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Skeleton Key


Skeleton Key Cocktail - Halloween Cocktail Contest

Skeleton Key Cocktail

Photo Courtesy: © Travis Fourmont

Here we have a fun, spicy, and rather interesting cocktail from a reader. Travis Fourmont, head bartender at Michael Symon's Roast in Detroit, submitted the Skeleton Key recipe for the October 2012 Halloween cocktail contest and it took top honors.

There are many appealing aspects to this unique drink. It begins with a very fine Kentucky bourbon from Corner Creek and St. Germain. The spiciness begins with ginger beer, and it is the healthy dose of Angostura Bitters that brings this cocktail into the spooktacular realm. Fourmont designed this drink with four times the average bitters portion and the blood red liquid floats on top of the drink in an eerie fashion that I'm sure looks pretty scary under black lights.

There are two ways to drink this one. To get the full flavor of the bitters, sip it without a straw. However, that is probably going to be too bold for the majority of tastes, so a straw is recommended. You still get the bitters, it is just diluted with the rest of the drink. Give the bitters top a taste, though. It's fun and Halloween is for the strange and extraordinary, so why not?

Read more about the contest results here and Fourmont's original submission here...

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Total Time: 3 minutes

Yield: 1 Cocktail



  1. Build the bourbon, liqueur, and lemon juice in a collins glass filled with ice.
  2. Top it off with ginger beer.
  3. Garnish with about 8 dashes of Angostura Bitters.
  4. Serve with a straw.
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