Rollin’ with the punches
By Sophie Isbister, Life & Style Editor
What’s spookier than a creaking, haunted, dust-filled Southern mansion in a stormy October? Nothing, that’s what. Alcoholic punches are great at parties, and a delicate crystal punch bowl (or even a cracked and stained ceramic set) can elevate any creepy Halloween gathering to the level of “creaking Southern mansion” with its classic elegance and free-flowing libations.
The following big-batch punch recipes will have everyone crowding around the punch bowl, whether it’s to escape the ghosts that like to hang around the edges of the room, or simply to refuel on the delights of the season.
Dark and Stormy Punch (with files from theglobeandmail.com)
The Dark and Stormy is a classic cocktail that is great year round but especially fitting at Halloween, when every scary story begins with “on a dark and stormy night.” Cocktails are a messy hassle at a party, so try this bowl-friendly adaptation.
Combine 750 ml of black spiced rum (The Kraken is great, and its unique bottle makes an awesome candle holder once emptied of its tasty bounty) with 4 cups ginger beer, 3 cups ginger ale, 5 cups lemonade, and ice. Serve with pineapple slices and plastic swords.
Green Grog Punch (with files from allrecipes.com)
Spooky and green, this tasty sour rum punch is both tingly and creamy.Mix together one can each of lemonade and limeade concentrate with a 2-litre bottle of lemon-lime soda and a 750 ml bottle of rum. Take a container of lime sherbet and spoon it on top of the punchbowl mixture to add texture and flavour, as well as that extra lumpy creep-factor.
Sewer Water Punch (with files from divinedinnerparty.com)
This punch looks exactly like how it sounds: a grey, sick-looking mix of pulpy juice, fizz, and booze. To make, mix a 750 ml bottle of vanilla vodka with seven cups of extra-pulpy orange juice and 1.5 litres of Dr. Pepper. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon.
Set any of these punches in an outer bowl of dry ice for an eerie fog effect, or make an ice hand out of a latex glove to place in the punch bowl. Punch bowls are a huge statement, so feel free to get creative and find a skull-shaped punch bowl, or just decorate the area around it with spooky accessories like spiders and cobwebs. And remember to drink in moderation!