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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Depravity with a Kick: Suggestions for Halloween Tippling

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 12:36 PM

click to enlarge Kitty likes celery. - YES BECKY/FLICKR
  • Yes Becky/Flickr
  • Kitty likes celery.
Halloween, and with it the question of what to imbibe on this most ghoulish of holidays. For years humankind has attempted to concoct a passable drink out of a bright orange liqueur called Pumpkin Smash, but the stuff is so overwhelmingly sweet it demands a good gallon of lime juice to cut it, and then what?

Better to soak sugar pumpkins, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and nutmeg in a pitcher of rum, then either serve it as a hot toddy with a dollop of whipped cream or shaken with ice in a cinnamon-rimmed martini glass. The bar at Street (2141 Polk at Vallejo) saves you the trouble by infusing the pumpkins themselves, and will be happy to slake your autumnal needs. Street chef John Lamkin roasts pumpkins, then cooks the flesh and seeds slowly, with rum, sous vide-style. Strained, the resulting concoction ends up in hot buttered rum, pumpkin martinis -- whatever Street's bartenders devise. Lamkin told us he usually pickles pumpkin as a cocktail garnish, though he happens to be out at the moment.

For at-home entertaining, a punch bowl of Bloody Marys -- one part vodka, one part tomato juice, with celery salt, pepper, Tabasco, lemon juice, horseradish, and Worcestershire, added as desired -- is another depraved and delectable boozing option. (Make sure to freeze little plastic spiders in the ice cubes.)

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Matthew Stafford

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