Welcome back, Boils & Ghouls...
... to 'Day Twenty-Two' of "Alucard's Bat-tastic Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku" and to the third instalment of "Toxic Tipple Thursday" in which I aim to recommend a selection of "batty brews", "creepy cocktails" and (perhaps, even) some "wicked wines"... all suited to the Hallowe'en season !!
So, if you're planning to host your own spooky soirée on October 31st, you should make a point of visiting this blog EVERY THURSDAY between now and Hallowe'en for some inspirational ideas on how to keep those ghastly goblets full to the brim throughout your fiendish festivities !!
Anyway... having kicked things off with the "Unofficial Beer of Hallowe'en", aka "Hobgoblin", and followed that up with a dark & mysterious porter (or, "stout", if you prefer) called "Black Wych", both from the same 'Wychwood Brewery', I thought I'd mix things up a bit by bringing you a spooktacular spirit for my next post in this series. Equally nice on it's own over ice, or as an ingredient in any number of creepy cocktails... this black spiced rum will be enough to make any beautiful banshee scream with delight at your Hallowe'en (h)extravaganza! Of course, some say "beauty" is in the eye of the beholder, but (on this occasion) it's probably more accurate to say it's in the eye of the... errrr, Kraken?!... YIKES !! WHO TOLD YOU TO UNLEASH THE KRAKEN ??!!!
Okay, so maybe it would have been more appropriate to say that the "bottle" is in the eye of the Kraken but (once you see it for yourself) there's no denying it's a work of art, as this image shows:-
The attention to detail even extends as far as the bottle cap, where you'll find another image of the bizarre & fierce sea creature from which the rum takes it's name, as per the "close-up" photo below:-
If further proof of the Hallowe'en "pedigree" for this "squid ink" of a drink were needed, then how about the fact that, just two years ago, they teamed-up with extreme cake makers, "EvilCakeHead", for their "Eat Your Heart Out" event, which ran throughout October, in the build-up to Hallowe'en 2013. In fact, a special variation on the familiar Kraken Rum label imagery was created specifically for that event, incorporating an anatomical "heart" in place of the Kraken head & stomach, as shown:-
For those of you who may be interested... you can see what sort of "edible horrors" they came up with for Kraken Rum on the 'EvilCakeHead' website where you'll find more, IN THESE POSTS. Also, if you'd like to check out the life-sized "slaughtered pig" cake they've created for last year's festivities, have a read of THIS POST too... and discover more about Miss CakeHead, HERE.
Aside from that, Kraken have also been known to support various other horror-related events, such as the "Zombie Pub Crawl" in Minneapolis, as evidenced by THIS TWEET from the event and there's even a time-lapsed video of their inflatable Kraken tentacles being setup, IN THIS VIDEO, posted on the 'Vimeo' website. Not forgetting that, simply by purchasing a bottle of Kraken Rum, you'll also be investing in a traditional "party game" for your ghastly gathering when you "spin the bottle" as suggested, IN THIS TWEET, which I came across earlier. Then, as well as games, there's the Kraken apps for both "Android" and "iOS" (i.e. Apple) mobile devices should you feel the need for some extra entertainment "on the go"... perhaps as you head out to your spooky soirée?!!
Alternatively, if you find yourself stuck in front of a computer screen on Hallowe'en, you can always take advantage of the FREE DESKTOP WALLPAPERS and ANIMATED GIF's on the Kraken Rum website, or have a read of their "journal" (aka Tumblr Feed), FOUND HERE, maybe download the Kraken game app, VIA THIS LINK, or else just browse their OFFICIAL WEBSITE at your leisure. Either way, you're going to want to grab yourself a bottle of Kraken so that you can join in with all the fun as well as "Put A Beast In Your Belly" in time for the Hallowe'en celebrations on October 31st !!
Meanwhile, let me tell you a little more about 'Kraken Rum' and how it can be used to supercharge your Hallowe'en celebrations... essentially, what you're getting (as I said before) is a black spiced rum - think something along the lines of 'Sailor Jerry' and/or 'Captain Morgan' spiced rums, only different - in which the base rum is from Trinidad & Tobago and distilled from molasses made from local sugar cane. The rum is then aged for 12-24 months, before a mixture of spices (including cinnamon, ginger & clove) are added. Kraken pride themselves on the fact that all of the added ingredients in their rum are natural and that Kraken is both gluten-free and vegan friendly !!
First imported to the UK in 2010, by Proximo UK, you can find their Kraken black spiced rum in some of the major supermarkets (Sainsburys, Asda, Tesco, etc.) for around the twenty quid mark, or slighty over, depending on where you shop. For the record, Sainsburys (currently) has a special promotion whereby you can pick up a 70cl bottle for £19.50 (normally £22.50) which should remain valid at least through to Hallowe'en and even a few days beyond, if you find yourself having to re-stock in time for bonfire night. As far as I know, it's the cheapest in the UK (as I type) but you could equally pick up a bottle via Amazon UK, for the same price of £19.50, if that suits you better !!
