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Haunted Halloween Party Punch

In this recipe, apple cider is simmered with a spice bag to make the base for a variety of Halloween drinks, both for kids and adults!

Yield: 8 cups base
Prep: 40 min | Cook: 20 min

1/2 gallon apple cider or apple juice (8 cups)
1/2 cup cinnamon honey, wildflower honey, orange blossom honey, or desired honey
1 orange, sliced
6 inches stick cinnamon
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped, peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 bay leaf, optional

In a 4-quart Dutch oven, combine cider and honey. Add orange slices. For spice bag, place cinnamon, fresh ginger, allspice, cloves and bay leaf, if you like, in the center of a double-thick, 8- to 10-inch square of 100-percent-cotton cheesecloth. Tie closed with a clean string. Add spice bag to the saucepan with cider mixture. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove orange slices and spice bag; discard. If you like, strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve*. Use in the following party drinks. Makes about 8 cups base.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 180 cal., 0 g Fat, total (0 g sat. fat, 0 g Monosaturated fat, 0 g Polyunsaturated fat), 0 mg chol., 46 g carb., 8 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 44 g sugar, 0 g pro.

Mulled Apple Cider
Prepare Haunted Halloween Party Punch Base as above. Serve warm base in mugs or heatproof glasses. If you like, garnish each serving with a cinnamon stick and a thin apple slice. Makes 8 (8-ounce) servings.

Awfully Good Ghoul's Punch
Prepare Haunted Halloween Party Punch Base as above. Cool to room temperature. Transfer punch base to a large pitcher or punch bowl. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours. In a punch bowl, combine punch base; one 12-ounce can frozen cranberry-raspberry juice concentrate, thawed; one 6-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed; and 3 cups cold water. Add ice, if you like. Thinly slice 1 medium apple. Float apple slices and cranberries in punch. Makes 18 (6-ounce) servings.

Golden Apple Cocktails
Prepare Haunted Halloween Party Punch Base as above. For each serving, combine 2 to 3 tablespoons vodka, Southern Comfort, bourbon, apple brandy or brandy, rum, vermouth or dry white wine and 1/2 cup of the hot punch base in a mug or heatproof glass. Or, cover and chill punch base until completely cool. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons desired alcohol and 1/2 cup of the chilled punch base to an ice-filled glass; stir. If you like, garnish each serving with an orange twist and a maraschino cherry on a cocktail pick. Makes 16 (5 to 6-ounce) cocktails.

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