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Fright night tipples; Liquid news.

PART pagan, part Christian, the surge in popularity of Halloween has created a bonanza for partygoers.

Fashionable folk can parade around in spooky costumes and serve creepy cocktails one night, and just as the ghostly dust settles, torch the rockets and build a bonfire to remember, remember the 5th of November!

With trick-or-treat falling on a Sunday, and fireworks flying on a Friday, carving out the jack-o-lanterns and celebrating fright night has never been such a blast.

Fangtastic cocktails will keep the party going into the witching hour. Try mixing with Black Moth Truffle Vodka (pounds 39.95, 70cl, www.thewhiskyexchange.com). A bar essential, the black gothic bottle is emblazoned with silver moths. Infused with truffle and distilled five times, the vodka has the faintest hint of this Perigord delicacy and can be sipped straight up or mixed. Try this magical concoction to charm your friends. HOCUS POCUS - 40ml Black Moth vodka, 3ml Absinthe, 20ml Sauternes wine, 10ml Poire William eau de vie, 20ml lemon juice Half-fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the ingredients. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Themed parties call for quirky tipples to keep thrill-seekers' taste buds tantalised. Try a spritz of The Devil's Breath (pounds 17.99, 100ml, 38% abv, www.selfridges.com), and bring the glamour of the boudoir to the table. This boozy atomiser contains brandy liquor, infused with a dash of red chilli pepper and a pinch of edible gold flakes. Spray it over cocktail sausages or bite sized chicken nuggets for some tasty magic. For a pitch-dark red wine, try the brilliantly apt The Waxed Bat, Petit Verdot 2007 (pounds 7.99, www.laithwaites.co.uk), a shiraz-based blend from Argentina. Seductively smooth, it's dense with rich, dark fruit, blackberry notes and a lovely, lingering finish. Beware, this gem will empty glasses very quickly.

Without the ghoulish dress code, Guy Fawkes night is a far more casual affair with winter woollies and party plonk pairing the food and fireworks. If you're hunting for a sister white and red to serve, try this ingenious South African arrival that's new to the UK. Khulu Sky Chenin Blanc 2010 Western Cape PET (pounds 5.69, Waitrose) and Khulu Sky Shiraz 2009 Western Cape PET (pounds 5.69, 75cl, Waitrose) come in lightweight, recyclable plastic bottles, an ideal serve for bonfire bashes. The zesty chenin blanc packs a fresh and fruity punch that would compliment winter feast of hearty beef stew or chilli con carne.

Or if you prefer to sin with zin during the week of devilish disguises and a wave of sparklers, try the great value Californian Ravenswood Lodi Zinfandel 2008 (pounds 6.99 from pounds 8.99, until November 2, Sainsbury's). Brimming with dark, jammy fruit, this smooth, plummy red has a spicy kick on the finish.

May the goblins be with you.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Oct 22, 2010
Words:481
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