The beverage version of the Tootsie Roll is better than it sounds. Photo by Angie Bryan

I’ve already written about my traditional Halloween beverage: candy corn dissolved in vodka and then served ice cold, just like my heart. But I know that candy corn is controversial, and we already have enough division right now, so let’s focus on more mainstream candies.

The idea for this column came to me during Spirit Quest, a Restaurant Week competition in which bars and restaurants compete to produce the best cocktail and nibble pairing. The Armory’s cocktail entry was the Almond Joy. Sadly, it isn’t currently on the menu, but The Armory was kind enough to share the recipe with me.

First, rim your martini glass with Hershey’s chocolate syrup and then dip it in Swiss Miss hot chocolate powder. Pause to appreciate the genius of this move. In an ice-filled shaker, combine 2 ounces Stoli Vanilla Vodka, 1 ounce Malibu coconut rum, 1 ounce crème de cacao, 1 ounce Amaretto, and 1 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream. Go nuts!

The Sour Patch Kid is a mocktail at East Ender, but you can add vodka or gin. Photo courtesy of East Ender

I then remembered that East Ender has a $6 Sour Patch Kid mocktail which can be turned into an adult version by adding gin or vodka. They recently changed the recipe to include citric acid (an ingredient in the Sour Patch Kid candies) syrup, preserved seasonal fruit (right now it’s blueberry) and club soda.

Next I turned to Bar of Chocolate, figuring that a bar named after a candy bar would offer some cocktails that tasted like liquid versions of Halloween candy. It did not disappoint, and pretty much never does. The current menu has three different $11 martinis that fit the bill. If you love York Peppermint Patties, After 8s or Andes mints, order the Grasshopper, made with not only the usual crème de menthe and crème de cacao, but also with Vespertino tequila crema. If Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are more your style, go for the peanut butter martini made with house-made peanut butter liqueur, dark crème de cacao, a splash of cream and Licor 43, a vanilla-flavored Spanish liqueur. If you’re more of a traditionalist, check out the chocolate salted caramel martini containing vanilla vodka, dark crème de cacao, caramel syrup and a splash of cream.

The peanut butter martini, Grasshopper and chocolate salted caramel martini from Bar of Chocolate. Photo courtesy of Bar of Chocolate

By this point, I was operating under a virtual sugar high, so I searched for other candy-flavored cocktails online. As part of my deep commitment to bring you only the most accurate cocktail reporting, I then made and tasted four of them.

The Jolly Rancher and The Butterfinger were unimpressive. My luck changed, however, with the Mounds Bar martini: 1.5 parts dark crème de cacao, 1.5 parts coconut rum and 1 part milk. In theory, you’re supposed to rim the glass with melted chocolate and toasted sweetened coconut flakes and then let the glass sit in the fridge to harden the rim, but I’m not Martha Stewart.  This concoction was way too drinkable. If you love Mounds Bars, you definitely need to give it a try.

The surprise showstopper, however, was the elegant and sophisticated Tootsie Roll. (There’s a phrase I never thought I’d utter.)  Combine 2 ounces rye, 1 ounce sherry (I used Pedro Ximinez), 6 dashes Scrappy’s chocolate bitters, and a Luxardo cherry. You can’t identify any of the individual flavors when you taste it, but they all combine to work some serious Halloween magic.

Angie Bryan is a former diplomat who is enjoying getting acquainted with her new home in Portland, one cocktail at a time.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: