Random Appetites: Vampire Punch… with Clots!

Ghoulishly delicious!

At last year’s Pumpkin Party I went with a decidedly more spooky, classic Halloween theme that I usually opt for (the norm being general Fallishness). Along with some spookier food choices, I served this very yummy, if slightly gross, punch. It’s alcohol free, as well, so all y’all non-alky readers can enjoy without impediment:

Vampire Punch with Floating Clots
originally from Today’s Parent

1 Quart Red Grape Juice
2 Cups Orange Juice
2 Cups Pineapple Juice
1 Bottle Gingerale
1 Box frozen Strawberries, semi-defrosted

Chill all ingredients ahead of time to prevent diluting the punch with melting ice later on. Mix together the fruit juices and then, just before serving, add in the Gingerale and the strawberries. This works best in a big punch bowl, of course, so that guests get the real impact of the floating strawberry “clots.”

That’s the punch, nice and simple.

But down here in the South we have this glorious tradition of party punches served up with sherbet in the center–not only does it help to keep the punch cold but it adds sweetness and creaminess. In fact, if you sub the red grape juice for white and ditch the OJ, you’ve got the base of the punch served at almost every wedding I went to as a child. And since sherbet comes in so very many colors, it can match just about any wedding theme!

Back to the party: since I had a close-cousin to party punch anyway and I just couldn’t ignore my raising and had to add sherbet. Now, I could have just hacked up a pint into the punch bowl but that’s not very elegant, now is it? Instead, I found one of those plastic brain molds (though a heart would work wonderfully for this punch as well, either in sherbet or red jello) and filled it with raspberry sherbet a couple of days before the party. To make it easy to remove I lined the mold with plastic wrap which ended up adding some additional texture to the sherbet when unmolded and set adrift in the punchbowl.

Talk about a brain freeze!

Finally, for those wanting a bit more kick to their punch, you could add a few healthy shots of Chambord or Cointreau to the punch bowl and substitute champagne (not Brut! too biting, even for this recipe!) for all or part of the Gingerale for an adult Vampire tipple. Don’t substitute wine for grape-juice, though, unless it’s a very sweet red from Concord grapes or the tannins will likely overpower the rest of the ingredients.

Happy Halloween, folks. Have a safe and fun one!