Intro: Ghastly Blood and Fingernails Cocktail
We don't actually celebrate Halloween in Australia, but I was reading random articles on Instructables the other day and I stumbled across Lmnopeas' Vampire-Rimmed Cocktail Glasses and thought "That would be perfect for serving Blood and Fingernails Cocktails in." So, I flicked through my recipe books until I found the original recipe, which had tomato juice and flaked almonds, not what I'd call a cocktail, especially since I don't even like tomatoes, so I flicked through one of my other books and, eventually, found this one, or something similar. The recipe was simple enough, but I made some modifications anyway.
So, here it is, after about half an hour or so of work, this is my Ghastly Blood and Fingernails cocktail. It's perfect as a novelty drink for Halloween parties, especially when served in the Vampire Glasses, alongside Caitlinsdad's Finger Food, or as a refreshing drink in the middle of summer.
Step 1: Ingredients
For this marvellously simple, gruesome, yet refreshing drink, you will need:
10 Blood oranges
1 punnet (250g) of strawberries
1 bottle of lemonade
1 packet of flaked almonds
You'll also need a citrus juicer, a blender, a sieve and some serving glasses (or a punchbowl).
When you're choosing blood oranges, the best ones to pick should be a fairly dark shade of orange, almost brown. The more even the darker orange, the riper it is. They also need to be soft, but not mushy. You want to get the most juice from them as possible. You should note, that this recipe makes enough for about seven people, but you should be able to modify it accordingly.
Obviously, you're not going to use the whole bottle of lemonade, or the whole packet of almonds, but I figure, it's far easier to just give you a shopping list than to go over inexact, potentially variable values.
Tip: If you choose, you can also supplement the lemonade for another sparkling liquid of your choosing. If you wanted, you could use ginger ale to give it a slightly spicier flavour or you could use plain sparkling mineral water. If you wish make it slightly more adults-only, you can also include your choice of spirits to the mix.
Tip: The original recipe actually calls for raspberries as well as strawberries. Personally, I don't think it needs it, but, if you wanted to you could use half strawberries and half raspberries for a bit of extra tang.
Step 2: Juice
Now, that you have all of your ingredients, it's time to start making juice. The first thing you'll have to do is cut the oranges in half (obviously) and marvel at the amazing colour inside them.
Once you've finished gawking, set up your citrus juicer and start squeezing the guts out of the oranges.
Tip: If you roll the oranges before you cut them you can get a lot more juice out. You have to make sure you push down on them as you roll them, though, or you won't make any difference. If you want to know the science behind it, just let me know and I'll be happy to explain. My grandmother used to microwave citrus fruit before juicing it, which apparently got more juice than rolling or squeezing it, but I don't remember the times or power settings she used, so it wouldn't be of much help.
Step 3: Blend
Ok. Once you've got a good amount of juice, you'll need to chop the strawberries. We have enormous strawberries here, so I had to cut them into eighths, but, otherwise, quarters should suffice.
After that, just toss them and the juice into the blender. I blended it first, then put the lemonade in and blended some more, but it doesn't really matter which way you do it.
We ended up with about 1.5 litres all together. After that, you should filter the concoction through a sieve to get rid of any pips that may ruin the blood-like texture.
Tip: If you're not sure how much lemonade to put in, all you have to remember is this: if you know how much you want to make, you just top it up to that point. It's much easier if you do it before blending, since you don't have froth to get in the way. All you need to do is pour the lemonade until it reaches the point you want. Since the strawberries will displace the liquid, you can safely assume that you'll end up with about that much when you're done.
Step 4: Pour, Decorate, Chill and Serve
That's it. All you have to do now is pour it into glasses (or a punchbowl) sprinkle it with flaked almonds, chill it and then sever... I mean, serve. It really is much better when it's cold, but you could, just as easily, serve it slightly below room temperature and it should be fine.