This recipe is a classically delicious cocktail made to look like a glowing pumpkin, perfect for a spooky Halloween party. It doesn’t taste like pumpkin but looks the part with its festive garnish.
Everyone associates Jack-O-Lanterns with Halloween but not many people know where they come from. The legend of the Jack-O-Lantern starts with the tale of Stingy Jack, a mean drunk who played tricks on everyone and found himself trapped in purgatory after playing a nasty trick on the Devil himself. To aid himself in the darkness of the underworld, Stingy Jack carved out a turnip and placed inside it an burning ember from the flames of hell.
The Irish in the 1800s heard the tale of Stingy Jack and to ward off his spirit on All Hallow’s Eve they carved their own turnips and placed candles in them. When the Irish immigrants moved to America they discovered the pumpkin was easier to carve and thus was born the Jack-O-Lantern we know today.
The recipe uses cognac, a variety of brandy given its name from the town of Cognac in France where it is produced. The flavour varies somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer but it characteristically tastes of fruit, caramel, vanilla and spices – making it the perfect festive cocktail ingredient, especially when mixed with orange and ginger.
Here’s how to make a Jack-O-Lantern:
- 30 ml Hennessy Cognac
- 45 ml orange juice
- 15 ml ginger ale
- 15 ml Grand Marnier orange liqueur
- Orange wheel and lime rind to garnish
- In a cocktail shaker combine all ingredients.
- Strain over fresh ice in an old-fashioned glass.
- Cut an orange wheel and push a lime rind into the middle to make it look like the pumpkin lid.
- Float the orange wheel on top of the drink.
- Old-Fashioned glass
- Cocktail shaker