I’m shellacking my nails black and stirring my caldron bubbling over with Beluga and blinis and pumpkin martinis for a grown-up Halloween hoopla. All Hallow’s Eve, an ancient Catholic custom honoring saints, has morphed into a $3 billion-a-year trick-or-treating candy orgy. But big kids can have fun, too.
• Celebrity chef Brian Malarkey will be shakin’ things up at his downtown Searsucker with some bone chilling cocktails like the
— an actual steer femur bone, cleaned, boiled and stuffed with a concoction of coconut, lime and vodka.
• For a sweet and seasonal refresher, The Grant Grill on Broadway will offer its famous
that appeared on The Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate.” This glorious gourd cocktail blends pumpkin, star anise, rum, Grand Marnier, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, aromatic saffron syrup, cardamom bitters and a squirt of fresh Meyer lemon.
• For howling werewolfs, Donovan’s Prime Seafood will be pouring
The Full Moon,
a lunar libation of Double Cross Vodka, Valrhona white chocolate, vanilla infused pisco, and Sal de Camargue.
• And for pure insanity, chug down the
Mental Ward 10
of high west “bourye” bourbon, pomegranate, molasses, lime and sugar at Hotel Palomar’s new Saltbox Dining and Drinking.
• Visit the Rancho Bernardo Inn for a
of Bacardi light, gold and dark rums, Grand Marnier and grapefruit, orange and pineapple juices served in a Mason jar with a glow stick garnish.
Playing armchair mixologist, may I make some eerie recommendations so you can shake, rattle and roll in your own home? This
is one you definitely want to cross paths with on Halloween – an icy Blavod Black Vodka blended with a raspberry-flavored Chambord garnished with fresh raspberries. Or a
, a twist on the classic Bloody Mary which adds a splash of beer to the mix to make it sizzle and foam at the mug.
To shock the senses, (and your guests) try a
that truly resembles gray matter in a glass. This cocktail layers Peach Schnapps and Irish Cream with a finishing drizzle of Grenadine over the top, giving the libation its signature color. And for that sweet caffeine jolt, do a
Cookie Monster Cocktail
that makes a liquid cookie sandwiching Irish Cream between Kahlua and Peppermint Schnapps.
Whip up some fun Halloween eats to accompany these drinks. Kick off the festivities with an
making a platter of your favs including artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and giant green olives stuffed with pimentos, cut in half and strategically placed with toothpicks on small, fresh mozzarella balls to resemble orbs.
with plenty of red sauce, orange peppers and black olives, serve sushi with splashes of orange roe and smoked salmon, and other finger foods such as crispy spring rolls, turkey meatballs, or chicken and veggie skewers with a sweet, sour and sassy dipping sauce that mocks clotted blood made of grape jelly, ketchup, French dressing and dash of Tabasco.
Graveyard Mud Pie
with a chocolate mousse base, crumbled chocolate cookies for the cemetery soil and dollops of whipped cream for ghostly images. Stick Lady Fingers into the mix to simulate headstones.
Pumpkin Pecan Cherry Bread
As the skeleton said to his dinner guests on Halloween – Bone appétit!
1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
2/3 cup apple juice or water
1 cup canola or grapeseed oil
4 large eggs
3 1/3 cups unbleached flour
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup maple or agave syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cherries or raisins
Method: Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease two loaf pans (8 x 5 inch) with oil. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine pumpkin, oil, eggs, syrup and beat until smooth. In a large mixing bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet, blending until thoroughly mixed.
Pour into loaf pans and bake for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Serve with whipped cream or pumpkin gelato.
* For other killer recipes, e-mail
or see www.FreeRangeClub.com.