That being said, nothing makes you feel better than a perfect recipe, and this is one of the more perfect ones I've invented. Inspired by a cocktail I made for my wedding (the "Fallen Apple"), this sweet little cocktail is easy to keep as a mocktail, or for grownups to spike.
Perfect Halloween Cocktail
1 part sweet apple cider
1 part cranberry juice cocktail
1 part ginger ale
1/4 part alcohol (I like Winter Jack best, but other party-goers used apple pie spiced moonshine, spiced rum, bourbon, and applejack)
This basic recipe can be used to make punch (use a quart each of the non-alcoholic stuff and add 1 cup alcohol). If you're doing individual servings, it's about a third of a cup of each of the juices and ginger ale with 1 ounce of alcohol.
The drink is very sweet, so if you want to tone down the sugar, try substituting hard apple cider for the sweet cider, unsweetened cranberry juice for the cocktail, and/or a punchier ginger beer for the ginger ale.
Casual Halloween Party Menu
I've found one of the nicest ways to have a Halloween party that doesn't break the bank or mean hours of work is to select your treats by color instead of fussy things that look like decapitated body parts or ghosties and ghoulies. This is a hallmark of early 20th century parties, too. White, orange, and dark purple/black are usually lovely classic colors. A little green isn't remiss, either. Here's my simple menu from last week's party:
orange peppers, baby carrots, kohlrabi, cucumber, broccoli with ranch dip
red and yellow pears, russet apples, fresh figs, black grapes
Cheese & meat tray with crackers
sharp white cheddar, blue & cream cheese spread, pimento cheese, smoked mozzarella, BLACK specialty cheese flavored with lemon, sliced pepperoni and salami, Wasa rye crackers, long multigrain crackers, Raincoast raisin and rosemary crisps
Mixed nuts in the shell
Dark Autumn Salad
dark red leaf lettuce, dried cranberries, butter-toasted pecans, homemade balsamic vinaigrette, crumbled feta
Cocktail sausages in barbecue sauce
Vegan Smoky Sweet Potato Tomato Soup
onion, sweet potatoes, tomato paste, tomatoes, smoked paprika, pureed
New York Gingerbread
with blackberry maple jam and whipped cream
The seven people who attended had a great time grazing all the yummy things for the SEVEN HOURS we hung out. Lol. Party started at 4 pm and the last guests left at 11 pm. It was nice having a smaller party because I made less food, we were actually able to use real dishes, and we had some great conversations.
If you're more ambitious than I was this season, you can always check out my 2019 vintage party, or download last year's Halloween History Packet.
2020 Halloween History Packet
This full-color, 16 page PDF packet discusses all things food history and Halloween, including a basic overview of Halloween history, how Halloween has been celebrated in the United States over the decades, vintage and modern recipes, party suggestions, and a bibliography with links to historic digitized Halloween content.
- Intro to Halloween History
- Halloween Party History
- Vintage Decoration Ideas
- History of Jack O'Lanterns
- History of Trick-or-Treating
- Vintage Party Ideas & Menus
- Halloween Bibliography
This is a digital download. Once you purchase this item, you will receive an email with the digital file.