Thursday, October 31, 2013

The History of Halloween; plus a cocktail recipe!

Another Halloween is upon us!  What will you be dressing up as tonight?!

I love Halloween!!  Tonight kicks off the official start of my holiday season.  Trick or treat and have a good time.

Since y'all know that I am a trivia nutcase, so here are some interesting Halloween tidbits.


  • The Owl is a popular Halloween image.  In medieval Europe, owls were thought to be witches, and to hear an owls call, meant someone was about to die.
  • According to Irish legend, Jack O'Lanterns were named after a stingy man named Jack, who, because he tricked the devil several times, was forbidden entrance into both heaven and hell.  He was condemned to wander the earth waving his lantern to distract people away from their paths.
  • Black and orange are two colors closely associated with Halloween.  Orange is a symbol of strength and endurance and, along with brown and gold, stands for harvest and autumn.  Black is typically associated with death and darkness and acts as a reminder that Halloween once was a festival that marked the boundaries between life and death.
  • Scarecrows are also associated with Halloween.  They symbolize ancient agricultural roots to the holiday.
  • Dressing up as ghouls and goblins originated from the ancient Celtic tradition of townspeople disguising themselves as demons and spirits.  The Celtics believed that by disguising themselves this way they would escape the notice of the real spirits wandering the streets.

Dark and Stormy Cocktail

According to legend, this cocktail was invented more than 100 years ago when members of Bermuda's Royal Naval Officer's Club added a splash of the local rum to ginger beer.  They described its ominous hue as "the color of a cloud only a fool or the dead would sail under.


2 ounces of dark rum
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice, plus lime wedge for garnish
Candied Ginger Slices
3 ounces of chilled ginger beer (you can find at CostPlus World Market and Trader Joe's)


Fill a shaker with ice. Add the rum, lime juice and shake well.  Strain into an ice filled collins glass.  Stir in ginger beer.  Skewer a piece of candied ginger and lime wedge to garnish.

Recipe Courtesy of Food and Wine