Sunday, October 26, 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.

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.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Yum, yum, YUM. I'd try all those cocktails in a flash :)

  2. I love pumpkin cookies!!! -- Ingredients Edit and Save

    Original recipe makes 3 dozen cookiesChange Servings
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    1 cup butter
    3/4 cup white sugar
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 egg
    1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
    1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 cups confectioners' sugar
    Check All Add to Shopping List
    30 mins
    10 mins
    1 hr 10 mins Directions
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
    Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and ginger together in a bowl. Beat 1 cup butter, white sugar, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, and egg with an electric mixer in a separate large bowl, beating until mixture is smooth. Beat in pumpkin puree. Gradually stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture. Batter will be moist.
    Spoon batter by teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.
    Bake in the preheated oven until cookies are lightly browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes on sheets before removing to finish cooling on waxed paper.
    Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a bowl with an electric mixer until soft and creamy. Beat in confectioners' sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, until frosting is smooth and spreadable. Frost cooled cookies with cream cheese frosting.

    1. Wow, Joely! Thanks for that recipe! Sounds awesome!

  3. Wow, those recipes all sound and look really good, copying them all down!
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

    1. I'm still tinkering with that last martini recipe - my liquor store didn't stock the pumpkin liqueur they usually have, so had to make due with the pumpkin spice creme... tasty, but...

      Let me know what you think after you experiment!

  4. Katie,
    That cider recipe sounds delicious. I'd love to try it. :-)

    Thank you so much for taking part in the hop! Have a fantastic Halloween!

    1. Thanks for being the driving force and organizing things, Melissa!

      I noticed that there are now other brands of apple whiskey on the market, if you can't find Apple Jack. The whiskey/schnapps combo makes a nice alternative to the traditional rum and cider ;-) Happy Halloween!

  5. Yum, all those cocktails sound good..maybe they will be my new favorite treat!

  6. I haven't had them in years, but I love baked pumpkin seeds.

    1. Yum! Me too! Carving pumpkins tonight and saving the seeds to bake!
      Happy Halloween!

  7. It looks good. Not in the kitchen very much right now. Later maybe.

  8. Oh my ghost, those all look soo tasty. Especially the cider one, I'm a sucker for that.

    1. Planning to drink hot cider tonight after we get home from trick-or-treating.... hoping the rain holds off!!! Happy Halloween!

  9. OMG...that cider recipe looks amazing! That's usually the one thing I don't do for parties is adult cocktails--with kiddos running around, I'm always worried some 6-yr-old is going to grab at the wrong cup, and BLAMO! Lawsuit for me! :) But...I'm thinking I need to have a party for the adults next year, just to try these drinks!! OK, here's my fav Halloween treat: it's gross, and kids love them. "Graveyard Worms"
    I wish I could claim this as my own idea, but I borrowed another gal's amazing Pinterest idea. It's basically jello poured into a bunch of straws (the ones with the bendable tops, so you have the ribbing factor like real worms) that have been bunched together. I used a straw container, which is perfect to fit as many straws as humanly possible into it before you pour the jello over it all. Confused? You can see a picture of them on my Pinterest page here and it'll all make sense:

    I promise--they'll be grossed out, and loving it at the same time. :) Great post and can't wait to try the cider!!!

    1. I hear you about the kids/adults - for the 20 years we hosted our "Apple Death" party, there was 1 year we invited kids but I found I couldn't relax for just that reason... I'm kinda looking forward to hosting adult-only costume parties again when the kids stop trick or treating ;-)

  10. I tend to stick to Kit Kats for my Halloween treats.

  11. Thanks to all who visited and entered!

    I used the list generator to chose a winner for the signed book. The winner is Ashley Kolpak. You didn't leave an email address, so I'm posting here and on Facebook. You have 48 hours to contact me, or I have to choose another winner.


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