The days of trick or treating or college costume parties may be in the past, but that doesn’t mean you’ve outgrown Halloween. In fact, the spooky occasion is a great opportunity for getting together with your nearest and dearest without the stress of fighting holiday traffic or hunting down gifts.
Celebrating Halloween now doesn’t mean you have to return to the days of costume bar crawls or negotiating with your parents over how many pieces of candy you can have–you’re in charge.
“Halloween is often an underrated holiday, but it’s one of my favorites!” says Brooke Matthias, wine director at Winc. “It’s a great opportunity to get festive with your food and decor choices. I equate Halloween with the transition from summer to fall, and that includes all of my go-to autumnal dishes that I like to prepare for my friends and family.”
What better way to celebrate the end of October than with a Halloween brunch or day-drinking bash? Here’s how to throw a themed brunch in bewitching style.
Embrace the Bloody
When it comes to brunch, bloody can be a good thing–when you’re talking about bloody marys that is. Use a get together as an excuse to buy all the fancy garnishes you wouldn’t typically get for yourself and set up a “make your own” bloody mary bar. Think lemons, limes, stuffed olives, hot sauces and spices, celery, and even bacon or shrimp. Let guests get creative and mix their own. Whoever creates the most elaborate one, wins!
Serve Up Wine and Candy Pairings
Better Than Store-boughtHow to Make Your Own Halloween CandyThe great news about throwing a Halloween party yourself? You get to the pick the candy. Amp up your affair with some wine and candy pairings–set it up so your guests can try a few bites and sips of each like a wine tasting, or make a sign with suggestions for your pals to pick their favorite combos.
Candy corn pairs well with a Riesling, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups works with a robust red and York Peppermint Patties and a glass of cabernet are an ideal coupling, according to Matthias.
Here’s how to make sure you have enough on hand: “My rule of thumb is to plan on serving two glasses an hour per person,” Matthias says. “It’s always better to have leftover bottles for future gatherings than to run out of vino.”
Reimagine the Food
You’ll need more on the menu than candy! Rethink brunch foods that you already love to give them a spooky twist. Make your deviled eggs appear particularly devilish, give your pancakes an orange hue, or add some plastic critters to a plate of powdered doughnuts for “spider eggs.” With a bit of creativity, you can make your brunch positively ghoulish.
Dress on Theme
Think Oct. 31 and you think costumes. But even if you’re not quite feeling like putting on full face paint during the day, you can still dress up. Throw on some animal ears, use some pipe cleaners to make your bun into a creepy creature, or wear a punny t-shirt to get into the spirit. If all else fails, pull out everything black and orange out of your closet for an outfit worthy of your bash.
Set the Scene
You can’t throw a spooky fete without creating the right ambiance. Find a Halloween playlist on Spotify to set the mood–you’ll have to play “Thriller” at least once–or put on your favorite creepy flick in the background. If your crew is into scary stuff, you can also tell guests in advance to come with their favorite spine-chilling story to share. And even if you don’t create a full haunted house, hit up your local dollar store or craft store for small touches to nod to the occasion: window clings, tea towels, holiday paper plates, and napkins, or maybe even one decoration to store in a partially hidden location for a scare and a laugh.
Related Video: Get Monster Smashed with These Halloween Cocktails
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