It looks like your kids brought home a big haul of candy on their Halloween Trick or Treat excursion!
They brought SO much back, in fact, that they'll never miss a piece or two. Grab a couple sweets from their bag for yourself, and make an adult beverage to go with that Halloween candy.
But you don't want to look like an uncultured swine. Consult our drink pairing list to really bring out the flavors of the season and impress your friends and family.
(Not including your children, who would be mad at you.)
1. Candy Corn & Moscato
Candy corn. The candy that either elicits passionate love or a blazing hatred from people.
Here’s the thing with candy corn: it doesn’t taste like corn, so what DOES it taste like? According to the good people at Brach’s Candy, the ingredient list is almost the same flavor profile as fondant. Fondant, that clay-like finishing icing that goes on professional wedding cakes. If you are a person who’s mouth didn’t exactly water when hearing that description, you likely aren’t a huge fan of candy corn.
If you are a candy corn champion, however, we recommend a dry Moscato wine in between bites of the fall-colored kernels. With such a sweet marshmallow-ish candy, you want something to level the playing field.
2. M&M's & Dark 'N Stormy
Here’s something about the classic plain chocolate M&M’s that might forever ruin your experience with eating them, so choose for yourself if you need to skip reading this next part.
They taste like butter. Seriously. The next time you put a handful of plain M&M’s in your mouth, you can now have the realization that it is like snacking on a bunch of little crunchy butter pods.
With that paradigm-shifting realization in mind, you want a strong-tasting drink to ride over your taste buds as the mild buttery taste of the M&M’s melt in your mouth. (As advertised.) Try a Dark ‘N Stormy, with it’s dark rum, spicy ginger beer and kick of lime juice providing the rough seas of flavor.
3. Snickers and Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
Snickers is a great candy bar. How great? It elevates nougat, a weird sugar mush that nobody has ever eaten on its own, or had any craving for, and uses it as a “neutral good” in holding together peanuts, caramel and chocolate.
This is a hearty candy that needs a hearty sparring partner. A dark porter beer, like Great Lakes Brewing Co.’s Edmund Fitzgerald already has bitter chocolate notes that will help the milk chocolate taste rise to the top. Add the leveling of the caramel and classic beer snack of peanuts, and you have a pairing that Guy Fieri might call “A trip to Flavortown by way of Molassesburg and Yeastville”.
4. Twizzlers & Cosmopolitan
Everything from the 1990’s is rolling back into our lives, so why make any exception to drinks?
Order up a Cosmopolitan and roleplay as whatever Sex & the City character your MySpace quiz said you were most like, and SPILL GIRLFRIEND.
Cosmopolitans are clean and fruity, without being (if it’s well-made) sticky-sweet. Twizzlers have almost the same description, so they make a good one-to-one partner with the drink. If you very carefully bite through each end of the Twizzler and don’t mush the little center hole, you can even turn it into a straw for the drink because you are SUCH A SAMANTHA.
5. Peanut Butter Cups & Kahlua coffee
Chocolate and peanut butter go together and they are perfect and that is that. You know who gets that? The bigwigs at Reese’s. They even figured out the exact amount of each to put into their peanut butter cups.
With such balance and harmony in the candy universe, we turn to an equally comforting balance of a hot cup of coffee and Kahlua liqueur. The heat and oils of the coffee mixing with chocolate is wonderful, and you should drink it in whatever chair you will then want to fall asleep in.
6. Starburst & Manhattan
This is a slight cheat, because we are going to leave out one of the key pieces to the traditional Starbust pack: Strawberry.
Here’s the good news: everyone eats the strawberry first. (If you don’t, then congratulations, weirdo! You are the exception that makes the rule.) So the remainder Starbusts of orange, lemon and cherry will now have the chance to have their chosen day in the sun.
The classic Manhattan is rye, sweet vermouth, and bitters with orange peel oils and a cherry garnish completing the drink. Work through the citrus and cherry candies, and you have a sweet mirror to your cocktail.
7. Skittles & Vodka Red Bull
I mean, it’s Halloween, are we here to party or what?
Vodka and Red Bull – a drink that can spur you on to keep onward through the night, as long as you don’t let too many spur you into a massive hangover the next day/week.
It’s sugary and trashy and screams “WHOOO” any chance it can get, so let’s unleash a rainbow of pure bright-colored energy candy on top of those wings! Red Bull has sweetness, but it’s not the kind of heavy sugar you get from most soda. So let’s re-introduce that sweetness with some mouthfulls of Skittles.
Or you can put them right into your drink (by drink three of this, it will seem like a great idea), and serve up a variation on Homer Simpson’s Skittle-infused beer “Skittlebrau“.
8. Hot Tamales & Whiskey shot
“Get over here! I know you’re talkin’ to your friend, get them over here too! Come on up to the bar with everyone! We’re doin’ shots!
How many people we got here? One, two, threefourfivesixseven…Jamie, you in? Come on, man! One shot! Okay! Eight! Eight shots of whiskey!
Hey, put out your hands, I got these Hot Tamales candies! Here you go, here you go, here you go. You wanna be chewin’ on a couple right before the shot, so you get that first blast of whiskey and cinnamon. Then, afterward you still have that whiskey flavor you can chew on!
I know, it’s genius. I’m kind of a big deal. Right? You seen Anchorman? So funny. Aaaaaayyyyy! Our shots are here!”
PRO TIP: Did you know that you can get Halloween candy WITHOUT stealing it from children? As an adult, you can walk into any major food-offering store, and purchase large bags for yourself. It's a great alternative to going through the process of childbirth and rearing in order to have free candy once a year!
For more boozy fun check out the CLE WeekendNortheast Ohio Winery Guide