Halloween Cocktail Party Ideas for a Screamin' Good Time

Published August 5, 2022
women at Halloween cocktail party

You've set the date, you've planned a costume, and you have your invites out in the ether. Put the boo in boo-ze with a memorable Halloween cocktail party that'll guarantee to leave your guests with shivers down their spine. These Halloween drinking party ideas will delight any of the spirits who wander into your haunted mansion.

Halloween Cocktail Party Themes

pumpkin on porch for Halloween

For your cocktail party theme, add an emphasis on your favorite spooky piece of Halloween, or keep it light with black cats and pumpkins.

  • Set the mood with a spooky backyard party. Starting the soiree just after dusk, with eerie lighting and, if possible, a bonfire.
  • Make your own abode a haunted house. Invite spirits to your haunted house using spooky lighting or black light bulbs.
  • Focus on a Halloween color scheme. Use a classic black and orange color scheme or make it a bit more modern with a ghoulish green and purple look.
  • Capitalize on Halloween traditions by throwing a costume party fit for scaring any goblins and ghouls that may pass into the mortal realm.
  • Make horror movies the star by giving everything a scary movie touch. Stream horror movies and decorate with different villainous props around the house, such as Michael Myers' knife or Freddy's sharpened gloves.

Welcome Foolish Mortals With Spooky Invites

Halloween invitations

Set the scene for your guests before they even arrive. You can extend invites to your Halloween cocktail party via hearse mail or opt for a digital invitation through email or a specific party website or social media invites.

Be sure to include the date, time, and place in the cocktail party invitations. The invitations are also a great way to play up your cocktail party look. Incorporate any colors you've opted to use for your party or decorations into the invitation, including any images like cloaks and hats for a costume party or green ribbons with purple print.

If you've decided that you want partygoers to dress accordingly, in a themed costume, one of their choosing, or to come as they are, the invitation is a necessary time to note this.

Other important things to note on your invitations include if your party requires a little extra spirit from your guests. If you want guests to bring a game, this is a good time to make that request. While you may have your own perfectly curated Halloween playlist, you can allow your guests to add their favorite ghostly tunes to the party. Your guests will be monster mashing in no time.

Chilling Halloween Cocktail Menu

Halloween cocktail menu

Don't feel overwhelmed or that you've dug your own grave when you start to decide on the bar portion of your Halloween cocktail party. To throw a scary-good party, know your audience. When planning a cocktail menu, consider whether your guests would be interested in Halloween shots, Hallow-tinis, or if you're better off having a spread of fun Halloween cocktails.

How Much Booze to Have on Hand

A good rule of thumb is for every two guests to have a bottle of wine on hand. For every person, plan on two to three drinks every two hours of the party. If you're planning on 10 guests and a four-hour party, anticipate needing approximately 40 drinks. However, you know your guests best. For keeping the drinks chilled, consider having roughly a half pound of ice per drink for the party. For 40 drinks, you'd need roughly 20 pounds of ice.

Types of Drinks for Your Halloween Cocktail Party

Be sure to have a variety of cocktails, whether accessible yet creepy vodka cocktails or something with a little more bite, such as Halloween tequila drinks.

If you want an easy time hosting, prepare your Halloween party cocktails ahead of time. You can easily prepare a ghoulish rum punch with a dozen or more servings ahead of time for guests to enjoy on their own. If a punch isn't part of the Halloween cocktail party of your nightmares, then you can set up a bar or drink station. Whip up several Halloween highballs or pumpkin old-fashioneds ahead of time, and leave the ingredients along with a printed recipe card on a decorated table so guests can pick out a drink or enjoy a variety.

Appeal to your social media sensibilities with a spooky cocktail, with dry ice creating an eerily foggy look, or use gummy worms and insects for a gravely delicious drink. Don't think you must muddle, mix, and gather a laundry list of ingredients to pull off your Halloween cocktail party, though. You can rely on two or three ingredient easy Halloween drinks to adorn your bar. Perfect for those who want to enjoy a Manhattan with a Halloween spin or remind guests just how great a blood and sand can be. Don't forget an inspired Hallow-tini that would look phenomenal in the hands of any Morticia or Gomez Addams. You can even opt to give classic cocktails a spooky Halloween drink name.

Keep a few liquor bottles and mixers on hand for those who may be frightened by the options. Offer a bottle or two of vodka, whiskey, tequila, or gin with mixers such as club soda, tonic, cranberry juice, simple syrup, or cola. And be sure to offer nonalcoholic options such as soda.

Fingers Foods for Skeletons and Ghouls

As with any event with a boo-ze or two, serve your guests a trick or treat to snack on with their drink. For cocktail parties, you'll usually serve spooky Halloween finger foods or appetizers, although if you want to serve a full meal worthy of goosebumps, don't let rules stand in your way.

Activities for Lively Spirits

People playing a Halloween party game

No Halloween party is complete without a game or two. Consider setting up a photo scavenger hunt using skeleton decorations, jack-o'-lanterns, or other eerie decorations. Tape a spiderweb design onto cornhole boards with painted spiders. Or if you want to add some real-life scares, play hide and seek or ghost in the graveyard. Better yet, play up the creepy feel with a game of murder mystery.

A cocktail party doesn't mean you can't play drinking games. You can play a game of jinx with Halloween buzzwords off limits, or else you drink. Mix up jello shots, some with booze and others without, for an adult version of trick-or-treat.

Setting the Final Scene

Spooky Halloween party decorations

Last but not least, be sure to set the scene for your Halloween cocktail party. Consider using spooky decorations, creating fog by carefully dropping dry ice into a bucket of water, or placing pumpkins and jack-o'-lanterns around the house. Don't leave it to just the visual effects--you'll need the right Halloween playlist or, better yet, sound effects to provide all the right jump scares. Whatever you do, don't forget to add the cobwebs.

Throwing a Scream-Worthy Halloween Cocktail Party

When the sunsets and the spirits rise, throw the Halloween cocktail party that'll please the spirits of the living and the dead. From invitations to games, but most importantly spine chilling cocktails, there's no party like an undead party.

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Halloween Cocktail Party Ideas for a Screamin' Good Time