It’s a dark and creepy Halloween night in suburban Maryland. The young trick-or-treaters, gingerly approach their neighbor’s yard, a house usually occupied by the humble Mr. and Mrs. Lenoir. But tonight they can sense something is different. Maybe it’s the ghosts fluttering in the evening breeze, the ghouls lurking in the shadows or vampires waiting to pounce. Who or what should they expect?
Before you can say boo – a squeal of delight is heard from the youngsters and their parents as well. They have stumbled on the Halloween house of Mr. Booze.
Halloween is favorite holiday for Jerry Lenoir, the leading man behind the nifty Mr-Booze.com website. If you’re looking for classic cocktail recipes, mood music and tips for setting up your home entertainment center aka home bar, Mr-Booze.com is your go-to place. The site includes a special section on Halloween entertaining.
Lenoir celebrates Halloween in a large way. “I do a big yard haunt,” he says. “Neighbors with children, and even some without, walk on over to check out the zombies, ghouls, and vampires I put out to thrill the kids. Of course, I also make a big batch of an autumnal libation for parents to carry on their rounds. It’s funny, because after the moms and dads bring their kids home for the evening, you’ll see a George Romero-esque, zombie pack of dads stumble back towards my garage by light of the moon, for an annual bending of the elbow. We’ll have a few more drinks and enjoy the chilly night engaged in silly conversation.”
Halloween is one of the most popular holidays for hosting a party. The Mr-Booze website is full of ideas on how set a spooky mood. “October calls for unique and seasonal cocktails the whole way through,” Lenoir says. Spicy and seasonal ingredients such as ginger and apple will give your cocktails a warming punch for autumn. Some of the fabulous fall drinks on the website include Applejack rabbits, nutty monks and ginger daiquiris.
Your decorating scheme doesn’t have to be over the top. “‘I’ll burn a cinnamon-apple scented candle and put some good old-school jazz on hi-fi,” Lenoir says. “I even have a list of Halloween-themed CDs and downloadable music on the site.”
Autumn and Halloween are the perfect time of year for festivity. “The hot weather has blown away, the leaves are gorgeous, the food gets a bit richer and quilts go on the beds,” Lenoir says. “People’s moods change. I think Halloween is a culmination and celebration of comfort.” He says “ Adults, for the most part, are still kids deep inside. I’ve never forgotten how thrilling the night can be. I still love werewolves, The Monster Mash and caramel apples — only now I’m in my 40s. How great is it to watch children get excited by the very same things that grabbed you at their age. Only now, you can have a cocktail and watch their fun.”
• 2 oz Laird’s Applejack
• 1 oz lemon juice
• 2 oz orange juice
• 3/4 oz real maple syrup
Shake all ingredients with cracked ice in a shaker. Serve up and ice-cold in a cocktail glass, garnish with an apple slice, light the jack-o-lantern up and enjoy.
Ingredients to make the Applejack Rabbit may be purchased at Dixie Liquor, 3429 M Street, N.W., in Georgetown. For more recipes, visit www.Mr-Booze.com.