31 Tastes of Terror

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-smoking-wine-glass-image14193825Title: 31 Tastes of Terror
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Contributors: Ed Walker, Edmund de Wight
Genre: , ,
Pages: 225

Do you like Halloween? Scary stories? Would you like to have some amazing cocktails to serve for this spooky season?

This book is for you!


Within you will find 31 spooky cocktails to set the mood for your October festivities. There are chapters on ways to make your cocktails spooky with garnishes, ice shapes, and glassware.

Each tale of the supernatural and macabre is accompanied by a drink to help you survive the ghosts and ghouls that stalk the dark October nights.

Curl up beside the fire with a new drink and a new tale of terror for each night in October.

Count down the days to All Hallows Eve or just enjoy a new story and drink any night of the year.

Tales range from witches to ghouls, vampires to zombies, and ghosts to dread creatures from beyond the outer dark.

NOTE: If you have already read Edge of Reality - these are the same stories but they have been paired with drink recipes for a new type of book.



 This drink makes for a wonderful presentation. Depending on the color of the sweet & sour mix, you may achieve more blue or green as the overall color.  If presented in a martini glass, the sugar rimmed glass makes this drink perfect for a high-class party.

 Taste profile: mostly sweet with a touch of sour to tone it down.


•           2 parts rum

•           1 part Blue Curacao

•           1 part sweet & sour mix

•           ½ Tsp black sugar (see directions below)

 In a shaker with ice, combine the rum, curacao and sweet & sour mix and shake vigorously.

Moisten the rim of the glass with a wedge of lemon and dip the rim of the glass into the bowl containing the colored sugar. I don’t recommend twisting the glass to coat the rim although some bartenders swear by it, experiment and determine what works best for you. Once the glass is rimmed, strain the drink into the glass.

 Making the colored sugar:

•           ½ cup sugar

•           Black food coloring

 Place the sugar in a bowl and add several drops of the food coloring. Mix the color into the sugar using a silicone spatula. Continue adding several drops at a time until you achieve a smooth color.


 Cahal dipped the rag into the ice cold water from the well and gently dabbed it across the brow of his wife Fiona. He could feel the heat from her forehead penetrating the cloth.  Fiona moaned lightly in her sleep as he did this. It’s getting worse, he thought.

 He pursed his lips in consternation, unsure of what to do; then he smiled at himself. Fiona always hated it when he made that face. She said that his puckered lips looked like a porcupine’s ass with his salt and pepper beard. Of course she never complained when he had a full black beard when they first were wed; she had considered him the most handsome man in the county back then.  Cahal smiled as he continued bathing her face.

“You, with your hair of flame and me, a simple blacksmith, with hair the color of my coal; we were meant to be together my love,” Cahal felt a tear trickle down his cheek.

“So many years Fia. Our sons are long gone; now it’s just you and me. You can’t leave me now.”

Cahal, stroked his wife’s cheek. Hardly a wrinkle had settled there. Only her hair, now mostly grey, told of the passage of years for the still beautiful woman.

 A high pitched sound on the wind snapped his head around. It almost sounded like singing. Cahal strained but didn’t hear it again. Probably an owl he thought, returning to his ministrations.

That time it was clear. Cahal stood and went to the door of the small stone hut. Darkness was settling across the moor. He could hear the hens settling in for the night and the grumbling of his goats as they gobbled another meal before bed. The moon was up and near full, a person couldn’t hide across the flat terrain that surrounded his house. If there was someone walking across the moor, he should be able to see them.

Definitely a voice, he thought. He could hear it faintly across the moor. It wavered like a gentle lullaby on the breeze.

“You’re probably hearing a woman singing to her child, you old fool,” he said.

The wind shifted and Cahal’s blood froze in his veins. The voice was clearly a wail. A high pitched keening that rose and fell like a mourner at a funeral; it could only be one thing.

“Banshee,” he said and ran back into his hut.

Slamming the heavy wooden door, Cahal knelt next to his wife. She was still breathing.

“Stay with me Fia,” he said, frantically dabbing her face with cold water. “That old sidhe is going to visit someone down the lane. She’s not coming here.”

In his gut he knew he was lying.

The sound became clearer as Cahal knelt next to his wife. The distant wail became a raspy voice, strained from continuous ululations. It sounded like a damned soul being tortured and weeping in its pain.

“Dear Gods, send this spirit past my house,” he whispered. “Not tonight, not tonight, please not my Fia tonight.”

The wail sounded almost outside. Cahal started as Fiona suddenly gasped, her eyes rolling beneath her inflamed eyelids.

“No,” he screamed.

Cahal leapt to his feet and raced to the door. He grabbed the only weapon he possessed, a stout bar of iron that he had forged in his youth. The bar was the length of a sword with a slightly bulbous tip and had a leather grip wrapped in steel wire. Cahal had made this bludgeon for himself years ago in case he needed to drive off bandits. He had joked with Fiona that he left it iron rather than temper it to steel so that the wee folk could also be chased off. He prayed that his jest would provide him with a weapon against the Banshee.

