Now Trending: Carnival-Inspired Cocktails

Fall is the season for fall festivals, fairs and carnivals, so it’s no surprise that some bars are updating their beverage lists with fun cocktails. As a kid, you probably remember going to the carnival and discovering all the crazy edible treats. I since have discovered some awesome cocktails that take me back to that time and let me relive my childhood with a boozy twist. Below are some bars that are bringing the carnival to you with cotton candy, candied and caramel apples, popcorn, and snow cones.

Credit: Von's 1000Spirits

Credit: Von's 1000Spirits

Cotton Candy

Von’s 1000Spirits | Seattle, WA

Von’s 1000Spirits in downtown Seattle is the ultimate place to get a cocktail — not only do they offer over 1,000 spirits, but also they have a fun and inventive cocktail menu. Von’s offers everything from their own distilled spirits, to classic cocktails, and twists on all kinds of drinks. Included on its unique menu are four different Spun Sugar cocktails made with their own version of cotton candy in which the spun sugar acts as the simple syrup. Von’s 1000Spirits includes cocktails made with gin, rum, vodka, and Lillet, with two offering personal sized champagne bottles for extra fun.

Credit: Von's 1000Spirits

Credit: Von's 1000Spirits

French 75: Spun Sugar melts with house-made Junipered® Gin, lemon and your own bottle of bubbly

The International: Rum emboldened with cherried brandy, fresh Alchemy Spun Sugar and citrus

Skinny Bitch: Sanctified® Vodka, fresh grapefruit, cranberry, and sweetened with Spun Sugar melted tableside

French Open: Spun sugar melted tableside with Lillet, champagne and Raspberry Coulis, and served with a bottle of bubbly

Barton G. The Restaurant | Los Angeles, CA

Barton G. in Los Angeles is offering a tableside cotton candy martini for two. This is the perfect date cocktail to impress your significant other on date night. The concoction magically melts and smokes tableside, which is a fun experience in itself. A martini glass is filled with cotton candy, then a mixture of citrus vodka, ruby red grapefruit juice, orange juice, and Cointreau is poured over bubble gum flavored house cotton candy. The cotton candy then instantly vanishes with a cloud of smoke to finish this cocktail adventure.  

Candied and Caramel Apples

Venetian Moon | Reading, MA

Venetian Moon is an Italian restaurant, lounge, and martini bar in Reading that has a massive cocktail menu, including some fun fall carnival favorites. They offer a caramel apple martini with apple vodka, apple liqueur, and caramel. This twist on your childhood favorite will have you asking for a second round to celebrate before you enjoy a plate of their risotto or ravioli.

Isabella | Conshohocken, PA

Isabella is a neighborhood gem in Pennsylvania that focuses on local ingredients with Mediterranean-inspired dishes. The menu currently offers an infused caramel apple martini. They infuse Maker’s Mark with apples, add apple puree, a splash of butterscotch, and round out the cocktail with a caramel rim. Pair this fresh carnival martini with their special kobe burger or roasted pork sandwich for dinner and you have the perfect fall meal.

Iron Horse Tavern | Morgantown, WV

In Morgantown, the Iron Horse Tavern specializes in craft beer and fine pub food. In addition to their extensive beer list they also offer an array of beer cocktails. To change up the caramel apple martini they are serving an inventive candy apple beer cocktail by taking hard apple cider and mixing it with Fireball whiskey. This flavor combination quickly turns into a carnival candied apple in your mouth.  

Snow Cones

Credit: CH Distillery/Anita Govic

Credit: CH Distillery/Anita Govic

CH Distillery | Chicago, IL

CH Distillery was established in 2013 and is Chicago’s only distillery making grain-to-bottle vodka from Illinois grown ingredients. In addition to their vodka they also distill 12 other spirits including bourbon, rum, and gin just to name a few. To showcase their spirits they also offer dinner and drinks at the distillery. CH Distillery specializes in fresh and seasonal cocktails to highlight their spirits including a boozy shaved ice made with their handmade Limoncello. This would be the perfect place to visit to enjoy a sweet and tart lemon flavored boozy shaved ice with a hand selected meat and cheese platter.  

Venice Whaler | Los Angeles, CA

Venice Beach is home to the Venice Whaler, which has been operating since 1944. The infamous venue offers food and cocktails with a view of the beach and California palm trees. To beat the heat, this fun establishment offers a shaved ice version of the classic Negroni cocktail, called the Snowgroni. This shaved ice has Bulldog Gin, Campari, Antica Carpano, and shaved ice. This would pair perfect with the Whaler’s famous fish tacos to complement a day out at the beach.  


Bars across the country are offering fun cocktails inspired by carnivals and fairs. From cotton candy to candied apples, carnival cocktails are showing up to entice guests back to their childhood treats only spiked with booze. Are any bars in your city offering carnival cocktails?