Halloween is without a doubt one of the best holidays ever. People dress up in garish outfits and party like crazy. Something that would make it even cooler is if there were a drink that actually looks like the devil himself. Turns out there is! The Devil’s Playground is a gin and cherry based drink that is blood red and sports devils horns. You can’t beat that.
- 2 oz gin
- 1 oz Cherry Heering
- ½ oz dry vermouth
- Maraschino cherry
- 2 fresh red chili peppers
- ¾ oz sugar
- Dash of grenadine
On a small plate, mix granulated sugar and a small amount of grenadine. The result should be reddish-pink sugar. Rim a martini glass with this red sugar by dipping the rim of glass into a small plate of water or lemon juice and dipping rim into the sugar. In a cocktail shaker with ice, add gin, dry vermouth, and Cherry Heering. Shake and strain into glass. Add maraschino cherry. Make “devil horns” by cutting stem ends off of two small red peppers. Cut a groove into wide end of each chili pepper and push them onto the rim of the glass. Serve and enjoy.
The Devils Playground takes a bunch of ingredients that shouldn’t work together and intertwines them into a symphony of subtle flavors. The strongest aspect of this cocktail is the gin and vermouth. You would expect the cherry to be prominent, but it is more subdued. The spicy aroma of the peppers and the sweetness of the sugar-rimmed glass make the Devils Playground a unique experience. Most cocktails only combine two contrasting flavors (like sweet and sour), but this one balances the classic dry martini with sweet, spicy, and cherry notes masterfully.
Devil’s Playground In Popular Culture
No less than 8 different movies have borne the name Devil’s Playground. Most of these are dramas, but the only one I’ve actually seen was the 2002 documentary about Amish kids partying and doing drugs during a “free pass” peroid known as Rumspringa. This tripped me out when I first heard about it, who know the Amish were so cool?
Devils Playground also refers to an area on the Pike’s Peak Highway prone to lightning strikes and an area in th Mojave Desert in Arizona.