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Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Skull lollipops by Compartes Chocolatier in Los Angeles, CA. List price $6.
Spicy Mexican Hot Chocolate Skull lollipops by Compartes Chocolatier in Los Angeles, CA. List price $6. / David Baratz / USA WEEKEND

Who said Halloween was all about the kids? Grown-ups who want a good (and tasty) scare this Halloween are in luck. “Adults can move away from the cutesy stuff and really go for the gore,” says chef Elizabeth Goel of Bite Catering Couture in L.A. Tricky trends you can expect:

Cocktail creeps. Dark-colored drinks bring the right spirit, says Scott Clime, beverage director for Fuego Cocina y Tequileria near Washington, D.C. “In the fall, we tend to use dark liquors and liqueurs with stronger flavor profiles.” Clime will be serving “Ashes to Ashes,” cocoa-flavored Patron XO and a shot of espresso, the day after Halloween (aka the Day of the Dead).

Frightful bites. Restaurants will take menus in dare-you directions. “Our offal Halloween menu has a huge following because it’s a fun way to enjoy blood and guts (literally),” says James Porter, executive chef at Petite Maison in Scottsdale, Ariz., where the specials have included beef heart, tongue and headcheese. “It’s like a culinary haunted-house adventure. Some people come on a dare, others want to taste what all the talk is about.”

Scary sweets. Jonathan Grahm of Compartes Chocolatier makes a Mexican hot-chocolate skull lollipop, with the killer combo of sweet and cayenne. “The skull is like a warning: This chocolate packs a deliciously potent punch.” says Grahm, who also handcrafts blood-orange truffles imprinted with fangs, complete with oozing blood-orange ganache.

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