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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

2016 Halloween Pairings

Another year, another Halloween. Every year I get excited gearing up for my night in. I plan the movies, food, and booze. It's always a Three Act night. This year, instead of three beers, I went with a beer, a wine, and a cocktail. Three courses starting with a Japanese monster story paired with pizza and a brew with a touch of cocoa and honey; an odd vampire film with a rich thick red wine at the peak with the leftover candy; ending with a man-hunter horror and salty crisps with digestif of sorts (aquavit cocktail with beet).

Act #1: Monsters and Ancient Brews

Film: Monster from a Prehistoric Planet (1967) ended up being a little too complex to watch whilst handing out candy. The compelling story of a family (of prehistoric creatures) ripped apart. The evil humans and their lack of empathy for their plight. Tanks being crushed under foot. Blow torches, I mean monster's flaming breath, burning buildings. Mass flooding and a kid in blackface. It was a film that required close attention. But it went well with pizza and beer.

Drink: Theobroma's cocoa nibs, honey, and ancient-ness paired well with ancient Japanese monsters.

Eats: Pizza and buffalo wings seem to be the tradition here for Halloween. Not too messy, but messy enough. It's still good at room temperature, which is the best when you're handing out candy.

Act #2: Drained Delirium 

Film: The Vampire Bat (1933) was a slow one that was a nice wind down film after the craziness that is scaredy cats, ringing doorbells, and swarms of kids. It probably would have been better to hand out the candy with. Ripe with neurotic Herman creeping about, hypochondriac old bitties, fainting ladies, and oh so much drama. It was also full of those romantic and ridiculous kisses that you'll only see in the 1930s. Hold me...

Drink: The dark, smoky noiret went well with this dark, black and white film. The leathery flavors balanced out the ripe berry. I'm sure this rich red wine was better than the blood that the wacko licked off of his fingers after the sloppy incident with an apple.

Eats: With trick-or-treating over, it was time to dip into the leftovers. The dark red wine went well with cherry and chocolate mini tootsie pops. They brought out the dark fruit and cocoa flavors! Okay, it wasn't the perfect pairing, but the wine wasn't overpowered by the processed sugary treat!

Act #3: Bloody Exhaustion

Film: Bloodlust! (1961) was an odd tale about a guy hunting humans. Of course, in typical horror fashion, two young couples inadvertently wander into his path. Two things make this movie worth a hokey Halloween pairing: 1, Mike Brady is the hunky hero and 2. The open and respectful discussion the "teens" have with the hunter getting a full understanding of what was going to happen. They didn't believe it and seemed to think it was cool. Then they tried to dissuade their elder without being rude.

Drink: This bloody cocktail is worth lusting after. It was a good digestif after all that junk food and candy. I'm not sure this is in any cocktail recipe books. It's a beet juice, aquavit, ginger beer, kombucha concoction. It was a nice, more savory, beverage after all those sweets. 1 shot beet juice, 1.5 shots aquavit (a caraway-infused spirit), 2 oz. of ginger beer and 1 oz kombucha.  It was tart, sharp, and spicy.

Eats: Ending on a savory note, we paired this with some crisps of sorts. It's a puffed snack of sorts (lentil, rice, who knows?). They were salty, airy, and crunchy. It didn't clash with the beet concoction, but the salt complimented it nicely.

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