Fall-centric potions for Halloween, the Hunter’s Moon and more

HUNTER’S MOON PUNCH

HUNTER’S MOON PUNCH

STORY AND PHOTOS: Angela Hansberger

The arrival of crisp autumn weather is reason enough to celebrate the season. Add to that the changing leaves and harvest flavors of apples, pumpkins and warming fall spices, and it’s downright magic. If you gather your crew to admire the Hunter’s Full Moon (Oct. 13), for a Halloween bash or simply to jump in a pile of freshly raked leaves, preparing a festive punch bowl is a crowd pleaser that lets you, the host, enjoy the moment, too. Here are three easy recipes you can pre-batch to ensure everyone has a hauntingly good time. Raise a glass to the season while you surprise and delight all ages. And if you want to add a little booze, we’ve provided recommendations on how to spike things up; the amount depends on how strong you want to make it.

SPOOKY PUNCH
Serves a crowd

1 envelope grape drink mix
1 envelope orange drink mix
2 cups sugar
3 quarts cold water
1 liter ginger ale

Add drink mixes, sugar and water to punch bowl or drink dispenser. Stir well. Just before serving, mix in the ginger ale.

SPIKE IT WITH: VODKA

HUNTER’S MOON PUNCH
Serves 8

1 apple, cut into wheels
1 orange, cut into wheels
1 lemon, cut into wheels
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cups apple cider
1 cup orange juice
2 12-ounce bottles ginger beer

Add fruit wheels and cinnamon sticks to punch bowl or pitcher. Pour cider and orange juice over fruit. Stir. Refrigerate for an hour. Add ginger beer just before serving.

SPIKE IT WITH: WHISKEY

SLOW COOKER MULLED CIDER
Serves a crowd

1 gallon fresh apple cider
3 to 5 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 hunk fresh ginger
½ teaspoon allspice
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
Cranberries for garnish

Add cider and spices to slow cooker. Warm until hot on high setting. Add fresh fruit. Reduce to warm. Ladle into cups.

SPIKE IT WITH: RUM


SPOOKY PUNCH

SPOOKY PUNCH

To make any of these punches spookier, place a block of solid dry ice in bottom of punch bowl or cauldron and pour punch over it. Note that dry ice is extremely cold (-109.3°F) so you should wear protective gloves when handling it, and an adult should be in charge of ladling the punch. Another option is to fill a disposable glove with water, seal with rubber band and freeze, then float in punch bowl.