The wig is off, along with the face-paint. The costume is put away. The "ding-dong" of the doorbell is waning. The candy is plentiful.
It's time for a drink.
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This wickedly-good dirty martini will keep the grown-ups entertained through trick-or-treat hour (and beyond). It has more vermouth than you might expect, but goes down smooth and strong, just how we like 'em. - Amanda and Merrill Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
A more refined version of mulled cider, this punch also calls for an off-dry white wine and fresh cranberries. The cider is quickly steeped in spices -- cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg -- before you add the wine and cranberries, which gives the punch a light rosy hue. Cordelia's concoction goes down easy, so sip slowly if you can restrain yourself! - Amanda and Merrill Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
I will buy tabletop goods until I'm bankrupt, but you can't get me to buy another countertop item. But just this once, I let in another squatter: the SodaStream. We've been getting to know each other over the past few weeks. He's slim and unassuming. He doesn't require an outlet. And he's only noisy when swooshing air into tap water. My kids love him. My husband has a new toy. And I now have a small but burgeoning repertory of sparkly drinks. - Amanda Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
One of those recipes that's a great concept rather than a precise formula, ErinH's iced coffee takes inspiration from both her local coffee house and the New York Times. Adding a teaspoon of cinnamon and a few spoonfuls of dark brown sugar to the coffee as it cold-brews gives it a lush sweetness and a hit of warmth. After a night in the fridge, you strain the coffee and pour it over ice cubes. Then comes the cream. (Or milk, depending on your mood.) And then, as ErinH says, you "die of happiness." We loved this iteration and think her "Scandinavian version" (using almond extract and fennel) sounds like a winner too. - Amanda and Merrill Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
We liked how this eggnog has a smooth, boozy base and mousse-like cap, which encourages sipping. The ice cream is a completely unnecessary indulgence, and we highly recommend it. - Amanda and Merrill Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
As a drinker of purebred coffees and teas, I was skeptical about chai and its maelstrom of spices, its blast of sugar. I lumped chai drinkers in with owners of tiny, transportable dogs and wearers of miniskirts with UGGs (full disclosure: I almost bought a pair last year. Almost.) Then, a few years ago, I was writing about Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford, who had just published "Mangoes & Curry Leaves." And there in their book was a recipe for Cardamom Chai. I was surprised by the ingredients, which were nothing more than milk, Assam tea, freshly crushed cardamom and sugar. Their chai recipe is one they modeled on Indian chai shops, and is made by boiling the tea for a minute or so before whisking in a cardamom-infused milk and a whisper of sugar. I gave it a try and it soon became not only a personal addiction but a favorite household pick-me-up when our kids were toddlers and the afternoons were long. When I'd call my friend Elyse to set up a playdate, she'd ask, "Are you making the chai?" Before you know it, I may be buying a miniature dog. - Amanda Get the recipe Photo: Sarah Shatz
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