What to Drink on Halloween - The Whiskey Wash

What to Drink on Halloween

By the time you reach whiskey-drinking age, Halloween isn’t really about you. Sure, you can still dress up in creative costumes, go to blowout Halloween bashes, and decorate your yard until it looks Shelob’s lair, but ultimately, the people who get the most out of Halloween are somewhere between the ages of four and 12 and dressed as a Disney character you do not understand.

That’s OK. Like tube tops, all-nighters, and Jello shots, ringing strangers’ doorbells to ask for candy is one of those things you should let gracefully fade into history as time passes. But that doesn’t mean trick-or-treating offers you, the grown-up, nothing—quite the contrary. I actually have more fun handing out candy than I think I ever did going door to door. It’s warm and dry in my house, I can watch movies all night while waiting for the bell to ring, and I no longer have to fight with my mother about how the raincoat she’s making me wear obscures too much of my ballerina costume. Plus, I get to eat all the Almond Joy candies and nobody can tell me no.

Another perk of adult Halloween? Fixing yourself a nice adult treat to enjoy while you send your neighbors’ children into sugar-induced mania. Here’s what we’ll be drinking.

Grown-up friends coming over? They don’t want candy – they want Barrell Bourbon 012. Well, maybe candy and bourbon…

High-proof bourbon

Last year, we learned that a spicy, higher-proof bourbon like Old Forester Single Barrel is your best choice for pairing with any and all chocolatey treats you know you’re going to sneak from the bowl. I also suspect any of Barrell’s wonderful releases would do the trick, perhaps lightened with a single ice cube. Bring on the Butterfingers!

Whiskey punch

Having some friends over? Make a batch of punch. It’s easier than playing bartender all evening, it’s festive, and you get bonus points if you skip the ice ring and freeze a latex glove full of water to make some spooky hand ice. The Atlantic City punch combines two parts smoky scotch, one part sparkling wine, 1/3 parts cinnamon syrup, and a few dashes of chocolate bitters to make a serious cocktail in no time flat.

A boilermaker

Like a good couples costume, a great boilermaker is more than the sum of its parts. I love a nice roasty stout with a peated Scotch, but you can also get pretty good mileage out of a wheat beer with a wheat whiskey, a citrusy IPA paired with a spicy rye, or the classic American-lager-and-low-key-bourbon combo.

About the author

Margarett Waterbury

Margarett Waterbury is a full-time freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in Spirited Magazine, Edible Seattle, Sip Northwest, Capital Press, In Good Tilth, Civil Eats, Travel Oregon, Portrait Magazine, Artisan Spirit, and many other publications. She is the former managing editor of Edible Portland, as well as the cofounder and former managing editor of The Whiskey Wash. In 2017, Margarett won the Alan Lodge Young Drinks Writer of the Year award. She received a fellowship for the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers in 2017 and 2019. When she’s not reporting stories, Margarett likes helping people use words to make interesting things happen in the world. She consults on communications and marketing projects, helps organizations raise money, and writes commercial and advertising copy for companies and brands with stories to tell. www.margarettwaterbury.com @margarett_maria