October is more than just horror movies, pumpkin spiced lattes, and wishing we lived in Halloweentown. Some call it spooky season, but we call it sippin’ season.
And as if we needed any other reason to make some deliciously festive cocktails, here are 31 horrifying, pumpkin-spiced ideas for you to bring the crowd to your bartop all month long.
Our professional team of mummy mixologists, blood-sucking bartenders, and goblin gurus have put their brains together to deliver you an entire month of special days to spark some festiveness in your cocktail choices. Pro Tip: Share these dates on your social media to promote specials, etc.!
Sometimes all it takes is knowing that it’s World Sake Day, and you’re craving sake all the way up until happy hour. Create that craving and use our October Bartender’s Calendar as a guide.
So, without further delay, let’s see what’s brewing for October’s Bartender Calendar, brought to you by your trusted pro’s over at Local Bartending School.
Of course, October is known for its special spookiness, but this month also is home to a few other unique celebrations and awareness events.
- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
- American Pharmacist Month
- National Pizza Month
October 1st – International Coffee Day
Coffee and alcohol go together like drinking on a boat. Combining the two can be loads of fun, but also pretty risky. Caffeine and alcohol is a combo for the books, that’s for sure.
But mixing the two can be quite delicious and the possibilities are endless! For International Coffee Day at your bar, you can create an original craft cocktail with espresso or coffee as the base and offer discounts to your regulars. The drink you come up with can be hot, iced, shaken, or stirred–the limit does not exist!
Don’t forget to try dabbling in some chocolate or walnut bitters to really bring out the flavors of your cocktail. These pair really great with coffee. Here are some other tasty, classic ideas for International Coffee Day.
October 1st – World Sake Day
Sake is not offered at every bar, but if you’re a bar owner or manager you could order some for October 1st. If you’re a bartender and have creative freedom, sake can be used in cocktails, too!
Get October off to a banging start with sake bombs. Give your guests an extra reason to buy another round and give them a bit of a price break on any sake products today.
October 2nd – Name Your Car Day
What’s the name of your car? I bet it has one!
Have a bit of fun and ask your guests what the name of their car is. If they have a name, write it down and have your bartop vote for the best one. Share yours, too!
October 3rd – National Boyfriend’s Day
Your cocktails bring all the boyfriends to the bar! Especially when they’re 2-for-1.
Even though Sweetest Day is just around the corner, give those relationship people some more pressure to bring their partners to your bar. For National Boyfriend’s Day, you can offer couple-y discounts like 2-for-1 or buy-1-get-1.
Take it a step further by curating and creating drinks that boyfriends would enjoy sipping on. We’re thinking of whiskey-based drinks and beer specials.
October 4th – Vodka Day, National Golf Day
This fun holiday is pretty simple as far as bartending goes. It’s Vodka Day so you should be selling vodka like crazy!
Maybe some of you work at a country club where there’s a golf course or even a sport’s bar. Put golf on TV and let the golfers have their day.
October 5th thru 9th – Cosmo Week
Master your cosmo recipe, bartenders. You could be making a lot of them this week.
The cosmopolitan has been a popular drink for quite some time now. Combining vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec, and lime this drink began its pioneering journey before World War II known as the vodka gimlet. Then a bartender in San Francisco spread its popularity and added cranberry juice that took it to its pink color we all know and love today.
October 7th – Frappe Day
This one is just a dream, but what if frappes from Starbucks came with a shot of rum or flavored vodka?
Yuck or yum? Comment below!
October 8th – World Egg Day
Eggs have their place behind the bar. In fact, a proper whisky sour calls for an egg white in the recipe.
For Word Egg Day, get to know egg-based cocktails so you can offer them up to your regulars and bar guests. Some of them might have never tried an egg drink before, so this day is a perfect chance for them to break out of their shell. Pun 1000% intended.
October 9th – National Motorcycle Ride Day
Bonus points and discounts are offered if your guests ride their motorcycle today!
And bikers love bars, and you can’t tell us otherwise. Tell them there’s a bike event at your bar and watch them all roll in to drink and be merry.
October 10th – Indigenous People Day
Spread awareness for the Indigenous people of your local hometown or state by creating a drink that’s in honor of their culture or flavors used in cooking.
You can also name your cocktail after indigenous people, tribes, or deities. This is a hot topic in today’s humanitarian-focused world where we’re uncovering the truth of our histories.
October 11th – It’s My Party Day
Have you ever wanted to just throw a party but had no reason? That’s why this day exists!
Call up your friends, regulars, and family and tell them to meet you at your bartop today ‘cause there’s a party they don’t want to miss!
October 12th – National Gumbo Day
Shrimp cocktail is a drink, right?
October 13th – National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day
If your bar serves lunch, incentivize your guests to come to your bar top and order some grub with their parents! They deserve a lot more than just lunch and a glass of wine after all you put them through!
