Cocktails Built for Travel Channel Binge-Watching
Whether your watching Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman explore potential Portals to Hell or you’ve made a deep-dive into The Holzer Files, make sure your home bar is adequately stocked.
©Photo by Steve Murello
Photo By: Brian Bowen Smith
The Perfect Cocktails for a Travel Channel Binge
This week and next present a fine opportunity to put on some pajamas, turn off all the lights, cozy up on the couch and binge-watch Travel Channel’s scariest shows. It’s also ideal to add a cocktail into the mix, and we found the perfect mix for each and every jump-tastic episode.
Whether your watching Jack Osbourne and Katrina Weidman explore potential Portals to Hell or you’ve made a deep-dive into The Holzer Files — adding historic significance to your heebie jeebies — make sure your home bar is adequately stocked.
Ghost Adventures + Negroni
Zak Bagans has some serious pedigree when it comes to the paranormal. Alongside Aaron Goodwin, Billy Tolley and Jay Wasley, the reality show/documentary-style drama of this series can be pleasantly addictive. Mix something strong and assertive, to mirror Zak’s personality. There’s a fun bit of balance there too, though. In almost every episode, he comes up against something that freaks him out. A Negroni has that same balance — bracing, bitter flavor with a smooth, relatable finish.
These Woods are Haunted + Mezcal Hot Toddy
What would you take into a dark, haunted forest, if you could only take one drink? A Mezcal Hot toddy. It’s so simple to create — smoky mezcal, warm water, lemon juice and honey — and so apropos for couch snuggling under a blanket. Our favorite episode to pair with this drink is Season 1's The Hell Hound. It’s the story of a young woman who, intrigued by the supernatural, explores an abandoned hospital in Ohio. Something follows her home. Careful not to spill your drink.
Portals to Hell + Sazerac
In Season 1, acclaimed paranormal researcher and investigator Katrina Weidman and her cohost Jack Osbourne (son of famous Metal musician Ozzy Osbourne) head down to New Orleans, to investigate one of the most legendary settings for haunting in America — The LaLaurie mansion. Madame LaLaurie was a wealthy slave owner in the 1800s, and she was also one the nation’s first serial killers. After a fire, her slaves were discovered horribly tortured and even buried alive. Make the Big Easy’s official cocktail, The Sazerac, with a dash of absinthe, rye whiskey, a sugar cube and bitters.
Kindred Spirits + Martini
Roused in the night by strange noises or witnesses to poltergeist activity, families contact the Kindred Spiritsteam of Amy Bruni and Adam Berry to help make sense of the unexplainable. Your hosts’ vibe is casual, but proper. These are the investigators you could take home to mom. Why not invite your mom for couch Martinis and a few episodes?
Vodka or gin, your choice, just don’t forget a rinse of vermouth and a few skewered olives.
The Dead Files + Manhattan
From the pinky ring to the gold chain to the lapel pin to the pinstripe suits with bright shirts underneath, retired New York homicide detective Steve DiSchiavi is our favorite, dapper, ghost-confronting everyman. Co-host Amy Allan has her own sense of style (if occasionally swearing like a sailor), and if we could go out to a bar with any of the Travel Channel hosts, it might be these two. Nothing suits this show like a Manhattan. Grab your crystal glassware, the good bourbon, sweet vermouth, a few dashes of bitters and don’t forget the brandied cherry and the orange slice.
True Terror With Robert Englund + Old Fashioned
Freddy Kreuger from Nightmare on Elm Street was a film legend. Now, Robert Englund, the actor who played him for decades, has a brand-new series on Travel Channel. It’s perfect for you slasher-movie fans out there, and each episode contains a trilogy of stories from historical newspaper accounts. They are re-enacted with all the movie makeup and gore you miss from his earliest films. This show gives us nostalgic flashbacks of Tales from the Crypt and an Old Fashioned is ideal — with whiskey, bitters, sugar and an orange twist.
Ghost Nation + Whiskey Sour
Laid-back, usually sporting baseball hats and hoodies, Jason Hawes, Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango tackle serious cases, via pleas from paranormal investigators struggling around America. Season 1's 'Nightmare in the Nursery' is one to watch or re-watch. You might need to resist the urge to cover your eyes when the nanny cam catches a disturbing figure floating front of the toddler. A round of Whiskey Sours — shaken to a perfect blend of rye whiskey, simple syrup, and fresh, tart lemon juice — is perfect for Ghost Nation viewing.
Destination Fear + Death in the Afternoon
Dakota Laden, formerly of the Ghost Adventures team, takes his two best friends — Chelsea Laden and Tanner Wiseman — on a road trip to America’s most haunted locations. And, this crew gets genuinely creeped out on the regular. Chelsea Laden’s fear is palpable. She’s also a history buff, so a historic cocktail is in order. The Death in the Afternoon is both elegant and complex, featuring only two ingredients: Absinthe and Champagne. Ernest Hemingway liked to claim he invented this cocktail. Who are we to argue with a dead man?
Expedition Bigfoot + Dark & Stormy
What drink suits a wet, twilight romp through a creepy Oregon wood? A Dark & Stormy, obviously. This combination of bubbly, fiery ginger beer, fresh lime and dark, slightly sweet rum is classic and refreshing. They are easy to make (and to drink) and awesome while watching world-renowned primatologist Mireya Mayor track Bigfoot. She’s been called the female Indiana Jones, and make sure you have a fresh drink before starting Episode 8 of Season 1, The Final Hours. You won’t want to hit pause when she and her team of fearless explorers head into the abandoned mine shaft.
See More Photos: Go Behind the Investigation of 'Expedition Bigfoot'
The Holzer Files + Sidecar
Fun Fact: America’s first ghost hunter — Dr. Hans Holzer — inspired Dan Akroyd to write Ghostbusters. His thick case files became an alluring series for Travel Channel, with Paranormal investigator Dave Schrader, psychic medium Cindy Kaza, equipment expert Shane Pittman and researcher Gabe Roth pouring over his unfinished case to tackle the job. They include some very recognizable names, like The Amityville Horror House. The Sidecar cocktail’s own history is a mystery, but many believe this combination of Cognac, Cointreau and lemon juice was invented at the end of World War I in Paris.
The Alaska Triangle + Alaska Cocktail
Called one of the most dangerous places to traverse on earth, The Alaska Triangle is a region that has swallowed up people, boats and planes without explanation. More than 2,000 planes have either disappeared or crashed in the Triangle in just two decades. It’s also our only show on the list that has a cocktail right in the name. The Alaska Cocktail dates to 1913, and is a striking combination of London Dry gin, yellow Chartreuse, orange bitters and a lemon twist. Stir till chilled; watch till mystified.
Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests + Gin & Tonic
Don’t take your cocktail game too seriously for Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests. You will either spill it during a frightening moment or spray it onto your coffee table during a funny one. Comedy meets jump-frights in this series, where three best friends goad each other down into basements and up into attics. Make a Gin & Tonic, with extra lime, in a tall glass. Juwan’s facial expressions are pure gold, as are Marcus’ repeated attempts to talk Dalen into staying in a creepy home longer, exploring farther.
Paranormal Caught on Camera + Daiquiri
Ghosts spotted in hotel mirrors. Figures haunting the field in Gettysburg. Faeries potentially do exist, if you believe one episode. This series covers the gamut of otherworldly occurrences, from bewitching moments to downright spine-chilling scares. Shaky camera angles go best with shaken drinks. Drink a Daiquiri. Fresh lime juice is essential, alongside a quality simple syrup and a bright, refreshing bottle of white rum.