Halloween Cocktail: Shrunken Heads in Apple Rum Toddy

halloween themed food

Someone once said two heads were better than one. How about half a dozen shrunken heads instead? Even better! These little heads were the perfect accessory for my Halloween drink, a hot mulled apple rum toddy. And as Morticia, I can tend to be be as pushy as Lorraine and suggest that if you make one thing this Hallowe'en, it's this!

I debated whether I should tell you that the rum I used was an amazing rum, the Bundaberg Golden Rum Reserve mostly because purists would be horrified that I used such a good rum in my drink but this drink was so, so, so good that I think that it helped make it smooth and gorgeous. You can of course omit the rum for kids.

Shrunken Heads in Apple Rum Toddy

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Level of difficulty: Easy - medium but worth it

  • 4 apples (or one apple per two people if you want to serve a head in a glass to guests)

  • 2 litres/4.2pints best quality cloudy apple juice

  • 1/4 cup/55g/2ozs caster or superfine sugar

  • 6 cloves plus 16 extra cloves for eyes

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 star anise

  • 3 pieces of fresh orange peel

  • 3 pieces of fresh lemon peel

  • 1/2 cup/125ml/4flozs rum

halloween themed food

halloween themed food

Step 1 - Firstly, prepare the shrunken heads. Preheat oven to 170C/340F and line a baking tray with parchment. Peel the apples and cut them in half and take out the core-use a melon baller to do this easily. Then with the small side of the baller or a paring knife, dig out eyes and a mouth and nose-make them all different. You will have eight faces. Place on the baking tray and bake for 30-40 minutes until the edges start to brown. Remove from the oven and add the cloves for eyes.

halloween themed food

Step 2 - Meanwhile prepare the apple rum toddy by heating the apple juice with the sugar. In a muslin pouch, add the 6 cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise and orange and lemon peel and tie up with kitchen string. Simmer for 15 minutes until the flavour of the spices infuses the apple juice. Add the rum at the last minute so that you don't lose the flavour of it-taste and see whether it is the right level of sweetness. Ladle into large cups with a head per person or a large bowl and add the shrunken heads to it.

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