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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Spiking up your party snacks: from hot cider to spicy nuts

    Halloween is not only one of the best excuses to dress up, but it’s also a great holiday to hold a party.

    One of the best and easiest drinks to serve at a Halloween party is hot apple cider. It can be spiked or kept as a virgin, making it ideal for this night of tricks and treats.

    Hot spiked cider

    Serves 8-10

    Time required: 30 minutes

    1 gallon fresh apple cider

    2 1/4 cups cinnamon schnapps

    2 cups white rum

    1 teaspoon whole clove

    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

    6-8 cinnamon sticks

    Apple slices to garnish

    Pour the cider in a stainless steel saucepan or pot, and place over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Add everything except the apple slices. Simmer, but do not boil, for 15 minutes. Serve in mugs while warm, with or without the cinnamon sticks. Garnish with apple slices.

    Virgin version: Omit the schnapps and rum. Add more cider and 6 teaspoons of cinnamon extract or syrup.

    (Adapted from “”Good Spirits”” by A.J. Rathbun)

    Whether you’re hosting a spicy cocktail party or a gathering a spooky cabal for Halloween, your fellow creatures of the night need a snack to keep up their spirits. This recipe is great for such an occasion.

    Spicy candied nuts

    Serves 8-12

    Time required: 30-40 minutes

    Peanut, canola or vegetable oil

    4 cups sugar

    4 cups water

    4 teaspoons garam masala or curry powder

    2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper

    2 teaspoons salt

    4 cups unsalted shelled nuts

    Heat the oven to 450°F. Coat a baking sheet with the oil. Place a saucepan over high heat and add the water and sugar. Bring to a boil and stir in the spices and nuts. Reduce the heat to medium. Stir frequently until the liquid becomes syrup, about 5-10 minutes.

    Turn the heat to low and remove the nuts with a slotted spoon. Let some syrup drain off and spread the nuts on the baking sheet. Turn off the heat. Roast the nuts for about 10 minutes, tossing once or twice. Remove from the oven and let cool. Serve or store at room temperature for two or three days.

    (Adapted from the 2008 edition of “”How to Cook Everything”” by Mark Bittman)

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