This is what I serve at my annual pumpkin-carving party. Hot cider is usually too sweet for me, so I add unsweetened cranberry juice — not cranberry cocktail, but the real stuff that’s just smooshed cranberries — to make a pleasantly tart variation.
Halloween Spiked Cider
-3 Cups Unfiltered Apple Juice
-1 Cup Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
-2 Cinnamon Sticks
-2 Strips of Lemon Zest
-2 Strips of Orange Zest
-Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
Combine everything but the rum in a saucepan, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add rum to taste. I do about a shot per cup. Bourbon and brandy work too, which makes this an excellent party punch. Just line the bottles up next to the stovetop. Non-drinkers can just have cider, drinkers can choose their poison.
If you want to make your own apple cups, use a circular cookie cutter to punch out the top, and hollow out the inside with a spoon. Grapefruit spoons work particularly well. If you’re a meticulous sort, you can add a few drops of candle wax to seal the bottom, sometimes the seed chamber connects with the bottom and the cup leaks.
Here’s to roasted pumpkin seeds, mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and decorative gourd season, motherfuckers. What are you toasting this week?
I’m making 100 cocktails as part of my Life List. This is number 11. Here are the rest: