I’m not usually one for Hallowe’en cocktails but I’ll make a exception just this once. My contribution to the genre is the Nosferatu which owes its inspiration to the dinner scene in the 1922 seminal horror classic of the same name. I was more interested in creating something that tasted subtly gothic than making some kind of pumpkin spice smoothie and as such the Nosferatu is a fairly restrained affair. A key component is the grenadine soaked hibiscus flower (or petals) that are a by-product of my home-made grenadine recipe. It should also be noted that the colour and flavour of the drink is quite dependent on the kind of crème de violette used. I have Marie Brizzard which is strong in flavour but light on colour so my version has only the faintest tint of violet (I suspect the pale yellow of the Lillet also cancels out some of the violet colour). If using other brands you should adjust the amount as required. The drink should be prepared and placed before your guest and only then the hibiscus dropped in whence it will sink to the bottom while leaching out blood-red grenadine like a drop of blood into a glass of white wine. It stays obediently at the bottom of the glass until the drinker is rewarded with a final guilty sweet sip in an otherwise bitter edged cocktail. Happy Hallowe’en!
2oz / 60ml London dry gin (I used Bombay Sapphire).
0.75oz / 22.5ml Lillet blanc.
0.25oz / 7.5ml crème de violette (I used Marie Brizzard).
1 or 2 dashes of celery bitters (optional).
Stir with ice and strain into the most gothic glass you can find – well chilled of course.
Drop one grenadine soaked hibiscus flower (or a few petals) into the drink as you serve it.
Toast director F.W. Murnau and his 1922 masterpiece Nosferatu.