Banish The Bar Crawls: Here's Everything You Need To Celebrate Halloween At Home

Unlike other holidays, where traditions tend to stay the same from year to year, there are two very distinct ways to celebrate Halloween as an adult. There's the "going out" Halloween where you spend all night sweating in your costume at crowded bars, paying for overpriced cocktails, only to spend even more on a surge-rate car home. And then there's the "at-home" Halloween.
No, we're not talking about sitting alone on your couch binging '80s horror films all night (though we totally support that plan as well). We're talking about inviting all your friends (costumes required!) to the ultimate Halloween party at your place — and all it takes is a little bit of creativity and a few bottles of Freixenet (pronounced Fresh-eh-net). Ahead, we're showing you four easy Halloween-party DIYs: from a candelabra centerpiece to a bubbly — and spooky — take on a traditional Dark 'n' Stormy cocktail. Let's be real, the scariest part of your night should be your friend's attempt at another punny costume, not your bar tab.
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While the novelty of a black cauldron filled with dry ice has worn off, we're still down for a little ice decor to complete our spooky setup. Give your guests a chilling experience by decking out your bar cart with an ice bucket filled with ghoulish "eyeball" ice. For this DIY, fill a large square ice tray with water (try distilled water if you want your cubes to be crystal clear). Pop a small plastic toy eyeball in each cube, and freeze the tray the night before your party. Right before your guests arrive, fill a bucket or a punch bowl with all of the eye-ce, and place it near your drink setup as a spine-chilling piece of decor — just make sure to create a clear distinction between the decoration and the real ice bucket for drinks.
Whether you're playing bartender all night or your bar setup is more of a mix-it-yourself situation, DIY stir sticks will give your drinks the customized feeling of a $20 cocktail — without the costly bar tab. To create these stirrers, glue plastic spiders to the ends of metallic stir sticks. For an even more gilded look, spray paint the spiders gold and silver before gluing them on. Pile on the olives or cherries — depending on your potion of choice — and give your drink a quick stir. One sip and you'll be wondering if you're really in your living room or in a trendy bar in Brooklyn.
Set the ambiance for the night with a dynamic centerpiece that doubles as a lighting fixture. For a dark take on a candelabra, top several Freixenet bottles with taper candles, and let the wax drip down the side of the bottle (go for color-drip candles that mysteriously drip unexpected colors of wax for extra eerie vibes). To finish the tablescape, "Costumize Your Bottle" with personalized metallic drawings. Use a thin-tipped gold or silver permanent marker, and let your inner witch summon your most creative illustrations: suns, stars, zodiac signs, you name it. And, yes, this centerpiece will definitely go with the rest of your decor — even after the party ends.
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No party is complete without a custom drink that satisfies both the party theme and the palates of all your guests. While we’re not opposed to a two-ingredient mixed drink or a bottle of wine, there’s something about Halloween that screams custom cocktails. Enter: this take on a Dark 'n' Stormy, a perfect witches brew using Freixenet for a bubbly twist and dried lime wedges for a spooky garnish. The best part of this recipe is that it works with a variety of Freixenet flavors, depending on your preference of dry or sweet.
Ingredients
Sugar
1 1- to 2-inch knob of ginger, peeled
2 or 3 limes
Sugar dyed with black food coloring
2 oz rum (per cocktail)
1/2 oz lime juice (per cocktail)
3 oz Freixenet (per cocktail)
Instructions
For the ginger simple syrup:
1. Boil one part water and one part sugar with the knob of ginger. Once the sugar is dissolved, let the simple syrup cool.
For the garnish:
1. Thinly slice limes and arrange on a cooling rack atop a sheet tray.
2. Preheat your oven to 200ºF, and bake the lime wheels until totally crisped through and slightly browned, about 2 to 3 hours.
For the cocktail:
1. Wet the rim of a coupe or old-fashioned glass with water or lime juice and dip in black-dyed sugar to coat.
2. Shake rum, lime juice, and 1/2 ounce ginger simple syrup over ice, and strain into glass.
3. Top with Freixenet and garnish with a dehydrated lime wheel.
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