Creepy Halloween Eyeball Martini ( Lychee Matcha and Blood Orange Martini) - a super fun Halloween themed cocktail.
I love creepy Halloween cocktails and I had some fun creating these. You could also just call it a lychee, matcha and blood orange martini if the eyeball part grosses you out. Any way you call it, these are creepy and delicious.
Those eyeballs!! I love lychees, their flavor reminds me of one of my favorite liqueur, Elderflower. I used the juice from the canned lychees in this cocktail. There is a lot of leftover juice/syrup from the can that you can use for more cocktails, or reserve for later. It freezes easily.
How do you make an eyeball martini?
These eyeball martinis are a really refreshing martini on their own aside from the "eyeballs". This recipe makes two cocktails which can easily be made in a cocktail shaker; the recipe multiplies easily for a larger amount for a party - in a punch bowl with floating eyeballs would be amazing.
The simple syrup gets made first then chilled. Blueberries are gently pushed into the lychees to make eyeballs. Combine the cocktail ingredients into a shaker with ice, strain into glasses and garnish with the eyeballs. Easy peasy.
What ingredients are in an eyeball martini?
- Vodka - choose something high quality and smooth.
- Blood orange liqueur - I love Solerno.
- lychees - the fruit and the juice
- Matcha simple syrup - simple syrup infused with matcha green tea
- Fresh blueberries (frozen might work, I have't tried it). I start with fresh blueberries, but once the eyeballs are assembled you can freeze them.
I was thinking at first that this creepy eyeball martini might be a little too gross, but I went for it anyway. So many "gross" Halloween foods that kids love, why not make something for the adults? The "eyeballs" are lychees and fresh blueberries. They lychees have a slippery texture so I think they look pretty realistic. For my Halloween standards that is, and they passed the gross test from my kids. They definitely thought these were gross and a little creepy.
When I first was creating the cocktail I loved the flavor of the lychee juice and the vodka together but I wanted something more. I also wanted the drink to have a greenish-yellow tinge to it without artificial color. I did several tests with a few different brands of green tea I have as well as pure matcha powder.
The best, greenest color I found was from Republic of Tea Double Green Matcha Tea. I wanted to do more than just add green tea to the martini so I had an " ah ha!" moment and made simple syrup with it. Ooh wow. So good!
Subtle matcha flavor as well instead of using matcha powder. Matcha can be somewhat of a grassy freshly clipped lawn flavor so I found using a tea bag makes for a nice color with a more subtle matcha flavor.
The eyeballs remind me of "Beetlejuice". That is one of my favorite movies. Its campy, its funny and has a good amount of creep factor to it without being too gross. I love Halloween, but I am not a fan of the super duper gross, gory and the whole obsession with super bloody zombie TV shows is beyond me. But I have many friends that love that stuff.
I like fun Halloween with a little creep factor. Like fruit eyeballs in martinis.
My girls had fun helping me make the eyeballs, and I was amazed I had enough for the cocktail photos, they kept eating the lychees and blueberries!! I made them their own mocktail with lychee juice and the eyeballs, they loved it.
This recipe calls for two martinis, but it is easy to make a larger batch, even a pitchers worth to have at a Halloween party. All the components can be made in larger quantities easily.
A few more notes before the Creepy Eyeball Martini recipe:
I realize this post becomes more popular before Halloween, I did make this recipe many years ago. I have yet to update it since it seems to be great the way it is. If you have any questions please leave a blog comment or email me. Thanks!
- The "eyeballs" freeze well and would look awesome floating in a punch bowl. You could also place the "eyeballs" in ice cube trays and fill with water/coconut water for even creepier ice cubes.
- These can easily be made into mocktails - omit the vodka and replace with a clear juice, sparkling water or coconut water. Replace the blood orange liqueur with blood orange juice (fresh or you can use Pellegrino blood orange soda - so good!)
- The matcha simple syrup can be made ahead of time, keep chilled until ready to use. This flavored syrup is really great in other drinks, non-alcoholic or even to flavor iced tea.
- You can find canned lychees in well stocked grocery stores, Asian and international grocery stores or other specialty food markets.
- 4 ounces vodka ( I used Ciroc)
- 3 ounces lychee juice (from canned lychees in syrup, reserve remaining syrup/juice and lychees)
- 2 ounces Solerno blood orange liqueur
- 1 ounce green tea simple syrup**
For the Simple Syrup:
- 6 oz water
- 6 oz cup sugar
- 1 matcha green tea bag
- lychees (from canned lychees in syrup)
- fresh blueberries
For the Simple Syrup:
Bring water to a boil and pour into glass measuring cup. Let sit for one minute then add the green tea bag. Let steep 3 minutes. Remove the bag and add in the sugar, stir until dissolved then chill completely before using. This makes more than the drink calls for, store the remaining simply syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Use it to sweeten other cocktails or even just a cup of green tea.
For the Cocktail:
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add in all the cocktail ingredients, shake well and divide between two martini glasses. Take a couple of the lychee fruits and put blueberries in them to make the “eyeballs” either sink a couple into the drinks or skewer and rest on top. Serve drinks chilled.
- You can make the simple syrup ahead of time so it's ready to go when making the martinis instead of making it and waiting for it to cool.
To make these non-alcoholic substitute coconut water for the vodka, or any light colored juice that won't overpower the light flavors of the lychee and matcha. A lightly flavored or plain sparkling water would also be a great substitute for the vodka
- You can make the simple syrup and "eyeballs" ahead of time. The eyeballs could be frozen as is on a waxed paper lined baking sheet until frozen then stored in an airtight bag or container until ready to use or frozen in ice cube trays with water/juice/coconut water combo for even creepier ice cubes
To make as a mocktail : combine the lychee juice with the matcha simple syrup and add any other fruit juice you like - white grape or apple would work well or even a flavored sparkling water or soda. Blood orange soda would work well in place of the blood orange liqueur.