Toasts of terror | The Manila Times

Whether hosting a mysterious but fun Halloween get-together with family and friends, or eyeing a much-awaited me-time horror movie marathon, a refreshing drink is the ideal partner. Today, The Manila Times Lifestyle gets you all ready for Halloween night as it gathers recipes to make those toasts of terror!

A nod to the jack-o-lantern tradition, bar expert Gioseppe Racelis introduces the Caramel Pumpkin Pietini. A bloodcurdling fusion of vodka and pumpkin puree, the concoction promises a touch of grim in celebration of the supernatural.

Bar expert and Benilde School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management educator Gioseppe Racelis

Bar expert and Benilde School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management educator Gioseppe Racelis

“With vodka, there is the warmth and kick for warding off the cold and the unknown,” he explained. “The cinnamon gives a hint of flavor and aroma, evoking the cozy yet festive mood.” 

With over 13 years of experience in the industry and a holder of a Level 2 Certification on Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), the former Assistant Food and Beverage Manager of Discovery Suites Manila understands that grown-ups, too, deserve a treat this All Hallow’s Eve.

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“The caramel syrup adds a sweet and sticky twist — reminiscent of candies,” beamed the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management (SHRIM) educator.

For those who are looking for more gloom and doom, the two-time champion of the Young Hotelier Exposition’s Creative Cocktail Competition suggests Nightmarish Rose — her personal homage to the ever-iconic Morticia Addams of the feared yet lovable classic Addams Family.

“I was utterly captivated by her monochromatic elegance,” she shared. “It was this fascination that inspired me to create the mixture.”

The cocktail embodies the eccentric beauty, charm, and passion of the eccentric and enigmatic Addams queen. It highlights the sweetness of strawberries, the delicate flavor of roses, and with an added touch of activated charcoal, stands true to the Addams’ signature hue.

Caramel Pumpkin Pietini Ingredients:

45 ml vanilla vodka

30 ml pumpkin puree

30 ml caramel syrup

30 ml full cream milk

Dash of cinnamon for garnish


1. In a shaker, add all the ingredients and shake vigorously without ice.

2. Strain and serve in a martini glass rimmed with caramel syrup.

3. Garnish with a dash of cinnamon on top.

Nightmarish Rose Cocktail Rose Simple Syrup Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Half tsp of rose water

Cocktail Ingredients:

60 ml strawberry-infused gin

15 ml lemon juice

1 egg white

Half tsp of activated charcoal powder


For the rose syrup:

1. Heat the sugar and water in a pot and stir until the sugar dissolves.

2. Allow the syrup to slightly cool before adding rose water. Be careful, as rose water is quite strong.

For the cocktail:

1. In a shaker, add all the ingredients and shake vigorously.

2. Add ice and shake it once more.

3. Double strain and serve in a chilled martini glass.

4. Garnish with strawberries.

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