1990s Recipes + Menus

Witches’ Brew

October 1995

For spice syrup:

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • A chilled 25.4-ounce bottle sparkling cider (about 3 1/4 cups)
  • A chilled 1-quart bottle cranberry juice cocktail
  • A chilled 1-liter bottle club soda or seltzer water
  • 1 cup dark rum if desired
  • For serving:

    ice blocks in any shape (see cooks' note)
  • In a small saucepan bring syrup ingredients to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Cool syrup. Syrup may be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered.
  • In a punch bowl combine remaining ingredients and strain syrup through a fine sieve into punch. Stir punch and add ice blocks. Makes about 13 cups.
Cooks’ note: Ice blocks for punch can take any form you wish. We rinsed out surgical gloves and filled them with water, tying them closed. After freezing the “water balloons” on a baking sheet, the gloves peeled off easily and we were left with icy hands to chill our witches’ brew.
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