Halloween in India has very little to do with the characteristic trick-or-treat and more about dressing up in fancy costumes, pub hopping and attending themed parties. Restaurants and bars in the city are decked with themed decorations welcoming patrons to indulge in renditions of not just food and beverage but also the celebrations, every year.
And special cocktails make up for a huge part of these celebrations. What makes these drinks special is the fact that mixologists specially design drinks to fit the Halloween theme, creating the perfect blend between scary and appetising.
This Halloween, however, bars across the city were in for a surprise when the day of Halloween, October 31, was declared as a dry day.
But, if you think they were caught unprepared, you’re in for a surprise. Since Halloween fell on a weekday this year, most restaurants were already prepared to host their celebrations over the weekend, says Benroy D’Souza, operations manager at British Brewing Company in the city. “We were prepared to host the celebrations over the weekend,” he says, adding that all outlets of the restaurant saw a substantial response. “We had created a special menu that included themed drinks and recipes especially for this celebration.”
However, for those hosting parties on the day of Halloween, the first damage control was to replace all the alcohol and cocktails with mocktails. Fish N Bait, a restaurant that was serving alcohol and themed-cocktails otherwise had a list of mocktails specially designed for the dry day. “We had a special mocktail called the Zombie, which is a spooky drink since it looks like a skull and the drink is served in a martini glass,” says Nikita Poojari, owner, Fish N Bait.
The BKC and Juhu outlets of True Tramm Trunk were also prepared with their own options. Ashima Batra, head of marketing and communications at the restaurant, says, “We served non-alcoholic variants of our Halloween cocktails like the Dracula’s Virgin Mary and the Vamp’s Bull.”
Not just on the drinks end, restaurant spaces were prepared with food dishes also. “We had a menu specially curated for Halloween, with dishes like Chudail ka brain Masala, Khoon Kharaba Chicken Tikka, Spider Web Pizza and much more,” adds Ashima.
“The new menu includes great new dishes like Greek Dolmades and Thai Water Chestnuts, Mushroom Pastitiso, Nut Crusted Cottage Cheese, Penang curry, Thai Scallops and Murgir Boda along with long-standing popular dishes such as the revered Salmon Stroke, Narla chi Vadi and Dry Mango Prawns among others,” Nikita interjects.
General manager at The Orchid, Varun Sahani points out that while five-star hotels do not have dry days (considering how they take annual licences for these), they still chose to have mocktails on the menu. “As far Halloween night was concerned, we had a choice of selection in both cocktails and mocktails specially made on the basis of Halloween theme such as The Wrong Turn (Cranberry, Peach Apricot, Lime Juice), Spooky Violet (Pineapple Juice, Blackcurrant, Vanilla Ice cream), and Zombie Antidote (Bacardi, Campari, Orange Juice),” he says, asserting that these added to the festivities.