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Drinkable Wednesday: Tricked-out liquid treats

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by guest blogger and New York writer Seanan Forbes:

Matthew Eisler knows two things: bars and how to give people a good time.

Eisler has stirrers in more than a few drinks. He's the owner/operator of Bar Deville, Angels and Kings, Empire Liquors, Nightwood and Bangers and Lace.

If you're gearing up to have a Halloween party, then you might take a tip from Eisler (a change from leaving change on the bar, but it's time for trick-or-treat, after all). He plans his menus with care, but cheerfully admits, "The offerings aren't the main draw; it's the atmosphere, the music, the experience as a whole. People are coming out to have fun." Sounds like a celebration - and it takes the pressure off whoever's throwing the party. Yes, you want to serve the best to your friends and family, but don't get too fussed if everything isn't perfect. They're there to have a good time.

Hold that thought. Eisler does. "There are trends," he acknowledges, "toward serious craft cocktail lounges." Yes, there are. Eisler's doors are open to people ready to escape the serious, ready to relax, laugh and enjoy a few hours of life.

What better night to play than Halloween? IMG_9382.jpg

Eisler has a perfect tequila drink for All Hallow's Eve. Do the prep work in advance. Buy a few bags of Pop Rocks. Pour them onto plates. You can mix the colors for a confetti effect, but if you keep them separate, then you can arrange an attention-catching tray - and, just like Eisler's customers, your guests will have a great time choosing colors.

Dip the topmost edges of the glasses in liquid. What liquid? "We started in a pretty conventional way," Eisler says. "Take a lime, run it around the rim of the glass." That's not your only option. "A little bit of diluted honey works." (Diluted: two parts water to one part honey.) Agave nectar, made from the same plant used for tequila, plays nicely with this drink. Eisler says the nectar and Pop Rocks complement each other. Want to use thinned fruit nectar? Simple syrup? It's your party.

Don't use too much liquid; you want it just moist enough to hold. Rim the glasses with Pop Rocks and arrange them as you will. (Diagonal rows look striking.)

To serve, fill the glasses with Hornitos tequila. Don't let the liquor touch the candy. Save the sweet explosions for your guests' mouths.

It's that simple.

According to Eisler, it's not just the alcohol that gives a kick. "Even when people are aware of what they're drinking, they still have a little smile on their faces afterward." If you don't tell your friends what's on the rim, then they might easily mistake the candy for colored sugar. Once they taste it, though . . .

Tequila and Pop Rocks. It's a shot of trick and treat.

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Janet Rausa Fuller

Sun-Times Food editor Janet Rausa Fuller is always thinking about her next meal.

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This page contains a single entry by Janet Rausa Fuller published on October 27, 2010 8:48 AM.

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