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In a Glass Darkly: Creepy Cocktails Inspired by the Stories of J. Sheridan Le Fanu

It's that time of year when the the veil between the world of the living and the dead thins and I like to break out my beloved collections of ghost stories. J. Sheridan Le Fanu is a master of the genre and In a Glass Darkly is a collection of five stories that are purportedly cases from the papers of the occult sleuth Dr. Hesselius. I've chosen two stories to inspire creepy cocktails for the season.

The story Green Tea is about a minister who switched from drinking black to green tea while writing, after which he began noticing a small black monkey with glowing red eyes following him from time to time, becoming more and more malevolent at each appearance. The green tea having opened his third eye, he was now ever aware of his personal demons. In tribute, I give you the Demon Matcha Monkey - drink with existential caution...

Demon Matcha Monkey

1.5 oz white rum

.5 oz Benedictine

.5 oz Giffard Banane du Bresil Liqueur

.5 lemon juice

.5 lime juice

1/8 t. matcha green tea mixed with twice as much water

1 dropper Boy Drinks World serrano pepper cocktail spice

Mix the matcha with water in a small bowl and add to a cocktail shaker filled 1/3 with ice. Add the rest of the ingredients and shake like a crazed demon monkey from Hell were compelling you to do it. Double strain into a coupe and sip vigilantly.

Carmilla, is the story of a female vampire that preys on other young girls by befriending and then seducing them. Predating Dracula by some years, Carmilla was was clearly an influence. Carmilla is an anagram of the vampire's real name, Millarca. The story was the inspiration for two of my favorite films, 1960's Blood & Roses from Roger Vadim, and Hammer's 1970 release, The Vampire Lovers, with the incomparable Ingrid Pitt in the title role and Peter Cushing as the vampire vanquisher.

Carmilla (Millarca)

1.5 oz gin

1 oz raspberry cordial (directions below)

.75 lemon juice

.5 oz absinthe

.25 white creme de cacao

3 dashes chocolate bitters

Add all ingredients to a shaker 1/3 full of ice, bare your teeth and shake like an undead woman scorned. Double strain into a coupe and sip seductively.

Raspberry Cordial

1/2 cup raspberries (I used frozen)

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

½ ounce rose water

½ ounce vodka

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan, heating gently and stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add raspberries and mash with the back of the spoon to release the juices and stir until well incorporated. Strain into a bottle through a fine mesh sieve, pressing well to get all of the juices and flavor from the pulp. Add the rose water and vodka. It will keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.