Aside from drinking it neat, or over ice (aka "on the rocks"), there are a number of interesting ideas for some "creepy cocktails" that can be made in order to better serve your ghoulish guests on Hallowe'en. The most popular variants are to mix it with coke, or pineapple juice, although you'll find many more "recipes" & suggestions for other "ingredients" on the Kraken website, VIA THIS LINK.
Of course, I can't claim to be an "expert" on Kraken Rum... but I have read THE BOOK, as well as seen all of THE MOVIES and, whilst I don't (yet) own THE T-SHIRT, if you follow the link(s) you'll see that I know where to find them. Perhaps more importantly, I have consumed this particular spooky spirit in a variety of "creepy cocktails" and (IMHO) the best pairing for it is coke... which is a bit of a "no-brainer" really, as people have been mixing "rum and coke" for decades now !!
I mentioned earlier in this post that the Kraken is a "bizarre & fierce" sea creature... and I got to thinking about another pretty "fierce" sea creature that starred in a certain 1975 film which (I think) is also totally suited to the Hallowe'en season, on account of the terrifying nature of the 'Great White' shark and all of the "scares" the audience are put through during the course of that particular movie. Now, being that we are talking about rum which (itself) is very much associated with those at sea, and during (and/or after) the consumption of said "rum" such seafarers are known to be fond of a song or two, other wise known as a "sea shanty"... well, some of you may recall a certain scene in "Jaws" with a song about "Spanish Ladies" which you may feel like singing yourself, while enjoying your Kraken rum. For those that aren't (yet) familiar with the tune, here it is... accompanied by some suitable footage of "Orca" (the shark hunter's boat) from "Jaws":-
The actual scene in "Jaws" where 'Quint' (Robert Shaw) sings the "Spanish Ladies" sea shanty to 'Matt Hooper' (Richard Dreyfus) occurs when they are both standing on the docks and can be viewed on 'YouTube', VIA THIS LINK, if anyone is interested. FYI: there is also a short reprise of the song, again by 'Quint', just prior to a drunken chorus of "Show Me The Way To Go Home" by 'Chief Brody' (Roy Scheider) plus 'Quint' and 'Matt Hooper' when they are aboard the boat, on the hunt for the shark. Since you may well find yourselves singing this towards the end of your own spooky soirée come Hallowe'en, I thought I might as well share that with you, too:-
So, there you have it... and, if you are not invited to (or hosting) your own spooky soirée this Hallowe'en, you could do worse than sit back and watch "Jaws" and other water-related horror classics, while enjoying a glass of Kraken rum and singing a few "sea shanties" to while away the hours. No matter how you choose to enjoy it, however, once you've emptied the bottle... instead of recycling it in the (hopefully) usual manner, you may wish to consider repurposing it as a "Hallowe'en" candle-holder, as we suggested with the "Black Wych" bottles previously. Again, from our experience both black and white candles work well with this bottle which, in addition to the labelling & detailing already mentioned, also has those useful handles built-in for added portability !!
Before signing-off, I should (perhaps) also point out that this rum is fairly strong (40% ABV) and a 700ml bottle is equivalent to 28 UK units of alcohol so PLEASE ENJOY RESPONSIBLY and, if you are unsure, visit www.drinkaware.co.uk for full guidelines. That said, if you do happen to like it, why not post your thoughts via the 'Kraken Rum' Twitter Feed: @KrakenRum or their 'Kraken Rum UK' Twitter Feed: @TheKrakenRum_UK. Alternatively, if you'd prefer to get social with them in other ways, there's also an "Official" Facebook Page: Kraken Rum (Facebook) but, when leaving your comments, please don't forget to tell 'em that @ukrokuchannels sent you !!
Finally, to round-off this third instalment of "Toxic Tipple Thursday" on 'Day Twenty-Two' of the annual 'Countdown To Halloween', I thought I'd better clarify how this ties-in with having a Roku player... and, as mentioned during the inaugural post of this series, there's two ways to look at this:-
01. If you watch a Hallowe'en / Horror Movie at the cinema, the chances are you'll have something to eat & drink while you enjoy the film... so, as you stream your Hallowe'en / Horror Movie at home (via your Roku player), why not enjoy a glass of black spiced rum with it too ?!!
02. You could always copy the above images and stream them to or via your Roku player using one of the many "Photos & Video" channels in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store to view them on your TV... perhaps (even) as part of a Hallowe'en Screamsaver (sic) using assorted images from the various Flickr and/or Picasa photo groups that carry Hallowe'en / Horror images - just a thought !!
Anyway, that's all for today... just remember to come back in 24-hours for 'Day Twenty-Three' and more Hallowe'en-themed content, courtesy of "Alucard's Bat-tastic Guide To Hallowe'en On Roku", when I will reveal the next devilish dish for "Fiendish Food Friday", and (again) this time next week for the last "Toxic Tipple Thursday" in our "Countdown To Hallowe'en" 2015...
Fangs (as always) for reading !!