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Hocus Pocus Cocktail – The Perfect Halloween Drink


This Hocus Pocus Cocktail was inspired by the movie, that for the longest time, I really disliked. For those that know me very well, I have to say a full disclosure – I really dislike Halloween. It’s the worst holiday of all the holidays. I dread every year when it comes up.


Because I’m a loser who hates being scared. I refuse to go to the movie theater between August 15th and November 1st and I very rarely go to see R rated movies any time of year, just in case they show a horror movie trailers.

In fact, as a kid, even the Disney Channel Halloweentown movies and Hocus Pocus really freaked me out.

I like kids halloween. Cute costumes, of course the boatloads of candy, and who doesn’t love a good caramel apple with festive sprinkles?

I still don’t like Halloween – I don’t think that will ever change. However, I’m trying to embrace the season more. It’s part of this new thing I’m doing this year. In some ways I’m calling it my F*** It Year, or the “Go for It Year” to be PG. I’m trying to change the way I view things and to take a breathe instead of taking everything so seriously. So, the Hocus Pocus Cocktail was born.

What This Has to do With Hocus Pocus

So – what does this all have to do with Halloween, and even more so, Hocus Pocus Apple Cider?

Well – technically nothing. But also, everything. Sometimes, when we look in the mirror we have to see the discrepancies between how others view/have viewed us, and how we view ourselves. Sometimes, we have to be honest with ourselves when others weren’t and ask, “why did they think they couldn’t be honest with me?” or “what is it about my personality that makes people think they can’t tell me the truth?” and how do we change that? By embracing it. It’s not fun, and it’s definitely not easy. Embracing the truth and those hard edges in my personality are the only way I’ve found that works to hone them. I’m not perfect and I never will be — but I’m trying to be better.

So this season, I’m starting with embracing my own stubbornness and getting on the Halloween Train. This week will be Halloween inspired recipes for drinks/foods/appetizers, you name it. The cute things, the adult beverages, and desserts the kiddos will love too.

To start — I watched Hocus Pocus with my best friend of all time, she had not seen it and even though I don’t love the movie, most people our age consider it to be the Halloween Movie of the 90’s. We thought it would be fun to do a Disney halloween movie marathon with the nostalgic films while drinking our own homemade spiked apple cider.

More Than A Kid Story

Hocus Pocus was actually hilarious as an adult, much more so than as a kid. All of the “virgin” references caught both my friend and I off guard – considering the kid was practically twelve.

The beverages left something to be desired in all honesty. A lot of the quick online searches we found just said add rum and apple cider and you’re golden. It was drinkable, but not sophisticated.

So, this week, I gave it another go, with a touch more effort. I actually really enjoy this cocktail. Especially if you’re somewhere warm, it’s a perfect patio drink. If you’re somewhere cold, serve it piping hot, without the tonic, and add a cinnamon stick in for presentation.


Hocus Pocus Apple Cider Cocktail:

2 Qt (1/2 Gallon) Apple Cider
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon, or 3 Cinnamon Sticks
1/2 Tablespoon Ground All Spice, or 2 Tbsp whole
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Ground Cloves
Rind from 1 Orange
Rum – 1-2oz per glass
Tonic Water – 1oz Per Glass (for the ICED version only)
Ground All Spice to garnish (pinch per glass)
Orange Peel to Garnish (1 per glass)

Optional for the ICED version: Mix 2 Tbsp Sugar with 1 tsp All Spice and 1 tsp Cinnamon on a plate, dip just the rim of the glass in apple cider liquid, and coat with sugar/spice mixture before adding in liquid.


  1. Heat apple cider, sugar, spices in a pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. If serving hot: pour into heat-proof mugs, add in rum (more if desired), and garnish with an orange slice and allspice.
  2. If serving cold: Allow beverage to cool and reserve in refrigerator. Ladle 4-6oz in each cup with ice, top with 1oz (or more if desired) Rum, and 1oz Tonic. Garnish with Orange peel and a pinch of allspice.
  3. Watch Hocus Pocus and note all of the inappropriate entendres we didn’t notice as kids.

Hi! I'm Sydney,

nice to meet you!

I left a marketing career in Hollywood to go to the Culinary Institute of America. After a few years of working in restaurants, I am now a private chef and sommelier in the 30a area.



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