Our neighborhood loves Halloween. But who doesn't, really, with all the goodies, ghouls and merriment?
Maybe it's because the heat has subsided and we can actually go outside and visit without perspiring. No, think it's the goodies and ghouls stuff.
In any case, all the neighborhood kids have known each other since quite young, and all of us parents actually like hanging out and socializing. Halloween is just another reason to get together and carry on.
At our house, I usually prepare some meaty dishes (to offset sugar overload), and mix a few drinks or pour seasonal wines. Friends and neighbors come and go throughout the evening and it all amounts to a pretty good time.
Here's a few recipes, and a couple recommended bottles, to create your own Halloween memories. Cheers!
2 ounce Citrus Vodka
1 ounce Mango Nectar or Juice
1/2 ounce Orange Juice
1/2 ounce Sour Mix
Preparation: Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and pour into a goblet glass and garnish with a slice of orange and a mint leaf laid flat on top.
2 ounce Raspberry Vodka
1 ounce White Chocolate Liqueur
1 ounce Half and Half
Preparation: Dress strawberry syrup on the inside and rim of a chilled martini glass. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass. Garnish with vampire teeth.
2 ounce Raspberry Vodka
1/2 ounce Triple Sec
2 ounce Pomegranate Juice
Squeeze of Fresh Lemon Juice
Preparation: Draw a spider web on the inside of a chilled martini glass with raspberry syrup. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with plastic spider.
2 ounce Vodka
3 ounce Tomato Juice
1/2 teaspoon Finely Grated Horseradish
1 teaspoon Barbecue Sauce
3 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
3 Dashes Tabasco Sauce
1/2 teaspoon Finely Chopped Chipotle en Adobo
Pinch of Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Generous Squeeze of Lemon Juice
Pinch of Celery Seeds
1 Celery Stick
2 Large Green Olives
2 Lychee Fruits
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into martini glass. Garnish with green eye balls, laid across the rim of the glass.*
*Cut the end of a stalk of celery so it measures 5-6 inches long and split the stick in half lengthwise. Slide the green olives into two lychee fruits to make eye balls and push the thin celery stick through both as garnish.
WICKED WITCH APPLE PUNCH
1 750 ml bottle citrus-infused vodka
1 750 ml bottle Sparkling Apple Cider
1 64 ounce bottle Cranberry Juice Cocktail
1 Liter Ginger Ale
2 cups Pineapple Juice
Red Apple Slices
Preparation: Combine all ingredients in a large black witch’s cauldron with ice and stir. Garnish with large slices of red apple floating on top and dry ice.
Recipes courtesy Skyy Vodka
• Layer Cake 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. Nice value-centered red at $16. Traditional California Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley and Paso Robles with ripe cherry and blackberry impressions.
• 75 Wine Co. 2012 Sauvignon Blanc. Winemaker Tuck Beckstoffer crafts a lighter style wine similar to those in France's Loire Valley. Name commemorates the year the Beckstoffer family moved to Napa Valley. $14.