By 09/10/2020July 31st, 2023No Comments

As limited social gatherings remain in effect in Los Angeles, the hope of having a Halloween party with friends has completely vanished. In my head, I know it’s the right thing as we fight to control the spread of the virus. In my heart, I am so disappointed. But as they saying goes, ‘when life gives you lemons…make Demon-ade to numb the No-Halloween pain.’  All kidding aside, I made this adult version of lemonade even better by adding bourbon and red wine. Basically it’s a New York Whiskey Sour with a festive Carn’Evil’ name, but the deep ruby red color and skull ice cubes make it perfect for Halloween or any night you want to feel spooky.  If spirits aren’t your thing, a kid-friendly version can be made by substituting grape juice for the wine and omitting the bourbon…but make sure to add plenty of skull ice cubes for the fun of it. I made a bunch with 3 of these silicone molds from ShapedUSA

So next year when we are able to throw parties and hug our higher-risk loved ones again, this Demon-ade can be made two ways depending on how hands on you want to be. If you don’t want to play bartender all night, make up a whole pitcher of Demon-ade by mixing all the ingredients together with a good stir.   But if you want to impress your friends with a layered cocktail that they can stir themselves, make them one at a time and float the red wine over the top by slowly pouring the wine over the back of a spoon.


Devilishly delicious cocktail made with lemonade, bourbon and red wine.
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Carnival Food
Keyword: carnevil, Halloween, Halloween Food, Halloween Ideas, Halloween Recipes, skull ice cubes, skulls
Servings: 8


  • 1 cup lemon juice and zest (about 12 lemons)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bottle red wine (substitute grape juice for a kid friendly version)
  • 4 lemons, sliced (garnish)
  • 1-2 cups bourbon (omit for a kid friendly version)
  • skull shaped ice cubes (optional)


  • Before you juice your lemons, create long strips of lemon zest with a channel knife.
  • Zest 12 lemons and set zest aside. Juice the zested lemons until you have about 1- 1 1/2 cups of lemon juice.
  • In a medium sauce pan, add sugar, water, and the lemon zest. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for 10 minutes, remove from heat and allow it to cool.
  • Remove candied zest from the simple syrup and place the zest in a bowl. Add 1 cup of red wine or grape juice to the zest to dye the white part of the peel. Place in a refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight for darker lemon zest.
  • To make the mock blood lemon garnish, slice 4 lemons into rounds. Remove visible seeds and place them in a single layer in a shallow plastic container. Add about 1 cup red wine or grape juice and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight turning periodically to evenly stain the lemon slices.
  • Make the concentrated lemonade by adding lemon juice to the cooled simple syrup and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • To serve a crowd, make it in a premixed pitcher: Add the 3 cups of the concentrated lemonade, 1 cup bourbon, and the bloodied lemon zest along with the soaking red wine into pitcher. Add an additional 1 cup of red wine. Add lots of skull ice cubes and stir to combine. Garnish with additional blood lemons. Serve.
  • To serve individual glass with the two layers: Add 2 oz. concentrated lemonade and 1/2-1 oz. (to taste) of bourbon to a mason jar. Add some bloodied lemon zest and 2 skull ice cubes. Now add 2 oz. red wine by slowly pouring it over the back of a spoon to layer the red wine over the lemonade layer. Top with an additional skull ice cube and then serve.
  • Kid-Friendly version: (Substitute grape juice for the red wine, omit bourbon and add a splash of club soda for a little bubbly)Add 2 oz. concentrated lemonade and ice into a mason jar. Add lemon zest soaked in grape juice and now add 2 oz. of grape juice and a splash of club soda.


Adapted from this  New York Whisky Sour recipe

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