Halloween can’t come to my house soon enough, for several reasons:
- I’m mom to a first-time trick-or-treater this year. My daughter will be old enough to enjoy dressing up as a puppy and eliciting awwww’s at every door she approaches. She will not be old enough to notice the good candy missing from her stash over the next few days. Wink.
- I will also be postpartum by October 31 and soooooo ready to responsibly enjoy an adult beverage. Wink, wink.
After we’ve filled our oldest daughter’s bag with goodies — and distributed our share of goodies and awwww’s from our own doorway — mama’s putting the kids to bed and breaking out the alcohol. She’ll also impose her first official candy tax while the little ones sleep. (What a just reward, like the tooth fairy for grown-ups after the teeth-pulling ordeal of trick-or-treating is over!)
I’m no expert on fancy wine pairings or tasting notes of multitudinous craft beers. All I know is what I like, and what I imagine (with these cravings still weeks away from being satisfied at the time of writing) will go well with popular Halloween sweets. Here’s what I would sip with my pilfered treats . . .
- Butterfinger/Reese’s and a porter or stout. A velvety, dark beer will hold up to rich peanut butter fillings. The more complex the flavor of the brew, the better. Personally, I’m going with a bourbon barrel-aged stout.
- Milk Duds/Tootsie Rolls/Whoppers and pale ale. If you dig hops, try an IPA for this one. Malty, melt-in-your-mouth flavors are elevated by a tangy, hoppy beer.
- Payday/Peanut M&M’S/Snickers and your favorite lager. Straightforward, this pairing emulates — and improves on — your pint of cheap beer and free dish of salted peanuts at the corner bar.
- Hershey’s/M&M’S (regular) and red wine. Any red wine will do the trick. It should go without saying that the chocolate must be plain milk (or dark, if your kid happens to score some). Plenty of cookies-and-crème and pumpkin spice varieties go around sullying chocolate’s good name on Halloween. Leave those for the children.
- Skittles/Starburst and dry white wine. This pairing should work with any fruity soft candy that makes you pucker (including Laffy Taffy and Sour Patch Kids). Opt for a semi-sweet Riesling or a crisp prosecco to tame that tartness.
- 3 Musketeers/Milky Way and oaked chardonnay. Magic is bound to happen when whipped chocolate or nougat and caramel meet a buttery chardonnay. Plus, the wine should help wash all that gooey goodness from the roof of your mouth.
- Almond Joy/Mounds and rum or whiskey. Neat, on the rocks, splash of soda water . . . however you take your poison. Just don’t drown it in Coke for the sake of this candy match. You’ll find all the sweetness you need in the creamy coconut filling and smooth chocolate coating.
- Dots/Swedish Fish/Twizzlers and vodka. Same mixing rules apply for this liquor as above (no vodka cranberries, please). The trick of this pairing is in the stringent alcohol’s potential to punch up the humble, mellow fruit flavors of the candy.
- Kit Kat/Twix and spiked coffee of your creation. Go nuts with the Baileys, Kahlúa, amaretto liqueur, or even brandy in this brew. Black or with cream, a boozy cup o’ joe is the perfect accompaniment to a wafer or biscuit-based candy. Dunk if you dare.
Which of these sip-and-treat pairings are you looking forward to trying this Halloween? Plan to pair a different drink with your favorite candy tax? Share your ideas below!