Killer Clown

A cocktail with a garnish that looks like bloody eyeballs.

This was my Halloween treat for Max and his friend as they headed out for trick-or-treating! They love apple cider, and I made this one different by steeping the cider with Red Hots candy.

But I was most proud of the garnishes; I thought they’d like this gory surprise. They’re lychees. In the hole where the pit was, I put raspberry jam, then stuffed a blueberry in on top of it. The pressure squeezes out some jam, of course, and mayhem ensues.

By the way, the adults drank Candy Corn cocktails, which were also a hit!

A plate of garnishes looks like a plate of bloody eyeballs!


  • 1 jug Apple Cider

  • 1 container Red Hots candy

  • Garnish: Lychees, canned and pitted is probably easiest

  • Garnish: Blueberries

  • Garnish: Raspberry (or other red) jam


  • Cider
  • In advance (a day or two) combine cider and candy and let steep. You will see the colors start to combine (candy becomes less red; cider becomes more so) even if the candy doesn’t completely dissolve.
  • Strain cider as you pour if needed (to remove any candy pieces that remain).
  • Garnish
  • If using canned lychees, rinse the syrup off (though no need to be too exacting about it). They will most likely already be pitted, too (hooray). With a small spoon, partially fill each pit area with jam. This may take a bit of trial and error to figure out the right proportion. I found that too much jam gets in the way of appreciating the eyeball, but you’ll have your favorite.
  • Put a blueberry in after the jam. Especially with canned lychees, the fruit can be a little tender and prone to ripping, so use a delicate touch. I mean, they’re gory eyeballs, so it shouldn’t really matter, but they’re easier to pierce and use as a garnish if they’re mostly intact. The effect is best when the bottom, bloomy part of the blueberry point outward; it serves as the eye’s pupil, and even fits in the pit better because the widest part fits snuggest in the hole. Apologies if this sounds more complicated than it actually is!
  • Pierce two (or more) and lay across the top of the drink. Or maybe they’re placed at the bottom of the drink for a creepy surprise? However they show up, they are the star of this mocktail, for sure!
  • Garnish and enjoy!
Enjoyed on October 31

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