For the young, I prepare punches. To chill their brew, I freeze apple juice in rubber gloves. When it is time to serve, I discard the glove and float the frozen hands in the punchbowl. My little monsters like a mixture of pineapple, orange concentrate, sparkling white grape juice, and lemon-lime soda.
The littlest prefer their potion served from a cauldron, with sherbet frothing like sweet spells. I mix about 4 cups of ginger ale, 4 cups of pineapple juice, and 4 cups white grape juice with 1 tub of sherbet and diced fruit. The kids take turns stirring the brew.
When the little ones retire for the night, the adults may want to stretch their claws around libations of their own. Three days before, it is fun to soak gummy worms in a glass bowl of vodka. The candies swell up as they absorb the alcohol, taking on a slimy feel perfect for Halloween.
Creepy cocktails circulate. Some drinks, like the Zombie and the Bloody Mary, are custom designed for Halloween parties, but any glass can be jazzed up to haunt the imagination. Stemware can be decorated with colored sugars or salts. Painted goblets or external picks add sinister touches to delight the drinker. For example, to lend the proper festive flare, I garnish martinis with “bleeding hearts” (speared pickled beets that bleed color into the vermouth and gin). I peel lychees and stuff them with blueberries; radish hollowed out and stuffed with pimento-enhanced olives are artistically peeled to leave red optic veins. These eyes glare baleful reproaches while bobbing within drinks.
For the tea-totters, I warm apple cider and float carved apple “heads” with cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and whole cloves. Dry ice must be monitored, but the resulting smoke lends to the fantastic feel of many beverages.
These are but a few ideas; I am limited only by my own imagination and budget. As I await the arrival of my guests, I raise my glass in toast to you who haunt the night and wish you no hangovers but lots of fun this Halloween!