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The Halloween Hostess

From the perfect décor to a signature drink, planning the perfect soirée can be a bit stressful. With the following tips you will find yourself head over heels for party planning and all of your friends will be begging for your tips!

DÉCOR Pumpkin Champagne Bucket. Skip the traditional wine bucket for a much more festive and original holder! Carve a large hole into a pumpkin top, clean out the insides and fill with ice. Drop in your bottle of wine or champagne to chill as your guests arrive. To keep the exposed edges from browning, swipe a thin layer of petroleum jelly along the carved lines.

Ghost Mason Jars. Wrap a mason jar with white cloth or computer paper (even easier). Draw in eyes and a howling mouth of a ghost’s face and you’ve fashioned yourself some crafty drinking glasses or candy jars.

White Pumpkin Cornucopia Display. If you’re in a rush for decorations, pick up an array of different sized pumpkins, squash and gourds at your local market. To pump up your pumpkin display, look for heirloom pumpkins, all-white Ghost Pumpkins, bumpy Goose Bump or Knucklehead Pumpkins, or “Sweet Lightning” Pumpkins that will add a rich and colorful addition to your display.

Candy Apple Bar. Line your table with apples with craft sticks pre-inserted. Have a bowl of melted caramel, chocolate or the classic red sugar coating to dip the apples first. Let your guests spoon different toppings onto their candied apple. We love crushed M&Ms, sprinkles, chopped nuts and coconut shavings for a sweet twist on the beloved autumn treat.

BEVERAGE Apple Cider Martinis – ‘Tis the season to apple cider! So why not make it your signature drink? Ingredients 2 oz Smirnoff Caramel Vodka or Pinnacle Salted Caramel Vodka 3 oz fresh apple cider Melted caramel and coarse sea salt (to rim the glass) Ice cubes

Directions Add your vodka and cider to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a martini glass with a caramel and sea salt rim.

Dark and Stormy – The gingery flavors and ominous name of this cocktail make it perfect for yor fall or Halloween shindig. Ingredients ¼ lime, cut into two thick slices for garnish and squeezing 2 ounces black rum 4 ounces ginger beer

Directions Combine rum and ginger beer in a highball glass filed with ice. Squeeze a little lime juice and add a slie for garnish.

Maple Leaf Cocktail – No party is complete without a little bubbly and, when combined with a little maple, this champagne cocktail is ideal for the season. Ingredients 1 ounce Scotch whisky 1 once real maple syrup ½ ounce lime juice 3 ounces sparkling wine or champagne

Directions Add the Scotch, maple syrup and lime juice to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until very cold. Strain the mixture into a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine.

ENTERTAINMENT Spooky Trivia. Create a quiz of Halloween holiday or movie trivia like where did Jack-O-Lanterns originate? Whose celebrity likeness made up the iconic Michael Meyers Halloween mask? Partner your guests with new introductions to help bring the crowd together. Reveal the correct answers and award prizes to the winners… and the consolation prizes to the losers.

Movie Screening. Roll a classic Halloween film like The Nightmare Before Christmas, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Young Frankenstein in the background of your party to act as a little moving décor or pass around caramel and kettle corn and make it the party’s feature presentation!

Murder Mystery Game. To really add a thrilling and interactive element to your party, organize a murder mystery dinner for your friends. Each guest will adopt a fictional persona and work together throughout the evening to uncover clues and solve a classic “Whodunnit?” mystery.