The spookiest night of the year is upon us. Halloween is here. Like many locals, Heather Traylor always looks forward the night of magic and well-mannered mischief.

It is simply, she feels, all about having a good time.

“Halloween brings us a fun, relatively stress-free day, where it is acceptable for people of all ages to dress up and be whoever or whatever they choose. It’s an excuse to spend the evening with friends or family without some of the pressures or expectations that other holidays may bring ... cooking a big family meal, gift giving, etc,” Traylor said.

Instead, it’s a time to embrace one’s own creativity and doing something different than every other night of the year.

“Although store shelves are obviously lined with a wide variety of ready to go costumes, you can also show off personal creativity and style through a selection of costume accessories or even making your own. It’s all about having fun and enjoying your favorite tricks and treats.”

That’s precisely what Traylor will be doing today. As a bartender and manager at Mas Lounge located within its sister space Ember on St. Simons Island, she will be serving up various potions and brews during the course of the evening.

Like individuals themselves, the location will take on a different vibe for All Hallows Eve. While the entertainment program will remain the same, Traylor says they’ve added some spooktacular elements for the occasion.

“The Mas Lounge at Ember will be decorated and both our staff and restaurant guests are encouraged to wear a costume,” she said. “Wednesdays in the Mas Lounge are always a great time with the Jazz & Pop tunes performed by Bill Lukitsch ... every Wednesday from 6 to 9 p.m.”

Traylor’s plan is to come dressed as everyone’s favorite nanny, Mary Poppins, where she will serve up a special concoction she’s planned for the occasion.

“For Halloween, the enjoyable live music will be accompanied by Halloween decor, multiple Halloween & season themed cocktail specials, and of course costumes. I personally plan to dress as Mary Poppins, and will be ready to serve guests a ‘Practically Perfect (rum) Punch,’” she said.

But that won’t be the only concoction served. The restaurant and lounge will also offer Black Magic Margaritas, cups of Harvest Brew and a Sparkling Vampire’s Kiss.

“These specialty drinks are all delicious and with different taste profiles, they will hopefully offer something for everyone’s taste. Part of the fun in creating these cocktails is in giving the drink a Halloween themed title and deciding on a specialty ingredient to give the drink that little something extra,” Traylor said.

“Although our Black Magic Margarita is basically just a blackberry margarita, adding our ‘black magic’ simple syrup and a black salted rim turns the cocktail into a Halloween specialty.”

For those looking to create that magic at home, however, Traylor is willing to share her secrets. Below is her own special spell ... and no eyes of newt are needed.

Black Magic Margarita:

2 ounces blanco tequila

1 ounces triple sec

2 ounces fresh lime juice

Muddled blackberries (2-3 per drink)

1 oz “black magic” simple syrup (this can easily be made by mixing hot water and store bought black cake icing)

Black decorating gel (the type used for cakes) and salt for rim, line rim of glass with decorating gel then coat with salt or sugar if preferred.

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