Skeleton Key

Skeleton key cocktail recipe

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving

Are you ready for a fun, spicy, and rather interesting cocktail? This Skeleton Key is easy to mix up and it's perfect for any Halloween party.

There are many appealing aspects of this unique drink. It begins with a combination of bourbon whiskey and elderflower liqueur. The spiciness begins with ginger beer and it is the healthy dose of bitters that brings this cocktail into the spooktacular realm.

There are two ways to drink this one. To get the full flavor of the bitters, sip it without a straw. However, that is probably going to be too bold for the majority of tastes, so a straw is recommended. You still get the bitters, it is simply diluted into the rest of the drink. Give the bitters top a taste, though. It's fun and Halloween is for the strange and extraordinary, so why not?


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for skeleton key cocktail
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  2. Build the bourbon, liqueur, and lemon juice in a collins glass filled with ice.

    Build the bourbon
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  3. Top it off with ginger beer.

    Top it off
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Garnish with bitters.

    Garnish with Angostura bitters
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Serve with a straw.

    Serve with a straw
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe courtesy: Travis Fourmont, head bartender at Michael Symon's Roast in Detroit

How Strong Is the Skeleton Key?

It's always difficult to gauge the alcohol content of soda topped mixed drinks because you may pour more ginger beer to taste. The average Collins glass will take about a 6-ounce drink plus ice, so that would leave the Skeleton Key at around 21 percent ABV (42 proof).