Grandma practices potions, spells, and hexes, but her craft has become a bit rusty with age. While not quite sure who’s mother she really is, the Addams Family treats her like one of their own.
Witch’s Brew (warm)
For spiced tea (serves 6):
4 cups Water
4 Whole Cloves
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 Whole All Spice
8 Juniper Berries
Pinch of ground Nutmeg
4 Lipton’s Tea bags
1 oz Pierre Ferrand Cognac (per serving)
Splash of Orange Juice
Coffee Beans (aka Beetle Beans)
To make the tea: In a saucepan, bring water, cloves, cinnamon sticks, all spice, juniper and nutmeg to a boil. Using a sieve, strain the boiling water into a glass pitcher and add four tea bags to the mixture.
To make the cocktail: Add 1 oz. brandy or cognac and 4 oz of tea to the snifter and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and 3 coffee beans (aka beetle beans). Serve hot.
** To make non-alcoholic, omit brandy.
Frightening candy fingers on pretzel sticks
Wilton Candy Melts – Available in numerous colors and flavors
Melt chocolate in the microwave using the instructions on the packaging. Using the Wilton Candy Molds, fill each mold with a pretzel rod and the chocolate colors of your choice; refrigerate to harden. When hardened, slightly twist the tray to remove the Witch fingers.
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Up your Oscar ante with these five cocktails, based on five of the ten films nominated for Best Picture this year.
Cocktail: Alien Secretion
Film Inspiration: District 9
Description: Succumb to the alien sting with this infectiously delicious cocktail. Break through the alien skin to expose the foaming texture below. Look carefully; the green secretion lurking in the cocktail could speed up this deadly transformation.
Highlight Ingredient(s): gelatin disc and coconut rum
narrow-mouth double old fashion glass (or shot glass)
2 oz Coconut Rum
4 oz Pineapple Juice
1 tbsp. Midori
Mix rum and pineapple juice with ice in a shaker, shake until cold and foamy. Pour into a tall narrow-mouthed glass until almost full, using the back edge of a spoon, gently pour the Midori into the glass so it sinks below the foamed pineapple juice creating a green lower layer. Seal with alien skin gelatin disc.
1 oz plain gelatin (four .5 oz packages)
1 cup of coconut rum (cold)
1 cup of pineapple juice (cold)
2 cups of water (boiling)
Combine rum and pineapple juice and sprinkle gelatin over cold mixture and let set for a few minutes. Add boiling water and stir until fully dissolved (5 mins.) Pour into shallow flat bottom glass pans 1/4 in thick. Chill overnight. Place pan of set gelatin in hot water for a few seconds to loosen from the edges and invert onto a plate lined with wax paper. Cut into circles slightly larger than the mouth of the glass. Store in refrigerator on trays lined with wax paper until use.
Cocktail: Pandora Punch
Film Inspiration: Avatar
Description: Become one with the Na’Vi people of Pandora with this one-of-a-kind mock-cocktail (non-alcoholic and kid friendly!). A mix of fruit-infused flavors soars the taste buds to new heights with a green slushy center surrounded with grape juice and rimmed with pop rock candy. Turn out the lights for an extra-terrestrial treat: the stir stick glows-in-the-dark!
Highlight ingredient(s): Glow stir stick and pop rock candy rim
Moisten the rim of a fiesta glass with lemon juice and dredge the edge in pink pop rocks. Blend the Popsicle with a hand mixer, pile blended lime pop into center of the pre-rimmed glass, float grape juice around glass. Add a green glow stick as a stir stick. (Adult version: add 1 oz of tequila to lime Popsicle blend)
Cocktail: Bitter Basterds
Film Inspiration: Inglorious Basterds
Description: Like LT Aldo Raine, Brad Pitt’s character from “Inglorious Basterds”, this cocktail is all about the bitters. A hearty mix of Cognac, orange bitters and a covert spritz of Absinthe proves to put a kick back into any soldier’s step.
Highlight Ingredient(s): bitters & Absinthe
2 oz cognac
2 oz ginger beer
3 dashes or orange bitters
One spritz of Absinthe (optional)
Mix all ingredients in an old-fashioned glass over ice. Garnish with burnt orange twist and finish with an optional spritz of Absinthe (using a spray bottle).
Cocktail: Camouflage Cooler
Film Inspiration: The Hurt Locker
Description: This crystal-clear beverage camouflages any trace of the spirits within. An otherwise potent combination of vodka, gin, tequila and rum gets a cinematic twist with lemon-lime soda and a splash of white cranberry juice. Don’t let this drink fool you, it only looks harmless.
Highlight Ingredient(s): 4 clear liqueurs, lemon-lime soda and White Cranberry Juice
Iced Tea Glass
1 oz. vodka
1 oz. gin
1 oz. tequila
1 oz. rum
.5 oz triple sec
2 oz. lemon-lime soda
2 oz. white cranberry juice
3-4 lemon wheels
Combine all ingredients in glass over ice, giving it a good stir. Float lemon wheels in glass as garnishes, giving it the appearance of harmless lemon ice water.
Cocktail: The Mile High
Film Inspiration: Up in the Air
Description: Let this cocktail ease your fear of flying. Named for the multiplicated sum of proofs in each ingredient, the Mile High is composed of equal parts Southern Comfort and Bacardi 151. Don’t forget your complimentary airline snack: a pretzel stick with a top coat of peanuts.
Highlight Ingredient(s): peanut-coated pretzel stick and mini bottles of alcohol
2 oz. Southern Comfort
2 oz. Bacardi 151
Combine ingredients in highball glass over ice. Top with pretzel stick rolled in peanuts.
Lightly coat the end of a pretzel stir stick with honey. Roll in crushed peanuts. Serve as a supplement to The Mile High.
I wanted to create a playful and somewhat macabre cocktail for Bastille Day this year that was a take on a classic French cocktail. Champagne cocktails seemed very fitting especially as we were going over my friend Shalini’s house a Bastille Day dinner party, an admitted Francophile and lover of champagne.
I found my inspiration for the Guillotini in the French 75 cocktail made from gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar. The drink was originally concocted in the Franco-American war by mixing champagne with cognac as it was readily available and the combination was said to have such a kick that it felt like being shelled with the powerful French 75mm howitzer artillery piece, also called a “75 Cocktail”, or “Soixante Quinze” in French. The gin version was popularized in America at the Stork Club.
5 oz. Brut Champagne
1 oz. Fine Champagne Cognac
Maraschino Cherry w/ juice
Use a tall dramatic champagne flute as it will heighten the spectacle of the presentation. Poor a small amount of the cherry juice and superfine sugar in separate shallow dishes just wide enough to dip the rim of the flute. First dip the rim in the juice then quickly in the sugar and immediately righten the glass. If done properly the sugar will melt in the cherry juice and start to drip down the edge of the glass (this is actually a good thing for this cocktail). You might need to practice once or twice until you achieve the perfect effect. Now carefully pour the cognac into the glass and slowly fill the remainder of the class with champagne. To complete the garnish slice a cherry in half an then almost in quarters leaving the two parts connected at the top. Slip the cherry on the rim and you have a gruesome but delicious French Guillotini. The sweetness of the sugar rim with the bold flavor on the cognac give this cocktail a sweet kick… ‘off with their heads’ and down the hatch.