A beautiful or spooky cocktail may be your version of a treat this Halloween, rather than candy. You don’t want to get wasted while little kids are buzzing your doorbell. But in between trick-or-treaters, there’s nothing like a few sips of one of our Halloween-themed punches or autumn-inspired drinks. While you’re picking up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and mini-Snickers (or supplies to make your own candy bars), it can’t hurt to grab the ingredients for a Chowhound-recommended holiday cocktail.

Brandy Apple Punch

Chowhound

This is truly a festive fall cocktail, with cranberries, brown sugar, apple cider, brandy, and maple syrup. Before you drink, chill it for an hour. Garnish with Granny Smith apple slices. Get our Brandy Apple Punch recipe.

Smoking Swamp Halloween Punch

Chowhound

This is a treat that you have at a party, unless you want to go to the trouble of using dry ice and an ice block to get the smoking effect. The punch itself is a potent combo of gin, Green Chartreuse (which gives it a slightly greenish hue and herbal flavor), fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and some sparkling apple cider. Get our Smoking Swamp Halloween Punch recipe.

Hot Mulled Sherried Apple Cider

Chowhound

Simmer some apple cider or unfiltered apple juice oranges, cinnamon, honey, and cloves. It uses Amontillado sherry, a nutty, sweet, darker sherry from southwestern Spain. Get our Hot Mulled Sherried Apple Cider recipe.

Autumn Chiller

Chowhound

Have a nonalcoholic treat with this mocktail made with ginger beer, sparkling apple cider, orange juice, and cranberries. Get our Autumn Chiller recipe.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Liqueur

Don’t use the fake stuff. This recipe calls for real pumpkin purée, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, and vanilla beans. The liquor is aged rum, such as Appleton or Flor de Caña. Add it to your coffee, whipped cream, or any cider or basic, dark-liquored cocktail. Get our Homemade Pumpkin Spice Liqueur recipe.

These bloggers have some great ideas too:

Penelope Plans offers up her Pumpkintini, claiming that it’s not too sweet and “has a rich buttery flavor that is just right for a cool October night with friends.” Cocktail Times shares its gummy worm–enhanced Creepy Crawler, while Liquor Snob makes use of Blavod black vodka in a black-and-orange Screwed-Up Screwdriver. For more ideas, check out Drink of the Week’s long list of festive cocktails, from the Guinness-and-Champagne concoction Black Velvet to a little something called the Jägermonster. The list is posted alongside an arresting photo of a jack-o’-lantern regurgitating his own innards. Perhaps this is a warning about what will happen to naughty trick-or-treaters who enjoy these holiday cocktails a little too much.

— Head photo: Chowhound.

— Original article by Kara Zuaro on Oct. 29, 2007; updated by Amy Sowder Oct. 10, 2016.

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