Every good party is that much better with a nice punch, and Halloween is a great chance to make an over-the-top drink that will wow your guests as much as it refreshes them. I served this punch at Little Jo’s Halloween party last year and it was a big hit with all the kids.
When it comes to Halloween party food, presentation is key for the maximum effect. For example, the punch can’t just be a bowl of boring fruit juice. How about instead you serve bright green punch that’s decorated with eyeballs and bugs and drizzled with blood? And maybe a couple of severed hands floating in the bowl? If that sounds good to you, keep reading and I’ll show you how easy it is to do.
There are a few prep steps you can do way ahead of time for this punch, and the first is to create the large, molded ice pieces that will keep the punch cold. Floating ice hands look super creepy, and food-safe plastic gloves are the perfect mold. If you can’t find them locally or don’t want to buy a whole box, I’ve found that the clerks at the grocery store deli counter are more than happy to give you a couple if you ask nicely. Fill the glove up with water, or for extra flavorful ice, use fruit juice instead.
Then gather the end and secure it tightly with a rubber band. Depending on the size of your punch bowl, you may want to make two hands. You also might want to make an extra or two in case you have breakage later. Put the hands in the freezer until they are frozen solid.
The next thing to prepare is the eyeballs that will be sitting in the punch. You heard me right — eyeballs! Now you can take a shortcut here and buy some gummy eyeballs if you can find them, but for a healthier, home-made alternative, just use a melon baller to scoop some balls out of a banana. Freeze them until they are solid, which will make them last longer in the drink.
The next item to prep is the blood that you’ll drizzle in the punch. Fortunately, the “blood” is just red sugar syrup, so it’s nowhere near as gross as it sounds. To make it, bring 2 parts sugar and 1 part water to a boil, then turn off. Allow to cool and add red food coloring.
For presentation, put the cooled syrup in an oil drizzler bottle that you’ve decorated with a label that says “blood”. Look how wonderful the thick syrup looks when running down the sides of the bottle!
Now that I think about it, that bottle of “blood” would be great centerpiece or decoration for any Halloween event, and doesn’t have to be held just for the punch.
For the final decorations, add some some golden raisins in the bottom of the punch cup, to look like bugs. Then add a piece of black licorice to serve as a straw and swizzle stick. Go ahead and put these items, along with your banana/gummy eyeballs, in the cups and have them set out by the punch bowl.
Just having the cups sitting ready with the eyeballs ready will be a wonderful decoration on your party table!
To serve the punch, start by carefully unwrapping the ice hands and putting them in the punch bowl. Be careful not to break the fingers off like I did! Then pour the gloriously green punch over the top. How did I get green punch? Well, my original thought was to get some apple juice and dye it green with food coloring, but then I spotted some Hawaiian Punch Green Berry Rush at the store. It was already the perfect color, and had a great punch flavor that the kids loved.
You’ll note that we didn’t use a traditional punch bowl for this, although we certainly could have. In order to give it a more “specimen” type feel, we used a tall jar with straight sides. It kind of looks like preserved hands floating in some eerie liquid, don’t you think?
To serve the punch, just fill each cup as needed. Just before handing the cup over to your guest, be sure to ask them if they would like a drizzle of blood!
The red syrup will settle in the bottom and look great. If it’s stirred up, it makes the punch turn almost black, which is even better!