounce Calvados or Apple Brandy

3/4 ounce Dubonnet Rouge

1/2 ounce Premium Orange Liqueur

1 dash Classic Bitters

Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake.  Strain into a cocktail glass.

Robert Hess created a lovely cocktail that touches upon classic style.  Ante retains lush color and rich character.  Dubonnet reaches out first in flavor, but then the brandy character caresses the palate with substantial strokes of layered personality.  Ante is quite the cocktail.  Though the cocktail didn’t last long enough in the glass to test my theory, I’m certain this one would be just as delicious if it sat warming to room temperature when the games begin.  After all poker is all about bluffing and one can’t do that with a glass in one hand all the time!

Casino Cocktail Recipe

Casino cocktail is a gin based drink ideal for poker themed evenings and parties. {photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist}

Casino cocktail is a gin based drink ideal for poker themed evenings and parties. {photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist}

Casino – Robert Hess

2 ounces Gin

1/8 ounce Lemon Juice

1/8 ounce Maraschino Liqueur

2 dashes Orange Bitters

Cherry Garnish

Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake.  Strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with cherry.

Gin lovers will love this one, because Casino primarily tastes of gin with a little bitter zing and Maraschino liqueur flair just barely wafting off the back end.  The great thing about that is Casino definitely won’t distract from the primary focus; poker.  This drink recipe gives a minor variation to remotely flavored martini without all the sugary fuss.  The cherry garnish possibly adds too much girlish charm for such a ‘manly’ game, so do away with it if it’s too much to deal with, but the small amount of flavor does add to the flavor layering.  Besides, if you lose the round you can always make a side bet on how fast you can tie that cherry stem.

Lady Luck Champagne Cocktail {photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist}

Lady Luck Champagne Cocktail {photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist}

Another great cocktail to keep in mind while betting the house; Lady Luck found in the recent Twilight Zone recipe pairing post.  Lady Luck combines Armagnac, pear liqueur and champagne.  The Twilight Zone theme would also be a fantastic Halloween theme party this holiday season.

Monte Carlo Cocktail Recipe

Monte Carlo Cocktail {photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist}

Monte Carlo Cocktail {photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist}

Monte Carlo – Robert Hess

2-1/4 ounces Rye Whiskey

3/4 ounce Benedictine

1 dash Classic Bitters

Place liquids in a mixing glass with ice.  Stir to chill.  Strain into a cocktail glass.

The Robert Hess Monte Carlo taste will vary in degrees depending on which Rye Whiskey you choose.  I happened to try Sazerac Rye.  The flavor of the cocktail turned out deep in spice and leaned heavily toward the sweet side, sticking in the back of the throat a little.  However the color is terrific.  It’s difficult to go wrong with spirits such as Rye Whiskey or Benedictine.  The ratios of this mix just need a little fine tuning for my particular palate, but that is the sporting nature of cocktail creation.  There is nothing sacred about a recipe where your particular taste is concerned.  Tweak it to your own liking.

Corleone Cocktail Recipe

What’s poker, anteing up and betting the house without quoting from the Godfather: ‘In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns.’ – Calo

Corleone – Ryan Magarian

5 White Grapes

1-1/2 ounce Gin

1/2 ounce Grappa

1/2 ounce Lemon Juice

3/4 ounce Simple Syrup

1 dash Orange Bitters

White Grape Garnish

Muddle grapes in bottom of mixing glass.  Add in remaining liquid ingredients.  Add ice.  Shake to blend and chill.  Strain into a cocktail glass.  Garnish with a sliced grape resting on rim of glass.

The Capone Cocktail Recipe

The Capone {photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist}

The Capone {photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist}

The Capone

3 ounces Templeton Rye Whiskey

1 ounces Grand Marnier

Splash of Champagne

Dash of Bitters

Combine Templeton Rye, bitters & Grand Marnier in shaker. Shake well, strain in martini glass. Float champagne & garnish with lemon twist.

Templeton Rye is fabulous served neat, but I made my getaway with The Capone.  Who could resist Templeton Rye Whiskey, Grand Marnier and champagne?  A combination such as this is downright dastardly and yet splendid!  Templeton Rye is definitely “The Good Stuff.”  Templeton Rye has succeeded in blending the history of this original American spirit into the whiskey itself.  There is warmth, sentiment and flavor of the past within this particular spirit.

Nightwatch Cocktail Recipe

Nightwatch – Robert Hess, 2006

1 ounce Gin

1 ounce Coffee Liqueur

1/4 ounce Absinthe

Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake.  Strain into a cocktail glass.

Monte Carlo Recipe

Monte Carlo Champagne Cocktail {photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist}

Monte Carlo Champagne Cocktail {photo credit: Mixologist Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist}

Monte Carlo

1/2 measure Gin

1/4 measure Lemon Juice

Champagne

1/4 measure Crème de Menthe

Mint Leaf Garnish

Stir gin and lemon juice in mixing glass with ice.  Strain into champagne flute.  Top with champagne, leaving room for crème de menthe.  Carefully drizzle crème de menthe over the top.  Garnish with mint leaf.

The winner takes all in Monte Carlo.  This green hued cocktail could double for holiday themed parties or St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but the name lends itself well to poker night and betting the house.  Crème de Menthe is subtle with a wee bit of tartness of the citrus settling the sweetness score.  Gin does not carry through in the least as it is outshined by the other multi-layered flavors.  Savor winning in style with a celebratory toast of champagne with this bubbly version Monte Carlo.

Cheri Loughlin Beverage Consultant & Photography Services

All content ©2009 Cheri Loughlin, The Intoxicologist. All Rights Reserved. Chat with Cheri @Intoxicologist on Twitter and facebook.com/Intoxicologist or str8upcocktails@gmail.com

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