Throwing open the door Cahal saw a ragged oval shape, taller than it was wide. The shape appeared made of the mist from the moors but glowed with a sickly blue light. As he watched the wail came again; the light brightened and dimmed as the sound rose and fell.

“Get back you damned sidhe,” he shouted. “You’ll not take my Fia.”

The Banshee paused in its floating approach for a moment as if considering the words of the man before it but quickly resumed its progress toward the door of the hut.

With an animal growl Cahal swung his bar of iron at the glowing specter. The tip of the bar passed through the light without resistance. Even though Cahal felt no impact, the area where his bar intersected the Banshee flared with a red light and the spirit wailed even louder than before and retreated several feet.

“It’s true,” he said. “Iron harms you. Begone then, you’ll never get past me.”

The Banshee made its funeral wail and charged forward once more. Again Cahal drove it back with a swipe of his iron bar. Advance and retreat the spirit and man danced. Cahal fought with graceless ferocity. With each strike the Banshee’s wail grew louder and more frantic.  With each strike Cahal felt the burning in his lungs and the painful pressure growing in his chest.

The Banshee wailed louder than ever and Cahal felt a sharp pain in his ear. He touched his left hand to his head and then examined it; blood was coming from his ear.

“I don’t care you bastard. Kill me if you want but you’ll not take Fiona.”

Cahal charged the Banshee raining blow after blow on the spirit until the light of its body was pulsing rapidly between its normal blue and the red of its pain.

Cahal staggered back toward his door, exhaustion beginning to take its toll on his aging body.  The pain in his chest made him worry that the Banshee might claim both he and his wife tonight. Movement caught his eye and he whimpered. He could not fight another sidhe; he felt defeat rearing its head. Another ghostly shape was approaching from the moor.

Cahal swung at the Banshee once more then turned to face this new threat. The second spirit approached in silence. It was white rather than blue but otherwise was almost the twin of the Banshee.

Cahal raised his bar to strike.

“Cahal, stop my boy,” the new spirit spoke in a woman’s voice.

Cahal froze in mid swing and took a staggering step back. It couldn’t be. “Mother?”

The voice coming from the white spirit was that of his long dead mother. Even the long forty years since her death could not dim his memory, Cahal would know her voice anywhere. It was the sound of his heart, the sound of comfort.

“My son, you cannot stop the Banshee,” the spirit said.

“No,” he blustered. “It fears my iron. I won’t let it take my Fiona.”

The white spirit approached and coalesced into the well remembered shape of Cahal’s mother. Her spirit looked as young as Cahal remembered her from when he was a child. The aged appearance she wore at her death had been shed in the spirit world.

“Son, I love you. You’ve made a mother so proud to have become such a good man. You’ve raised your family and found love with a beautiful woman. But life must move on. You cannot change the natural order.  Old life must end for new life to continue.”

Cahal lowered his rod, tears streaming down his face. He was gasping, a combination of sobbing and sheer exhaustion.

“But, I can’t lose her,” He said.

“My lovely boy; you can never lose her.  Have you lost me?”

Cahal blinked through his tears to stare at the glowing form of his mother.

“No, Mother.”

“Let her go my son. Eventually, your time will come and you will find her again in the spirit world just like I found your father. “

Cahal nodded, and dropped the iron bar with a clang against the rocks of his door path.

“Forgive me spirit,” he said to the Banshee. “Be about your business.”

The Banshee resumed its funeral wail, much more gently than before and began to drift toward the door of the small cottage. Cahal staggered in the Banshee’s wake and dropped to his knees at his wife’s bedside as the Banshee hovered overhead.

The Banshee’s wail changed, transforming from funereal mourning into a gentle lullaby. Cahal recognized it from his childhood and smiled a sad smile. Taking Fiona’s feverish hand in his own he brought it to his lips and felt her shudder as her spirit departed.

“Goodbye my love,” he whispered.

Cahal looked up to see the Banshee joined by a second white spirit form.

“Love is forever,” he heard his mother’s fading voice say beside him.

Tears filled his eyes and Cahal smiled as all three spirits faded into nothingness.



No Comments

A Taste for Drink

200ATFD cover ebookTitle: A Taste for Drink
Release Date: November 28, 2013
Contributors: Ed Walker
Genre: ,
Pages: 221

Become the bartender everyone wants at their event.

Do you know why certain drinks taste good?

Do you want to know how to make something amazing for yourself and your friends with whatever is at hand?

Then this is your book.

Learn how to become a knowledgeable taster.

The purpose of A Taste For Drink is to inspire your own beverage creativity not force you to march in lockstep with a specific set of recipes.

This volume provides you with the tools to make creative decisions rather than simply provide overused templates and recipes identical to a thousand other books that have gone before.

A Taste For Drink will quickly become an important adjunct to your arsenal of knowledge. Chock full of tasting technique this book will educate you on how flavors combine and affect your tastebuds.

