The Thirteen Drinks of Halloween 2020 – Nine

Trick or treating in the 70′ and 80’s we were always warned about the dangers of razor blades in apples. I am not sure why, even if there were razor blades in them, who was going to eat an apple on Halloween anyway? Apples got tossed into the pile with those weird homemade popcorn balls and that house was put on the “skip it” list. Now, razors in Reese’s, that would have been a thing. We would have had to eat around the razors, cause no one is tossing a Reese’s. Speaking of those delectable cups of chocolate enrobed salty peanut butter, who the hell is Reese? I only ask because that apostrophe “s” on the end, looks a lot like one of those possession implying ones. I just hope they don’t come looking for their cups. While we ponder that, let’s explore a different type of troublesome fruit, as we stand and make The Poisoned Apple.

This is another one of those drinks with what looks like several thousand versions. A quick search will show you twenty different recipes, none of which are the one I made. So, looking into the history of this drink was not productive. This particular version was created by Kelli Hall. I can only assume with the assistance of woodland creatures as she whistled while she worked. The photos of her drink are a wonderfully deep red concoction with the white dry ice smoke creating beautiful contrast. Mine resulted in a more orangey cloudy version and there is a reason for that, which we will get into as we make the drink.

Grab your tins and pop in 2 ounces of Tequila, I went with Corzo; 1 ounce of pomegranate juice and 2 ounces of apple cider. I went with some Red Jacket Orchards, artisanal, unfiltered, cold-pressed original recipe, because it is oh so good and available at Publix, in the cooler. Since, I chose unfiltered cider, I got a more orange finished drink with less clarity. If you go with a filtered apple juice, you will get that prettier, but less tasty, clear red cocktail. Whichever you choose, toss some ice in there and shake to the beat of “Slept So Long” in honor of Snow White’s nap; go with the Jonathan Davis version. Don’t worry about getting this one too chilled or diluted, we are just going for the mix. Double strain into a tulip glass and add a couple of barspoons of ground dry ice. Many groceries sell large blocks of the stuff, that you can break down for home use. I use a meat tenderizer to get the desired granularity. You want little pieces that melt before they freeze themselves into a cocktail cocoon. Just be careful with it and follow all of the directions. Dry ice is super cold and will cause frostbite if not handled carefully. On that same note, don’t actually ingest it, or stick you nose into the tulip and inhale deeply, whether solid ice or gas, carbon dioxide is not something you want in your mouth or body; but damn it looks cool.

In a departure from most of this series, I actually enjoy this drink quite a bit. I am going to stand by my decision to use the good apple cider and choose taste over beauty. I really overdid the dry ice because I am a child, but it had the side effect of slightly carbonating this drink in a way that really helped lighten it. I might try this one with mezcal next time. I think the smokiness would further enhance the earthy cider, but this one is just fine as it stands.

This is another of those drinks that kind of annoys me, like most of these instagram ready themed concoctions. The beautiful version is not the tastiest version. In this particular case, the drink works either way, I just prefer the richer flavor of the unfiltered cider. I find this in a lot of drinks that are super beautiful and clear, but when you look at the ingredients you realize that there is no way that the drink with a heavy orange juice component is going to come out with that kind of clarity. I understand that this is the job of the drink or food stylist, to make things look at appetizing as possible, but not when that compromises taste. As much as I love presentation, I would rather photograph the drink that I actually made, than a stylized camera ready version. I just hate it when I make a drink and it doesn’t look like the pictures. I hate it more when I realize that there is no way that the drink they photographed tastes like the recipe. With all that complaining, this is a good drink, made either way and would also work really well as a punchbowl drink, making a lovely centerpiece for your Halloween party, plus the dry ice will help keep it chilled while looking cool too. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay spooky, my friends.