In which nostalgia meets adulting.

By Alissa Fitzgerald
September 25, 2019
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As a kid, Halloween was the best. Parties with apple bobbing, eating cider donuts off of strings and spooky spiderwebs, a million houses with free candy, and permission to yell, “trick or treat!”

Everyone knew which house gave out full-sized candy bars and which promoted dental health with toothpaste and floss. Some had the best candy and some had the absolute worst, but it was only a matter of time before those plastic orange jack-o'-lanterns were full to bursting.

No matter what, by the end of the night you’d negotiate and swap your least favorite candy for your most favorite, whether it was full of peanuts, coconut, or coated in sour sugar. A mild stomachache was almost mandatory, but the thrill of coming home from school to a stocked candy cabinet made it all worth the trouble.

This year, go back to your roots with fully nostalgic cocktails that marry those warm candy memories with a kick of pure adult. There’s something for everyone from fruity gummies to chocolate indulgences, and maybe even a stamp of approval from your local dental hygiene enthusiast. Fun-sized has never been more fun. 

Cider Donut

Hands-on Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2-oz. portions bourbon (750-ml. bottle)
  • 4 oz. apple cider 
  • Cinnamon sugar rim
  • Sliced apples for garnish

How to Make It

Step 1: Mix ¼ cup sugar with a scant tablespoon of cinnamon. Pour onto a small plate and leave to the side.

Step 2: In a shaker full of ice, add the rye bourbon and cider. Cover and shake vigorously.

Step 3: Run an apple slice around the rim of your glass. Dip glass into the cinnamon sugar mixture and pour in shaken bourbon and cider. Garnish with an apple slice.

Gummy Bear

Hands-on Time: 5 minutes

Note: The soda choice is mostly for the bright pop of color, so feel free to change it up.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½-oz. portions vodka (750 ml bottle)
  • ½ oz. lime juice
  • ½ oz. simple syrup
  • ½ oz. juice, orange soda, or grape soda 
  • Gummy bears on skewers for garnish

How to Make It

Step 1: In a shaker full of ice, add the vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup. Cover and shake vigorously.

Step 2: Pour into a tall martini glass and top with soda of your choice. Garnish with skewered gummy bears.

Minty Rinse and Repeat

Hands-on Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ½-oz. portions white rum (750-ml. bottle)
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Soda water

How to Make It

Step 1: Add approximately 6 mint leaves to a rocks glass with 2 teaspoons sugar and muddle. The back of a wooden mixing spoon works well in a pinch!

Step 2: Add the rum, cover with ice and top with soda water. Garnish with toothpicks and more mint leaves.

Fun-Size Candy Bar

Hands-on Time: 5 minutes

A take on the classic cocktail, the Brandy Alexander, this is the perfect way to satisfy those nutty, chocolate-y, coconut cravings.

Ingredients

  • 1-oz. portions brandy (750-ml. bottle)
  • 1 oz. dark Crème de Cacao
  • 1 oz. coconut or almond milk creamer (coconut milk on its own may freeze when shaken)
  • Toasted coconut and almonds, for garnish

How to Make It

Step 1: In a shaker full of ice, add brandy, Crème de Cacao, and coconut or almond milk creamer. Cover and shake vigorously.

Step 2: Pour into a tall martini glass. Garnish with toasted coconut or toasted almonds.

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