Creepiness, punched up

SIPS

Why serve ordinary drinks when scary stuff is more fun?

October 29, 2003|By Sara Engram | Sara Engram,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

With all the effort your favorite little ghosts and goblins put into dressing up and trekking from house to house on Halloween, it seems a shame not to quench their thirst with a punch that fits the occasion.

Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways to add a creepy factor to a good fall punch. Here are a few, culled from experience, as well as from an abundance of suggestions in magazines and on the Web:

Freeze ice cubes with raisins in them - they'll look like bugs.

Get a good supply of chewy fruit worms. You can scatter them around the edge of the punch bowl, or even make wormy ice by freezing them in water. If you can find Halloween-themed molds for the ice, that's even better.

Consider peeling a few grapes to throw into the punch and say they're eyeballs.

Another way to get an eyeball effect is to squeeze puffs of whipped topping on the surface of the punch, place a chocolate chip or maybe a blue or brown or green M&M in the center, then use a squeeze tube of red icing to draw spokes out from the center. You'll have a good-enough representation of a creepy-looking bloodshot eye.

For award-winning creepiness - at least in my book - take the time to freeze a creepy hand. You'll need a kitchen-quality, clear plastic glove, and be sure to wash it well first to remove any residue. Fill it with punch or other liquid, tie it at the wrist with a rubber band, string or a twist tie and freeze it. Choose your own color - the creepier the better, of course. You might also want to try filling the glove with liquid gelatin. Make sure it's a disgusting color.

When you're ready to serve the punch, warm the hand just enough to get the glove off, then let the hand float in the punch. Yuck!

If you want to get really creative, scoop out a pumpkin, blot it dry and chill it until you're ready to fill it with punch.

As for the punch itself, choose your own combination of fruit juice and carbonation. Or stick with apple juice or cider, enlivened with cinnamon sticks, cloves and a splash of lemon juice.

Here's one suggestion:

Halloween Punch

Makes 24 servings

12 ounces orange-juice concentrate, frozen

12 ounces white-grape juice

2 liters 7-Up or other lemon-lime soda

green food coloring

1 pint sherbet, lemon or lime

peeled white grapes, optional

chewy fruit worms, optional

Several hours before serving, mix together orange juice, white-grape juice, 7-Up and several drops of green food coloring. Fill a clean, clear plastic glove with some of the liquid and freeze. When ready to serve the punch, warm the glove enough to remove it from the ice. Place the frozen hand in the punch bowl, fill with punch and mix in sherbet. Add peeled grapes, if desired, and decorate edges of bowl with gummy worms.

(Note: If you prefer, use a contrasting color for the frozen hand.)

- Adapted from www.holidays.net

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