It seems that I’m drawn to red cocktails lately, which is a little surprising. I’ve judged them by their appearance and often been right–it seemed that any cocktail that wasn’t clear or amber in colour was sweet, and sweet’s not really my thing. But recently I had a red cocktail with rhubarb bitters, another with red vermouth balanced with lots of citrus and so on… and I decided there was a whole new world of red cocktails that were as serious as their hue that I needed to try. Here are a few I hope to attempt at home–brilliant colours and easy ideas, all of them.

The Bleeding Heart Martini, which is a marriage of two things I love: classic martinis and pickled beets! Brilliant and almost sinister–you have to check out the photo in this recipe. It totally lives up to its dramatic name.

The Negroni is a classic that’s similar in make-up to the martini above, but the addition of Campari gives it its distinct taste. This recipe suggests you can top it with Prosecco too, and either way, its an easy drink that calls for just a few ingredients found in any well-stocked bar.

This red drink is a little sweet with simple syrup but I am intrigued by it. First of all, the recipe is by Jim Meehan (of PDT and  Grammercy Tavern fame), and secondly, the Black Cup is like a Pimms Cup with port!

Remember, red is not just for “love”. Forget Valentine’s Day and serve these bloodshot spirits on the night of the spirits instead… Mwaahahahhaa… (Halloween. Get it? I know. It’s not spooky if I have to explain it…)