There’s a good chance you won’t be trick or treating this year. In part, because there’s a global pandemic, and also you’ve probably aged out of asking strangers for sugary things. The good news is, you can still have candy. And cocktails. The important thing is to make a good pairing, which is where we come in. Here are eight essential cocktail & candy pairings, also known as your Halloween plans.
Martini & Three Musketeers
You could make the argument that a Three Musketeers is essentially just a Snickers without a personality, but we disagree. It’s a simple, straightforward classic, similar to the Martini. Just like a Three Musketeers - with its nougat and chocolate - a Martini only has two elements: gin and dry vermouth. So, structurally, they’re pretty much the same. A gin or vodka Martini will be delicious alongside your nougat.
Gold Rush & Twix
Twix is a high-tier candy worth ending at least some friendships over, and it requires a cocktail that won’t get overshadowed. In other words, it needs something like a Gold Rush. This cocktail is extremely similar to a Whiskey Sour, but with one key difference. Instead of simple syrup, you use honey. That honey gives the cocktail a bit more depth and body, and it’ll go perfectly with those big bands of caramel in your Twix. The acidity from the lemon juice will also help cut through the fat, which is something you can tell your friends if you’d like to sound pretentious.
Espresso Martini & Whoppers
Take a sip of an Espresso Martini, and it should be sweet up front with a bitter, tannic finish. If you’re eating Whoppers alongside your Espresso Martini, however, that finish should get a little bit smoother. The chocolate coating will round things out and compliment the espresso, and that malted milk center will provide a subtle, tangy bite. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can also crush up your Whoppers, and use them to rim your glass. We’d be very impressed if you did that.
Painkiller & Butterfinger
According to the official website, a Butterfinger is a “crispety, crunchety, peanut buttery” candy bar. We still aren’t entirely sure what the center is made of, but it’s definitely one of the richer things that exist in the world of candy, so go ahead and pair your Butterfinger with a Painkiller. The coconut milk will help this drink stand up to the overwhelming buttery-ness of your Butterfinger, and the nutmeg garnish should work nicely with the peanut flavor.
Sazerac & Peanut M&Ms
Peanut M&Ms have layers. Do you know what else has layers? A Sazerac. The first layer is absinthe (you rinse the glass with it), then you add some whiskey, bitters, and sugar. The whiskey should go perfectly with your M&M’s peanut/chocolate center, and the sugary coating on the candy will help highlight the underlying, slightly sweet notes of absinthe. Be sure to chill your glass in the freezer beforehand, and feel free to have a few M&Ms while you wait. That’s what they’re there for.
Skittles & Clover Club
There’s nothing subtle about Skittles. They’re rainbow-colored, they have thick candy shells, and their flavor seems like someone’s best guess as to what fruit is supposed to taste like. That’s why you need something understated, like a Clover Club. This is a pink cocktail - but the flavor is actually pretty subdued (just a hint of raspberry), and the egg white gives it a luxuriously creamy texture. If you want, you could probably even float a few Skittles on top. That egg white should provide some nice buoyancy.
Negroni & Starburst
A Negroni is not an especially fruity cocktail. Sure, there’s some orange flavor in Campari, and the garnish is an orange twist - but mostly, a Negroni is just pleasantly bitter. To compensate for that bitterness, have a few Starbust while you drink. Orange Starburst is obviously ideal, but even cherry, strawberry, or lemon will pair nicely. Like we said, this isn’t a very fruity cocktail, so all those other flavors aren’t going to overload your senses.
Rum Punch & Nerds
If your favorite candy is Nerds, that says something about you. Mostly, it says you like sugar. So please, enjoy a Rum Punch. It’s on the sweeter side - but it isn’t overwhelmingly sugary - and the pineapple, orange, and lime juice should help bring out the best in your candy. Despite the fact that alcohol is a depressant, you should also have a bunch of energy when you finish your Rum Punch and Nerds. So if you’re concerned that you’re going to fall asleep at 7pm for the third time this week, give this combo a shot.