Poison Apple Punch

a 12 Bottle Bar Original

2 parts Spiced Apple Juice
1 part Ginger Beer
0.5 part Raspberry Syrup

Add all ingredients to a punch bowl and give a stir
Garnish with the discarded cinnamon and cloves from the Spiced Apple Juice, with sliced apples,  or as you prefer

* * *

When we posted How to Throw a Cocktail Party earlier this week, we insisted that at any party a non-alcohol alternative be available.  Today, we’re putting our punch bowl where our mouth is (or something like that).  In the event that you find yourself entertaining over the holidays, a non-alcoholic punch is a great option to consider.  This one is simple as, well punch, provided you do a little prep work up front.  It’s great for both kids and adults alike, and there’s enough of a homemade quality involved that you can impress your guests in true Martha Stewart style, should you feel so inclined.

In the commentary for the film Moulin Rouge!, director Baz Luhrmann remarks on why he chose to make the petticoats and undersides of the Can-Can dancers’ skirts so colorful; at the real Moulin Rouge, the dancers were naked under their skirts, so when they did the Can-Can, it was quite a thrill for the audience.  Using bold colors under more subdued dresses, Luhrmann hoped to foster a similar excitement.  By a similar token, if we were going to develop the first virginal addition to the 12 Bottle Bar roster, it had better be able to hold its own alongside more bibulous company.  Poison Apple Punch fits in just fine.

The first step is to make the Raspberry Syrup at least the day before.  Use the cold method for Flavored Syrups.

Now, I’m not a big fan of regular store-bought apple juice, but it’s plentiful and inexpensive.  It also makes for a good base against which to add spices, which we’re doing here.

Making the Spiced Apple Juice is simple:

  1. Bring apple juice to a boil along with some cinnamon and whole cloves.
    How much cinnamon and cloves?  I wing it, but taking the advice of various mulled cider recipes, I’d start with 3 cinnamon sticks and about a teaspoon of whole cloves per half gallon (64 oz) of apple juice.  Feel free to adjust depending on how spicy you like things.  If it’s too spicy, just dilute with more apple juice.  I really like Canela (Mexican Cinnamon) here.
  2. Once the juice has reached a boil, cover it and remove from the heat until cooled.

It’s as simple as that.



As for the Ginger Beer, I’m a big fan of Reed’s Ginger Brew.  Lars prefers Vernors.  Use something with some bite to it but one which isn’t too overpowering.  If kids are among your guests, a little less spicy might be a good thing.

How much to make?  I recommend starting with a 64 oz bottle of Apple Juice, 32 oz of Ginger Beer (just less than three bottles), and 2 cups of Raspberry Syrup.  That’s 112 oz, which means 11 oz per guest at a party of ten people.  The number of guests, additional beverage options, and length of the party will all affect how much punch you’ll serve.

The final consideration is keeping the punch cold throughout the evening.  Unlike punches with alcohol, this one doesn’t benefit from dilution.  You can try making an ice ring out of the punch itself, so that anything that melts is just more punch. Straight apple juice ice is also an option.  I personally prefer the punch at room temperature.

Poison Apple Punch is a great name for a Halloween punch, but this is a drink that will work for you throughout the holiday season.  It’s a nice combination of the Spiced Apple Juice, the fizzy bite of the Ginger Beer, and the lovely round sweetness of the Raspberry Syrup. Feel free to call it whatever you like, or leave the name be and let your Thanksgiving guests ponder. We just hope it provides a delicious, family-friendly alternative for the holidays.

Don’t Forget: If you’re planning on serving both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at your event, the Raspberry Syrup is also the basis for our Blinker and Japalac cocktails, both of which feature Rye.

Poison Apple Punch on FoodistaPoison Apple Punch

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16 Responses to “Poison Apple Punch”

  1. Lia
    October 23, 2010 at 8:12 pm #

    Hi! I know you specifically came up with this as an alternative to alcohol, but I was wondering if it would be a good idea to add rum to this if I wanted to make it alcoholic. I’m looking for a punch-like thing to serve for Halloween.

    • October 23, 2010 at 8:24 pm #

      Lia – are you reading ahead in our playbook? :) Just kidding, but we do have a very similar rum punch coming the middle of next week, so please be on the lookout for that. My first inclination, trying to booze this up, was to substitute Apple Brandy for the apple juice (very un-12BB, I know); it didn’t work that well — too harsh. I may try going to equal parts spirits and ginger beer. A good rum wouldn’t be a bad idea at all, nor a brandy. Stay tuned, and I think we’ll have something you’ll like very shortly.

  2. Donald
    October 24, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    I whipped up a batch of this for a pumpkin carving party we had last night and there wasn’t any left by the end of the night. I used the quantities above for seven people, not knowing how it would go over, and in retrospect I could have doubled it. A few people asked for the recipe even! When I first tasted it, I thought it needed more ‘kick’. But after everyone tried it, most thought it was perfect, and one thought it was a bit strong. So much for my sense of taste ;)

    Thanks for another great recipe.

    • October 24, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

      Donald, thanks for being the first to officially report back. Free free to add more/less spice or a stronger/lighter ginger beer to get it finely tuned for your own palate. Did you make your own raspberry syrup too?

  3. Donald
    October 25, 2010 at 1:49 pm #

    If I ever decide to make it just for myself, I’ll definitely make it spicier. But given that the vast majority liked it just as it was, I won’t change anything for next time. As for the raspberry syrup… sort of. I did in the sense that I let the raspberries soak in sugar syrup for a day. However, I had a large bottle of high fructose corn syrup based sugar syrup that was gifted to me. While I loathe the idea of HFCS, I figured this was an easy way to get rid of most of it, since the recipe calls for two cups. Waste not, and all… On the subject of homemade sugar syrups, does it go bad? How long is its shelf life if refrigerated?

    • October 25, 2010 at 2:26 pm #

      I put a little vodka or other neutral spirit in mine (probably 1/2 oz for 2 cups) and keep it in the fridge. I’ve never had one go bad. They might lose potency, but they haven’t spoiled on me yet.

      Sent from my iPhone


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