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Adult Trick or Treats: Why let kids have all the fun?

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Wine ’n’ Candy

So what wines go good with Halloween candy?

No, really. We’re serious.

Everyone knows that chocolate and big, fruity red wines mesh well with each other. But what about whites or sweeter offerings? Are there Halloween treats that work with them?

Actually, yes.

Here are a few ideas.

› Chardonnay or Riesling & candy corn. Crisp whites with fruity, vanilla or honey aromas can knock back some of the super-sweetness of the candy.

› Cabernet sauvignon & Hershey Bars, Kit Kat and Twix. The thick tannins in cabernet can withstand the richness of chocolate.

› Tawny port & Snickers. The caramel and nuts in the candy bar combine with port’s caramel overtones.

› Prosecco & Smarties. The lemony-limey sweetness of prosecco can handle sweet Smarties.

› Zinfandel & Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. The berry flavors and tannins of zinfandel wrestle nicely with chocolate and peanut butter.

› Red wine blends & M&M’s. Blends are made with such wines as merlot, cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, malbec and pinot noir, and the candy’s chocolate mixes well with most reds.

At the end of Halloween night, plastic pumpkins, paper bags and pillowcases (always the best choice) will be heavy with Snickers, Hershey's, Skittles, Reese's, Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids and nameless other candy. In other words, a dentist's nightmare.

But what about adults? Why are kids the only ones who get treats for Halloween? Doesn't seem quite fair.

So what can we do to make things a bit more even? Gorging on candy wouldn't be a crackerjack idea for the expanding waistlines that tend to come with age. But what about adult beverages to bring a little zing to Halloween? Again, gorging isn't a good idea, for a number of reasons. But if kept in moderation, these creepy cocktails won't be a problem.

While some of the recipes list a particular brand of alcohol, use whatever brand is your favorite.

And no, not all the drinks are the color of blood. Just some.


Pomegranate Sparkler

3 ounces Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore

4 ounces pomegranate juice

4 ounces orange juice

Mint leaves

Pour chilled prosecco into glass (at least 12 ounces in size). Mix the pomegranate and orange juices. Pour over the prosecco and garnish with a mint leaf.

— Santa Margherita


Blood Orange Sangria

2 cups sparkling cider

1/2 cup triple sec

1/2 cup sugar

2 cups cut apples

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

3 blood oranges, cut into wedges

1 lemon, cut into wedges

2 750-ml bottles of HobNob Wicked Red Blend

In a large pitcher, combine sugar with apples, pomegranate, blood oranges and lemon. Add triple sec, sparkling cider and wine. Stir a few times and place in the fridge for about 4 hours. Pour into glasses over ice.

— HobNob Winery


Halloween Hpnotist

2 ounces Hpnotiq liqueur

1 ounce vodka

Splash of lemon juice

Glow stick for garnish, if desired

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lit glowstick, if you want.

— Hpnotiq


Sparkling Rosemary Cocktail

3 ounces Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore

2 ounces rosemary syrup, recipe below

6 ounces lemon juice


1 cup sugar or 3/4 cup no-calorie sweetener

1 cup water

4 fresh rosemary sprigs

Mint leaves, if desired

To make the syrup, stir together first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil 1 minute or until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Pour liquid through a wire-mesh strainer into a cruet or airtight container, discarding rosemary sprigs. Cover and chill 4 hours. Syrup may be stored in refrigerator up to 1 month.

For the cocktail, mix the rosemary syrup and lemon juice. Pour over prosecco and garnish with a rosemary sprig or mint leaf.

— Santa Margherita


Autumn Sangria

1 cup vanilla vodka

cup sugar

2 cups apple cider

1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

2 apples

2 pears

1 orange

2 750-ml bottles HobNob chardonnay

Combine vodka, sugar, apple cider and pumpkin pie spice in a large pitcher and stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Chop fruit, add to mix and marinate overnight. Add chilled chardonnay. Serve over ice.

— HobNob Winery


Death by Chocolate

2 scoops chocolate ice cream

1 ounce chocolate syrup

1 ounce coffee liqueur

1 ounce dark crème de cacao liqueur

1 ounce vodka

Whipped cream for topping

Maraschino cherry for garnish

1 cup crushed ice

Pour all ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a stemmed glass such as a hurricane glass. Top with whipped cream. Garnish with maraschino cherry.



Wicked Red Punch

1 cups spiced rum

3 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

2 oranges, zested

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cinnamon stick

2 tablespoons simple syrup

1 lime, zested

1 750-ml bottle of HobNob Wicked Red

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and let sit, refrigerated, for at least an hour. Stir well before serving. Add a sugar rim and an orange-slice garnish. Makes 12 servings.

— HobNob Winery


Pumpkin Martini

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

3 tablespoons vodka

2 tablespoons half and half

1 tablespoon canned pure pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine the sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice on a small plate. Dip the rim of a chilled martini glass in water, then dip in the sugar to coat.

In a martini shaker filled with ice, combine the vodka, half and half, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice. Shake vigorously, then strain into the prepared glass.