The Washington Post

Spooky Sour

Spooky Sour 1.000

Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post; food styling by Marie Ostrosky for The Post

Spirits Oct 17, 2019

For Halloween, it’s possible to make a cocktail syrup out of candy corn, but you’ll get a better-tasting cocktail by faking it: Honey and a little salt get you close to the flavor without all the extra preservatives. If you want a Halloween orange color, just add a bit of food coloring to the syrup.

Note: If you’re serving guests and want to garnish their cocktails with candy corn, it’s best to garnish all the glasses at once. Take a piece of the candy and wet the yellow base slightly, then slide it, pressing gently, along the rim of a cocktail glass. The candy’s soft texture will yield to the glass edge, forming a little slit where the candy corn can sit. Move the glasses carefully to the freezer to chill, and set them out only when you’re ready to make the drinks.

Storage Notes: The simple syrup can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 1 servings

  • For the salted honey syrup
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 drops each yellow and red food coloring (optional)
  • For the drink
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 ounce salted honey syrup
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Candy corn (optional, see headnote), for garnish

Related Recipes


Make the salted honey syrup: Combine the honey, boiling water, salt and food coloring (if using). Stir until the salt dissolves and everything is combined. You should get about 1 1/2 cups. Cool completely.

Make the drink: Chill a cocktail glass. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add the bourbon, lemon juice, honey syrup and bitters. Shake hard for 20 seconds, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into the chilled glass, taking care not to knock off the garnish, if using (see headnote).

Rate it

Recipe Source

From Spirits columnist M. Carrie Allan.

Tested by M. Carrie Allan.

Email questions to the Food Section.

Email questions to the Food Section at

Avg. Rating (1)

Rate this recipe

Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 220

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 0g 0%

Saturated Fat: 0g 0%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 20mg 1%

Total Carbohydrates: 20g 7%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 18g

Protein: 0g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

Most Read Lifestyle