  • Learn the proper way to examine and judge your drink.
  • Learn what makes a good drink good.
  • Learn why you mix in certain proportions.
  • Learn what flavors enhance or complement each other
  • Learn how to make flavored syrups to use for coffee, desserts, or alcohol.
  • Learn to create your own custom alcohol flavors by flavoring base alcohols.
  • Learn mixing techniques of professionals.
  • And so much more.

A Taste for Drink will quickly become the one source of information that you use to mine your other books for recipes and then deconstruct them to make new and exciting concoctions.

Following the advice of an expert on 'mixing on the fly,' you will learn to identify flavors that complement or counteract each other. You will learn the art of mindful tasting and begin your journey to becoming the Bartender you always wanted to be.

Bartenders, home experimenters, and anyone who always wanted to understand why they like the drinks they like will receive benefits from this book.

This isn't a book for posh wine tasters, it's for the hard (or casual) drinker, the cocktail aficionado, the man or woman who wants to make and drink the tastiest beverages on earth.

Some of the topics covered in this book:

  • Beverage History
  • Tasting Glassware
  • Cleansing the Palate
  • Training Your Taste Buds
  • How Flavors Combine
  • Balancing Dominance of Flavors
  • What is Proof
  • Alcohol Intensity
  • Quality - Cheap vs. Expensive
  • Base Alcohols
  • Liqueurs
  • Flavor pairings
  • Flavored Syrups
  • Mixed Drinks
  • Proportion Control
  • Mixing Technique
  • Bar Glassware
  • The Value of Bar Recipe Guides
  • Mixed drink families
  • Mixed Drink Recipes
  • Homemade Flavors
  • Flavored Alcohols
  • Fresh vs Dried vs Frozen
  • Making Flavored Alcohol
  • Sanitize
  • Cordials
  • Simple Syrup
  • Ageing

Belly up to the Bar

Don’t worry, you haven’t picked up a tome dedicated to sobriety and warning you away from the evils of ‘demon rum’. Some people look upon alcoholic beverages as evil on par with the worst imaginings of the Biblical Armageddon. Pshaw!

Alcohol is an ancient beverage that has been part of man’s civilization for as long as recorded history. It relaxes us, brings us joy and provides a lubricant for social interaction that is unparalleled. True, it can be misused, but then again so can an automobile but we’re not giving those up anytime soon.

Once upon a time, I joined a trio of other young men who loved to mix drinks and share our concoctions with all those around us. Our skills became such that people in our social circles actively sought us out. Parties where we tended bar often produced a stream of inebriated bodies and large gaps in people’s memories. Partygoers called us the Four Bartenders of the Apocalypse.

The Bartenders each had their specialty:

  • One made a singular beverage that was like chocolate sex in a bottle.
  • The second made potent beverages that would make strong men gasp.
  • The third could duplicate the flavor of any known non-alcoholic beverage you could name using high proof ingredients.
  • I, as the fourth, had the ability to take any materials available and turn them into unique, tasty beverages.

This book is written to help you learn to create drinks through the understanding of how tastes combine and become a mixologist known and respected by all who sample your wares.

In my misspent youth, I tried my hand as a bartender in clubs but I quickly realized that there was no real economic security there and instead followed a different career path. That however didn’t mean I’d lost my love of mixing and the lure of the stage that is the bar. Instead I channeled my energies into mixing drinks and creating my own flavored spirits for my personal enjoyment and that of my friends and guests.

Large events or parties are my meat and potatoes. I'm given a chance to get behind a bar again and just entertain rather than worrying about pouring to keep sales flowing.  It is this type of environment that is conducive to experimentation and creativity.

Let me clear one thing up before proceeding too far. There are two terms in common usage to describe persons who create drinks: bartender and mixologist. I use these terms somewhat interchangeably in this book but they really are two different things – to some people. One person will tell you that a mixologist is just a bartender who wants to inflate their job description much like custodial engineer is just a fancy name for janitor. Others, myself included, will tell you that bartenders are people who pour drinks for pay and are knowledgeable in many recipes and bar showmanship. Mixologists normally do not perform their art for pay. This term describes the home dabbler who wants to try different tastes and experiment regardless of an audience.

I rarely tend bar for pay these days so I now lump myself into the category of mixologist. Use the term that makes you most happy, but keep in mind when at your favorite watering hole, if your bartender prefers one over the other; use the right one if you want to continue getting great drinks.

The most basic question to get us started is: why do we drink?

Humans drink for many reasons but central to all of them is pleasure. The goal of any mixing endeavor is to create something to imbibe that will cause you and your drinking companions to smile in pleasure and reminisce about the experience when a trigger scent or taste occurs at a later time.

Most drink-related books provide tried and true concoctions to memorize and serve. That's all well and good if you just want to be another run of the mill barkeep but what about the person who wants to be the bartender? How do you get to the point of being acknowledged as Lord of the Libation, King of the Concoction?  To get there you need to be original; and practice, practice, practice.

Anyone can make a Screwdriver or, by flipping to the right page in a book, make a Zombie but not many people can just step behind a bar, look at what is available and create original, tasty drinks that keep people coming back for refills and talking about them after the event is over.




No Comments