VAMPIRE PUNCH (about 3 quarts)
two 3-inch cinnamon sticks
5 whole cloves
3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
one 25-¼ ounce bottle sparkling cider (about 3-¼ cups), chilled
4 cups cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
one 1 liter bottle club soda or seltzer, chilled
1 cup dark rum (optional)
ice blocks shaped like human hands (see note)
1. Bring cinnamon sticks, cloves, ginger, water and sugar to a boil in a small, heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let steep, uncovered, 1 hour.
2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding solids, then chill until cold.
3. Combine all remaining ingredients, except ice, with syrup in a punch bowl. Add ice before serving.
NOTE: Icy hands can be made by filling powder-free, latex-free surgical gloves — rinse them thoroughly first — with distilled water, being careful to avoid bubbles, close them at the top with a knot or twist ties and freeze them. When you’re ready to use them, cut the knots off, run the gloves under hot tap water briefly and pull off the rubber. You will have ghostly hands floating in the punch bowl.
Syrup can be made 1 week ahead and chilled with spices. Strain before using.
from Gourmet Magazine