While candy corn has remained one of the more controversial confections in the known world — only the 2016 election has divided more families — this fact has not stopped mixologists from incorporating the sugary earplugs into martinis, cocktails and other Big People fare. Indeed, with Betty Crocker’s publication of a recipe for candy corn-infused vodka a few years back, Halloween’s slow march from childhood holiday to adult blowout seems finally complete.
Given their similarly insane sweetness — not to mention Halloween’s close kinship with Dia de los Muertos both calendrically and thematically — you might think that frozen margaritas would be among the first to slip down the candy corn hole, but the historical record disputes this. After an exhaustively cursory Google search, I found no evidence of any candy corn margarita that had gained real traction.
And yet here is On the Border bravely entering the fray with their new Hallow’rita, a concoction available at participating restaurants nationwide through Nov. 3. Excited to discover whether a significant cultural development was at hand, and because it costs only 5 bucks, I trekked down to my local OTB. Hardly had I crossed the threshold when a bartender tried to temper my enthusiasm.
“It’s basically just a mango margarita,” he said in tones meant to deflate.
This was not correct, strictly speaking, as the Hallow’rita is also sprinkled liberally with pieces of candy corn, and decorated with a plastic spider ring that clings to the salted rim with determined hokiness. Accompanying the fishbowl of orange slush is a shot glass containing even more candy corn, which I suppose is meant as a chaser.
“We are the leaders in margaritas, so we wanted to tap into the spirited debate around candy corn and have a margarita that is sure to get our guests excited,” said the chief marketing officer of On the Border, bucking the strong tradition of chief marketing officers who have no time for making such statements. “The Hallow’rita is fun, innovative and — of course — delicious. It’s the perfect way for us to enjoy the season while staying true to our border-style menu.”
Whether it will be the perfect way for you to enjoy the season will depend largely on, yes, which side of the spirited candy corn debate you find yourself, but also your tolerance for candy-clogged straws. Otherwise, it’s a sweet, mildly boozy, sweet, whimsical, sweet, I’m not going to call it spooktacular, but I will say it’s sweet. Also sweet: that $5 price. Once again, On the Border has proved its enduring commitment to the reasonably priced cocktail even as it rewards patrons with a plastic spider ring they will wear only infrequently.
Hallow’ritas are available at On the Border through Nov. 3, ontheborder.com. Long Island locations are at 200 Broadway Mall in Hicksville (516-342-7777) and 45 Middle Ave. in Holtsville (631-317-2657). Hours at both are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.