If you thought Halloween was only for kids, it’s time to think again. Check out our 5 tips for spooking up your Halloween – just for the grown ups!
Ever since Mrs Romance and I were in San Diego, California for Halloween one time, we’ve been into the spookiest night of the year. Those guys really get into it.
For us, Halloween wasn’t as big a deal when we were kids in Australia and the UK. In fact, down the bottom of the post is my story about my ill-fated debut on the trick-or-treat scene.
These days – apart from seeing how much fun kids have with Halloween, we love having a bit of fun with this time of year. We must have caught the bug in San Diego.
So here are 5 top things to do for getting in the mood for Halloween.
5 ways to spook up your Halloween
1. Mix up the menace – Halloween cocktails
Of course it doesn’t have to be Halloween for you to enjoy one of these fun drinks… but an eyeball in your martini any other time of year might look a bit weird.
These three different eyeball shaped garnishes are a lot of fun to pop into your cocktails though, and they’re really easy to make.
Our own espresso martini cocktail The Black Promise is as delicious as it is dark and dastardly!
For Your Eyes Only Halloween Martini recipe
The Black Promise Halloween coffee cocktail recipe
2. Eye of newt and toe of frog – Halloween recipes
Our friend Lorraine from NotQuiteNigella.com puts in serious effort in every Halloween. Here are a couple of her culinary creatures we absolutely love:
This Sushi Brain Lorraine has featured is absolutely magnificent. A real work of art. And it actually sounds delicious. It’s like a giant avocado, salmon and cream cheese sushi roll. Brilliant.
I can’t actually look at photos of Lorraine’s Creepy Eye Pies for too long. They really freak me out! They’re so clever though – definitely check out her post on how she makes them.
I’m almost tempted to try her recipe myself… but I worried about the nightmares.
Sushi Brain recipe from Not Quite Nigella
Creepy Eye Rhubarb Pies recipe from Not Quite Nigella
Images courtesy of NotQuiteNigella.com
3. Spine-Chilling Wine
If you’re wondering about what to take to your next Halloween party this is the bottle you need to bring. Or if your drinks cabinet is looking more Partridge Family than Addams Family, go out and buy one of these immediately.
On the inside, it’s a decent Cabernet Sauvignon from the well-respected Coonawarra Region. On the outside it’s a bottle with a terrifying skull… that glows in the dark!
Bare//Bones is available from Dan Murphy’s stores or online and is $18.99.
4. Melt your face off – super spicy chips and sauces
If you’re looking for a suitably scary snack to fill your Halloween party bowls, these delicious chips have an evil side. Blair’s Death Rain Jalapeno Cheddar chips are spicy, cheesy and delightful, but the Habanero Pepper chips need more caution.
They’re incredibly hot and I love them.
These chips would make the perfect practical joke at a Halloween party – they’re even “cauldron cooked” for that extra witchy authenticity!
As for the sauces, Blair’s Death Rain actually made one that is in the Guinness World Records it’s so hot.
For me the Blair’s Mega Death and the Ultra Death are hot enough. They have 550,000 Scoville Units and 800,000 Scoville Units respectively. Compare that to Tabasco sauce, which has around 5,000 Scoville Units.
These sauces come in a coffin shaped box and each bottle has a Blair’s skull key ring too. We get ours from awesome Australian distributor Blonde Chilli.
5. Skulls and deadlights – get your decorations right
We love the bottle that Dan Ackroyd released his Crystal Head Vodka in. The vodka itself is pretty good, but long after we finished the juice, the bottle lives on our shelf.
Popping a set of these cute led lights in the bottle creates a very Halloween-y glow to the room. You can get Crystal Head Vodka at most bottle shops and the lights are available at Typo and at Kmart.
So buy a skull bottle, make the vodka martinis from idea 1 in this post and use the bottle to decorate!
Bonus: walk the plank – ghost tour date nights
If you really want to get into the Halloween zone, go on a ghost tour in your hometown. Far from being cheesy and boring, these tours are often really well done and informative.
We’ve done a couple in Sydney and we ended up learning more about the history of the city than we were expecting. These ghost tours can actually be a fun date night idea.
For Sydneysiders, you should definitely check out the Rocks ghost tour – it being the oldest part of colonial Australia.
We also highly recommend Q Station near Manly. Once the quarantine point for migrant sea arrivals, this heritage area is now a hotel and function space.
Here’s our full story on Q Station and what’s on offer.
My Trick Or Treat Travesty
I remember the first (and only) time I went trick or treating with my mate when we were kids. The first house we came to, the guy who answered the door spotted us for what we were: lolly-grubbing oiks.
To our proffered palms and promise of “trick or treat” he reposted with “I’ll have trick please.”
Confounded, we stared back. This wasn’t how it was supposed to run. He was supposed to just hand over the sweet stuff, wasn’t he? But this guy wanted a trick?
“Haven’t you got anything? No water balloons? No eggs? No cherry bombs?”
We looked at each other, looked at him and shrugged.
“What about a joke then? Tell me a joke.”
All I could come up with on the spot was an old favourite I probably shouldn’t have known at that age:
How do you make a snooker table laugh? Feel down its pockets and tickle its balls.
“That’s terrible,” the man shook his head. And closed the door!
Worst. Halloween. Ever.
I’m def gonna try to make the Sushi Brain. It looks awesome!
It seriously does, doesn’t it, Catherine?! I’d eat that even if it weren’t Halloween!