Halloween has cast its horrid pall over Britain’s bars which are celebrating with bloody cocktails and spooky serves. According to research group Planet Retail, Halloween sales are expected to show an increase of 3.5%, making it the third most important event in the UK calendar.

Stonegate Pub Company is getting into the Halloween spirit at its bars such as a partnership between its late-night music bars and ready-to-drink brand WKD for Haunted Hallow Week. This includes the Exploding Cauldron – a mix of Midori, WKD Blue and lemonade served in a cauldron. They are also offering sour shots in skull glasses.

Stonegate’s Popworld clubs and Yates’s bars have taken inspiration from Mexico’s Day of the Dead celebrations, with serves including a Cockroach Cocktail with Olmeca tequila and a Kahlua cocktail, served in a themed glass sleeve. T-shirts and tattoo transfers are also available. 

The company’s Slug and Lettuce bars are staying in central America for their Halloween activity, with a Zombie cocktail, made with both Havana Club 3 Year OId and 7 Year Old from Cuba, served in a specially designed tiki mug.

Alan Armstrong, head of marketing for Yates’s, Bars and Venues, said: “It looks to be a promising week of activity. Having a different offer on for weeks such as Halloween really drives sales. Customers can have a different and exciting experience and the staff have a real morale boost.”

Yates’s and Stonegate’s late-night bars have also teamed up with Strongbow cider which has launched a range of activities across the on-trade to tie in with Halloween, running until November 6.

More than 10,000 on-trade outlets nationwide are participating in the Strongbow “Saint or Sinner?” promotional activity which features kits containing a variety of point-of-sale items to decorate the venue and ensure that the Strongbow brand is front of mind.

There are over three million promotional scratchcards in circulation, allowing consumers to pick up instant-win prizes in-outlet including gift cards, limited-edition T-shirts and tattoo sleeves. Through a dedicated website, StrongbowHalloween.com, consumers can win a range of larger rewards including a trip to Las Vegas for four people.

Andrew Turner, on-trade category and trade marketing director, said: “Halloween is increasingly a key part of the on-trade calendar and Strongbow is once again at the heart of the festivities. We know that our trade partners are looking for ways to make the most of Halloween and this new campaign not only creates value for the trade but offers a fun and rewarding promotion for our consumers.”

The Snug Bars in the northern home countries are celebrating in Mexican style with Day of the Dead celebrations across the weekend from Friday October 31 to Sunday 2 November. Supported by Olmeca tequila and Kahlua, each bar will be transformed into a little taste of Mexico during the festivities from 6pm till late.

Cocktails will include the Voodoo Child, combining Olmeca, Kahlua, orgeat and lime juice, and the Hog’s Breath, mixing Olmeca, Kahlua, fresh lime and cola. Another will be El Diablo, made with Kahlua, Olmeca and fresh lime, topped with lemonade.