Oct 27, 2014

Halloween Hop: Spooky Libations and Trick or Treat! $100 #Giveaway and other Prizes!

Happy Halloween Week to One and All!

I've banded together with a great group of 60 fellow authors to celebrate this last week of October with a blog hop and giveaway - the Rafflecopter at the end of this post offers a chance to win $100 Gift Card to Amazon or B&N!  Big thanks to author Melissa Snark for coordinating this hop!

I'm also giving away an autographed copy of my romance, MY KIND OF CRAZY, to one lucky commenter on this blog post.

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and should be properly celebrated (although that definition certainly varies with age and circumstance!) Over the years, my taste in "Halloween treats" has changed from hording candy in a pillowcase to various apple drinks to special holiday flavored martinis... and for my blog stop today on the hop, I thought I'd share a few of my best recipes! 

Before you ask, yes, I've worked as a professional bartender, having learned at 18 in my family's restaurant, as well as working at my college pub and a few Boston area bars. My bartending these days is limited to family and friends, but I still like to experiment...
My friends and I started a Halloween tradition in college by serving a special "punch" at our Halloween parties. We called it Apple Death. The parties themselves soon became known as Apple Death parties and continued on for the next 20 years.... Not that anyone ever died, mind you, but we certainly killed a lot of brain cells...

Apple Death Punch
1 gallon apple cider
2 cups vodka (or grain alcohol, if you're young and crazy)
2 cups Captain Morgan (or similar spiced rum)
1 cup Seagrams 7 (or similar whiskey)
1 cup Apple Jack Whiskey
1 cup Hot Damn Cinammon Schnapps

Mix in large pot (we used a lobster pot.)
Designate a taste-tester (or two) to tweak ingredients, 
adding more apple jack and schnapps until achieve balance.

My parents came to one of our first Apple Death parties, and dad liked the punch. He asked if I could modify it (to be legal) to serve at our family ski lodge. That was our family business at the time - an inn and restaurant nestled in Vermont's Green Mountains near Killington Resort. I created a Hot Apple Cider drink that became a signature drink for the next 14 years. This is a nice warming drink to savor after getting home from skiing, or from trick-or-treating with the little ones (and it goes well with chocolate bars swiped from sleeping children.) (Not that I would ever do that.)



Grey Bonnet Hot Apple Cider
1. Heat apple cider with orange slices, cinnamon sticks and cloves. At the Inn, we kept a single burner on top of the bar with a coffee pot filled with heating cider.
2.  In a mug, add 1 shot Apple Jack Whiskey and 1 shot of Cinnamon Schnapps.
3. Top with hot cider and cinnamon stick stirrer.

More recently I have been experimenting with Martini receipes (the Blueberry Vodka Lemonade Martini was a wonderful addition to my summer, despite the long name!) 
So why not try Halloween Martinis - but what to call them? Hallowtinis? Halloweenies? Or name them by ingredients? Pumpkin-tini, maybe? Mmm, sounds good.
Halloweenie Pumpkin-Tini
1 shot vanilla vodka 1 shot (plain) vodka
2 shots Pumpkin Spice Cream Liqueur
cinnamon sugar for the rim of the glass

Use martini shaker, and shake vigorously. Pour carefully into rimmed glass. Enjoy!

Leave a Comment and Share your favorite Halloween Treat! 
One commenter will be chosen at Random to win a copy of MY KIND OF CRAZY! and...
Don't forget to Enter the Rafflecopter for more great prizes - and be sure to Hop on Over to the next Blog on the list many authors are giving away their own treats, just like me!
The Linky List is at the very end of the post.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!
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