Serves a Crowd

Eyeball Punch With Apple Viscera

October 18, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Prep time 12 hours 5 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

I love Halloween. My birthday is three days before so growing up I always had a spooky birthday party. Plus, I love getting dressed up (I am gay) and I love candy. Halloween is the perfect soft entry into the holiday season because there’s no one way to do it right. You can go to a parade, trick-or-treat, have a party, or even just stay at home with a scary movie.

In the years that my husband and I end up hosting a Halloween party, I always throw together a large format drink that keeps my guests’ glasses full without me having to run around and play bartender all night. Fundamentally, this drink is pretty simple, it’s apple brandy, port, and apple cider, but what makes this drink really special is the “viscera” ie. the apple ribbons and peeled grapes that are soaked in bright-red bitters to give them a stomach-turning internal-organs vibe that’s perfect for a celebration of spookiness. It might seem daunting at first, but peeling grapes is not as difficult as it sounds and it’s definitely worth it for the slimy eyeball texture. Apple strips can be made using a vegetable peeler and it’s up to you if you want to use the skin, or just the soft flesh.

The ice chunks can be made pretty simply by freezing filtered water in pint-sized deli containers. You don’t want to use small ice here as it will interfere with the impact of the viscera. And the final touch—the flaming rum, is entirely optional and I would not recommend it if you’re feeling wary about working with flames, but in a dark room late on Halloween night, nothing looks cooler than a flaming bowl of guts (and boo-ze!)
John deBary

What You'll Need
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Eyeball Punch With Apple Viscera
  • Cocktail
  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup Laird’s apple brandy (100-proof)
  • 1/2 cup Tawny Port
  • 1/4 cup 151 rum, if desired
  • Viscera, to taste (see below)
  • 2-4 cups (approx.) large chunks of ice
  • Viscera
  • 10-15 grapes, peeled
  • 1 apple, flesh and skin peeled into thin ribbons
  • 2 ounces Peychaud’s bitters
  1. Cocktail
  2. Combine apple cider, apple brandy, port, and ice chunks in a large punch bowl. Stir to combine and to allow the ice chunks to cool the mixture.
  3. For added dramatic effect, turn the lights off, pour rum into a flame-proof ladle, ignite, and then pour over the surface of the punch. To serve, ladle into your spookiest glassware, making sure everyone gets a healthy portion of viscera.
  1. Viscera
  2. Combine grapes, apple ribbons, and bitters in a sealable bag. Squeeze the air out and seal the bag, then place in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Drain solids from bitters before using. Will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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