Celebrate Halloween in style with a pitcher of Under the Scarlet Sea Bourbon Pomegranate Punch! The delicate flavors of Earl Grey tea infused bourbon, tart pomegranate, & sweet raspberry liquor come together in a
disturbingly delicious large format cocktail, garnished with black tapioca pearl “caviar” for a creepy effect.
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Earl Grey Bourbon Pomegranate Punch
I absolutely love trying to find ways to create edible versions of things that would normally be inedible (or at the very least, unpalatable). It’s even better to try to elevate those things into the something that isn’t kitschy, but rather exotic looking and sophisticated. With an emphasis on disguise and illusion, Halloween is truly the perfect holiday to think outside of the box when it comes to recipe creation.
Under the Scarlet Sea is one of two disturbingly delicious recipes I’ve cooked up for this year’s Halloween season. The black tapioca pearls are fashioned to resemble a pile of giant caviar (aka, fish eggs), but trust me when I tell you the recipe for this Bourbon Pomegranate Punch is no gimmick. The flavors of Earl Grey tea infused bourbon, tart pomegranate and lime juices, sweet raspberry liquor, and a dash of Peychaud’s Bitters are a delicious combination, suitable for any feast or fete you throw this fall and winter season. The crimson shade of red that gives the Bourbon Pomegranate Punch its name will look just as beautiful on your Yuletide buffet as on your All Hallows Eve table.Jump to Recipe
Under the Scarlet Sea
In addition to being a classic color for Halloween cocktails, the scarlet hue of the Bourbon Pomegranate Punch is inspired by the deep red of the Vampire Squid (literally, Vampyroteuthis infernalis) and of course the color of blood. When the storms and sea monsters attack, the water runs red – a perfect breeding ground for the enormous horrors of the deep swimming just below the surface.
For the garnish to this cocktail, I was inspired by the viscerally disturbing look of various animal eggs – particularly spiders, fish, and squids. Tapioca pearls, (commonly used in bubble tea) are completely edible as well as creepily close in appearance to the clusters of round eggs these creatures lay. I used black tapioca pearls in this drink to contrast nicely with the dark red color, and found they looked far too much like giant pieces of black sturgeon caviar to ignore.
If you prefer, white tapioca pearls can be used to simulate spider and squid eggs in the cocktail instead, soaked in the “blood” of the Bourbon Pomegranate Punch. In either case, your guests will be impressed first with your presentation, and then with the drink itself.
Themes of the Savage Sea
Due to its rich color and overall look, Under the Scarlet Sea is an exotic cocktail that can be included in any number of ocean-inspired Halloween party themes. Here are a few ideas:
Pirates of the Caribbean Isles: Pirate-themed parties aren’t just for the kids. Celebrate with all the splendor of a seafaring captain with a spread of rum-glazed entrees, plenty of seafood, and piles of golden (chocolate) coins alongside a pitcher of this bourbon pomegranate punch oozing with “caviar”.
Gothic Horror Dinner Party: Whether you’re inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s maddening Elder Things and horrific Deep Ones or long for a sophisticated meal fit for Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, this blood red cocktail would look beautiful in sets of vintage crystal goblets. Even better, you can say the “eggs” are from Cthulhu himself, smuggled from his underwater prison of R’lyeh.
Feasting with Sea Monsters: Water spirits are my favorite type of monster, and this bourbon pomegranate punch is fit for a feast among the savage merpeople, nixies, and sirens. Serve this drink as part of a dark fantasy underwater theme celebrating the Kraken, Sea Serpents, and Loch Ness Monsters of ocean lore, or as the bounty plundered by the monster hunters that chase them down.
Under the Scarlet Sea – An Earl Grey Bourbon Pomegranate Cocktail
Celebrate Halloween in style with a delicious pitcher of Under the Scarlet Sea Bourbon Pomegranate Punch. The delicate flavors of Earl Grey infused bourbon, tart pomegranate, & sweet raspberry liquor are garnished with black tapioca pearl “caviar” for a disturbingly sophisticated large batch cocktail.
- 1 ½ cup unsweetened pomegranate juice
- 1 cup Earl Grey Infused Bourbon
- ½ cup Chambord raspberry liquor
- ½ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup simple syrup
- 8 dashes Peychaud’s Aromatic Bitters
- Club soda, to taste
- At least one cup black tapioca pearls and crushed ice, to garnish (optional)
Combine all but the club soda in a large glass bowl or serving pitcher. Stir vigorously, cover, and chill for at least an hour.
Prepare the black tapioca pearls according to package directions and allow to cool.
When ready to serve, fill the glasses with crushed ice, followed by a few black tapioca pearls (if using). Gently pour the Bourbon Pomegranate Punch into each glass, leaving a little room. Top with club soda. Some tapioca pearls will (hopefully) rest atop the ice, while others may sink. That’s okay. Serve immediately.
Infused Bourbon: This is recipe is written using an incredibly simple DIY Earl Grey Tea Infused Bourbon. You can easily make this a few days before your event, but any smooth bourbon with mild flavor will work in this cocktail recipe.
Black or White Tapioca Pearls: I used black tapioca pearls in this recipe because I liked their resemblance to caviar and the color contrast against the red, but white pearls may also be used if you prefer that look or want the eggs to resemble those of spiders or squids rather than fish.
Storing Tapioca Pearls: Store the tapioca pearls separate from the bourbon pomegranate punch until ready to serve. While it takes a while to affect the taste, soaking the pearls in the punch for too long (an hour or more) can alter the flavor profile of the cocktail.