In this recipe, apple cider is simmered with a spice bag to make the base for a variety of Halloween drinks.
Mulled Apple Cider:
Prepare Haunted Halloween Party Punch Base as above. Serve warm base in mugs or heatproof glasses. If you like, garnish each serving with a cinnamon stick and a thin apple slice. Makes 8 (8-ounce) servings.
Awfully Good Ghoul's Punch:
Prepare Haunted Halloween Party Punch Base as above. Cool to room temperature. Transfer punch base to a large pitcher or punch bowl. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours. In a punch bowl, combine punch base; one 12-ounce can frozen cranberry-raspberry juice concentrate, thawed; one 6-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed; and 3 cups cold water. Add ice, if you like. Thinly slice 1 medium apple. Float apple slices and cranberries in punch. Makes 18 (6-ounce) servings.
Golden Apple Cocktails:
Prepare Haunted Halloween Party Punch Base as above. For each serving, combine 2 to 3 tablespoons vodka, Southern Comfort, bourbon, apple brandy or brandy, rum, vermouth or dry white wine and 1/2 cup of the hot punch base in a mug or heatproof glass. Or, cover and chill punch base until completely cool. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons desired alcohol and 1/2 cup of the chilled punch base to an ice-filled glass; stir. If you like, garnish each serving with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry on a cocktail pick. Makes 16 (5 to 6-ounce) cocktails.
*If using a less processed apple cider, you will need to strain the cider mixture through a sieve lined with 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth.