In last week's Last Call, I got to show off a punch recipe with a sanguine hue. It's great for just about any variety of Halloween party you can imagine, especially one that leans more toward the sophisticated end of the Halloween party spectrum.
However, there's a lot of fun to be had in silly, kitschy Halloween parties. You know the kind. People dress up as lascivious versions of... well, pretty much anything you can imagine. And there's probably going to be lots of shots.
There's quite a few possibilities. Just about any weird colored drink (e.g. Midori) becomes a mad scientist's experiment when served in test tubes. And when you know that tonic water glows under a black light, it opens up a whole world of ideas.
But this week, I'm going to show off a shot that's all about the special effects of specific gravity: the Brain Hemorrhage.
Specific gravity is a measure of the density of a substance compared to water. Liquids with lower specific gravities will float on top of liquids with higher specific gravities. Bartenders have used this trick for years to create beautiful layered drinks such as the B-52 and the Tequila Sunrise. Since the specific gravity of Baileys Irish Cream is lower than that of DeKuyper Peachtree Schnapps, Baileys comes out on top. However, with the Brain Hemorrhage, there's another bit of science going on. Peachtree is slightly acidic. When the milk proteins in the Baileys hit the acid in the Peachtree, they thicken, forming a grotesque looking layer. Dribbling in some grenadine (heavier than both the Baileys and Peachtree) pulls a little of the Baileys through the Peachtree, making the whole thing look like a quite gruesome little experiment.
I feel like I should note that this is one of those times it's probably a good idea to stick to the brands listed. Different bottlings of Irish cream and peach liqueur may have different specific gravities than Baileys and Peachtree. And if the peach liqueur doesn't have any acidic component, then the layering effect won't happen the right way. You can certainly try other brands; just make sure you do a test run before you make them for a party.
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Brain Hemorrhage DeKuyper Peachtree Schnapps Baileys Irish Cream Grenadine
Fill a shot glass halfway with Peachtree. Slowly pour in Baileys almost to the top. Slowly dribble in 1 barspoonful of grenadine.
Variation: Alien Brain Hemorrhage Similar drink, different color. After adding Baileys, drizzle in a barspoonful of blue curaçao. Dribble in a drop or two of grenadine.