Psycho Killer

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Cocktail History

The Psycho Killer is a modern cocktail that was created by Jillian Vose at The Dead Rabbit in New York City, New York. Considered a dessert drink, the recipe mixes eclectic flavors, including Irish whiskey, cacao-infused Campari, white chocolate liqueur, banana, and absinthe, all of which end up being surprisingly palatable together.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Irish Whiskey: This is a type of whiskey made in Ireland made with unmalted or malted barley, cereal grains, spices, and water. We used Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey because it has a rich, warming taste. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the Irish whiskey.

Cacao Nib-Infused Campari: This is a liqueur made in Italy with cacao nibs, gentian root, rhubarb, citrus, herbs, aromatic plants, fruit, and alcohol. For a mocktail version of this drink, try cacao nib-infused Giffard Non-Alcoholic Bitter Syrup in place of the Campari.

White Crème De Cacao: This is a liqueur made with white chocolate, vanilla, sugar, and alcohol. We used DeKuyper Crème De Cacao White because it has a delightful white chocolate flavor and is affordable. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium White Chocolate Syrup in place of the white chocolate liqueur.

Banana Liqueur: This is a liqueur made with bananas, vanilla extract, sugar, and alcohol. We used Drillaud Banana Liqueur because it has a tangy and bright flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Monin Premium Banana Syrup in place of the banana liqueur.

Absinthe: This is a spirit made with anise, wormwood, fennel, botanicals, and alcohol. We used Great Lakes Distillery Amerique 1912 Absinthe Verte because it’s flavorful and made locally to us. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Absinthe in place of the absinthe.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Mixing Glass: This is used to hold the ingredients while they’re being stirred. We used the Viski 17 oz Cocktail Mixing Glass.

Bar Spoon: This is used to stir ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Teardrop Bar Spoon.

Julep Strainer: This is used to strain out ice and solid ingredients after the cocktail is stirred. We used the A Bar Above Julep Strainer.

Tasting Notes

The Psycho Killer has slight aromas of cocoa, banana, and herbal orange, begins with a taste of Campari’s sweetness mingled with a bit of chocolate and whiskey malt, and finishes with an explosion of banana, cocoa, and bitter liqueur.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: This was one very interesting recipe! Its combination of flavors left its impression on both of us, with Kendall not really loving it due to its strong Campari and whiskey flavors and Alex appreciating its creativity and complexity but wishing for maybe a bit less harshness. Campari lovers are sure to be intrigued by the Psycho Killer, that’s for sure.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“As far as complexity goes, this drink gets an A. It combines a few truly odd flavors, some of which borderline on dessert-y, and it balances them well amongst each other. At the end of the day though, I did not personally enjoy the flavor combination here. The Campari’s bitterness cuts through the other ingredients just a bit too much in the aftertaste, and the Irish whiskey’s maltiness might just mingle everything else together a little too well. The Psycho Killer is truly hard to describe. I did like it and think you should try it too, but I probably won’t make it again unless I’m feeling experimental.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐
“I could not tell you what I expected the flavor of this drink to be after looking at its list of ingredients, and I found it to be a pretty odd mix of disparate notes as Alex said. Campari, even with its infusion of chocolate, was too bitter for me, and I didn’t care for the way it mixed with the whiskey. This will certainly take you on a tasting adventure because it’s so complex, but I can’t say I’d add this one to my rotation.”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Liquor.com, an online beverage publication.

AuthorLiquor.com

Yields1 ServingPrep Time5 mins

Ingredients
 2 oz Irish Whiskey
 ¾ oz Cacao Nib-Infused Campari
 ½ oz White Crème De Cacao
 ½ oz Banana Liqueur
 2 dashes Absinthe

Method
1

Add whiskey, Campari, white crème de cacao, banana liqueur, absinthe, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 2 oz Irish Whiskey
 ¾ oz Cacao Nib-Infused Campari
 ½ oz White Crème De Cacao
 ½ oz Banana Liqueur
 2 dashes Absinthe

Directions

Method
1

Add whiskey, Campari, white crème de cacao, banana liqueur, absinthe, and cubed ice to a mixing glass.

2

Stir for 30-45 seconds.

3

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Psycho Killer

Make It a Mocktail: Use Spiritless Kentucky 74 Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Whiskey in place of the Irish whiskey, cacao nib-infused Giffard Non-Alcoholic Bitter Syrup in place of the Campari, Monin Premium White Chocolate Syrup in place of the white chocolate liqueur, Monin Premium Banana Syrup in place of the banana liqueur, and Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Absinthe in place of the absinthe to try a booze-free version of this drink.

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