FOOD FOR THOUGHT | EAT, DRINK & BE SCARY / by Brackett Bilodeau

Image courtesy of Food Network

Image courtesy of Food Network

Hosting a Halloween bash? Check out these spook-tacular cocktail recipes.


PUNCH DE LOS MUERTOS

Ingredients:
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
4 cinnamon sticks, preferably Mexican
1 29 -ounce can pure pumpkin (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 limes
Splash of rum
Pineapple chunks and/or pecans, for serving (optional)

Combine 12 cups water, the brown sugar and cinnamon sticks in a large pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the pumpkin and return to a simmer. Meanwhile, remove the zest from the limes in wide strips using a vegetable peeler; add the zest to the pot and simmer 15 minutes. Let cool, then refrigerate until the liquid is cold and the pumpkin pulp settles to the bottom, 2 to 3 hours.

Working in batches, ladle the liquid into a fine-mesh strainer set over a pitcher (repeat if necessary to strain out all the pumpkin pulp). Discard the pulp and lime zest. Return the cinnamon sticks to the punch and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pour the punch into ice-filled glasses. Add rum, pineapple and/or pecans, if desired. Garnish with cinnamon sticks.

DARK & SPOOKY

Ingredients:
Black decorating sugar (for rim)
Juice of 1 lime, plus 1 lime wedge
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup ginger beer or all-natural ginger ale
1 black gummy spider

Spread out the black sugar on a small plate. Rub the lime wedge around the rim of a rocks glass; dip the glass in the black sugar, then fill with ice.

Combine the rum and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and shake well. Carefully strain into the glass, minding the sugar on the rim. Top the drink with ginger beer and add the gummy spider.

Recipes courtesy of Food Network