October 14th – National Dessert Day
A chocolate martini definitely counts as dessert as far as we’re concerned. Give your bartop all the reason in the world to order ‘dessert’ by making sure they know it’s National Dessert Day.
Here are some of our favorite dessert-style cocktails.
October 15th – Bosses Day
Bosses deserve a break, too! Give them a break today and ask your bar-goers to bring their bosses in for a special cocktail made just for them.
October 16th – Sweetest Day
Sweetest Day is a day often confused for a “second Valentine’s Day” but the origin has a much more platonic history than that.
In the midwestern US, it was a day created to show random acts of kindness towards your neighbors, friends, and perhaps even those less fortunate.
For bar owners, you can create a fundraising event raising funds for a local charity! Bartenders, if you don’t have any specials running make it your goal on this day to clear up the confusion that Sweetest Day has nothing to do with romantic love.
October 17th – Wear Something Gaudy Day
This is a fun day to wear that awful piece of costume jewelry or the obnoxious tie that’s been chilling. Ask your bartop to wear something gaudy and offer them a discount!
October 18th – No Beard Day
This may be your last chance to shave your beard and show off your smooth face to the world before No-Shave November.
October 19th – International Gin & Tonic Day
Though you’re not treating malaria anymore (yes, that’s how this cocktail was born!), you can celebrate today by offering cheaper gin and tonics in light of this day’s holiday.
October 20th – Brandied Fruit Day
Brandied fruit is the star of the show today. You can make your own brandied fruit by soaking dried or fresh fruit in your favorite brandy and some sugar.
Though they’re typically atop ice cream dishes, cakes, and sweet pies you can make your own house-made brandied fruit and drop them in your brandy, cognac, or whisky-based cocktails. Start early! This takes about a week to make.
October 21st – National Mezcal Day
If you don’t know what Mezcal is, you’re missing out! But that’s okay, I didn’t know what Mezcal was until years into my bartending career.
Simply put, it’s tequila that’s buried in the ground and then set on fire.
Mezcal is great in margaritas and even mules! Help spread the word of this often-overlooked spirit on National Mezcal Day.
October 22nd – National Nut Day
Your bar might already serve nuts with beer (it’s kind of a thing), but if it doesn’t, today’s the day to slide over a bowl of peanuts with that Bud Light. When you get a weird look from your guest, just tell them, “It’s National Nut Day, I’m obligated!”
October 23rd – TV Talk Show Host Day
Though there aren’t that many cocktails in honor of TV talk shows (we need a Dave Letterman ASAP), your bartop might get a kick out of watching that on the TVs.
October 24th – Mother-In-Law Day
Mothers get their own day filled with mimosas and brunch, why can’t mother-in-laws? This Sunday, let them know that they get their own day and to join you at your bar for lunch specials!
October 25th – Punk for a Day Day
We’re thinking you can either dress like a punk rockstar or come up with a green cocktail and call it ‘Green Day’. The choice is yours.
October 26th – National Pumpkin Day
Let your pumpkin spice flag fly today, mixologist. Today is the day to go pumpkins deep in this festive spice.
Gather your gourds and let your audience know that you have all of the pumpkin-flavored drinks they want!
October 27th – American Beer Day
Make sure the taps are in working order! Today is American Beer Day and you’ll be pouring a lot of draft beer.
October 28th – Plush Animal Lover’s Day
Teddy bears have found their way into most of our hearts in childhood. And some adults never quite let this habit go. Today is their day.
Maybe your bar isn’t the place to have everyone bring their plushies (if it is, that’s cool, too!), you might get extra creative by drafting up a cocktail based on your favorite childhood plush! I’d love a Care Bear-themed shot!
October 29th – National Frankenstein Day
Frankenstein-themed cocktails!? Twist my arm. This will for sure have people running zombie-style to your bar!
October 30th – National Candy Corn Day
Up for great debate–whether or not candy corn is tasty. Up for even further debate is whether or not you can make a cocktail that tastes or looks like one!
October 31st – Halloween
No tricks, only treats this Halloween. Create your creepy cocktail concoctions and show them off the world!
Run a variety of specials to satisfy everyone’s craving and don’t forget your costume!
October is Sippin’ Season!
You made it through, my friends. You went through our horrifying list of holidays for bartenders. Like we mentioned earlier you can use these fun, random (and sometimes downright weird) holidays to really boost your sales and check averages–all while having fun and making memories.
Some bartenders I’ve worked with market themselves on social media and with a lot of success! So if this is you and you have a decent social media following, let your audience know you’re dressing up for ‘Wear Something Gaudy Day’, and watch your bartop fill up with other gaudy people!
Even if you don’t do the whole social media thing, greet your guests and let them know you’re running specials on egg-based drinks for Word Egg Day. You’re bound to plant a seed in their head and they’ll be ordering drinks all night long.
Do your colleagues and coworkers need some inspo, too? Share this post with your fellow bartenders!
One of our insanely talented instructors at Local Bartending School is ready to teach you everything you need to know.