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Thematic cocktails enliven a dead gathering
Would you like some eyeball punch or orange haze?
It's not enough for Halloween drinks to be delicious. They also have to be creepy.
And that's where we drew our inspiration for these beverages — a kid-friendly, delightfully slimy grape "eyeball" punch and a not-so-kid-friendly murky and thick "orange haze" that blends orange liqueur, chocolate liqueur and honey.
To up the creep factor of the eyeball punch, you can peel the grapes before adding them to the other ingredients. There are two ways to do this. You can freeze the grapes (wash them, then arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet keeping them apart, then freeze), then run them under warm water to loosen the skins. Alternatively, you can plunge fresh grapes first into boiling water, then into ice water to loosen the skins.
GRAPE EYEBALL PUNCH
8 cups grape juice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon whole allspice
3 1-inch slices fresh ginger
3 cups green grapes, peeled or not
3 12-ounce bottles ginger beer or ale, chilled
In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the grape juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice and ginger. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature, at least one hour.
Strain out and discard the seasonings, then transfer to a large pitcher or punch bowl and chill until cold. Once chilled, add the grapes and ginger beer or ale.
3⁄4 ounce orange liqueur
3⁄4 ounce milk chocolate cream liqueur
1⁄2 teaspoon honey
Orange zest, to garnish
Pour the orange liqueur into a shot glass. Very slowly pour the chocolate liqueur down the side of the glass, then drizzle the honey over the top. Garnish with orange zest. Serve immediately.