4 Dangerously Dark (and Delicious) Drinks You Need to Try on Halloween
Welcome to the dark side of cocktails.
If gorging on sugary candy sounds like a nightmare, consider celebrating the scariest night of the year with some of the most dangerously delicious dark libations ever made.
RECIPE: 10 Creepy Halloween Cocktails to Spook Your Guests
Halloween is not only the perfect excuse to play dress-up, but it’s also a popular holiday for decadent parties. And if you happen to be hosting your own monster bash this year, dumping vodka into a hollowed-out pumpkin just won’t do. But if the idea of getting too creative with festive-looking cocktails sounds like a major chore, don’t fret — bartenders have been experimenting with a new trend by shaking things up with activated charcoal.
It’s being reported that this unlikely ingredient "dramatic color, bitter smoky flavor and granular texture to food and drinks." And while activated charcoal — defined here as "regular charcoal that has been heated with gas in order to form pores" — has been hailed for its alleged health benefits (e.g., reducing gas, preventing hangovers), it "hasn’t been evaluated in enough studies to prove its effectiveness in other uses."
That doesn't mean we can't throw it in our drinks, though.
READ: The Newest Trend in Detoxing? Drinking Charcoal
"My reason for using activated charcoal in a cocktail was purely aesthetic," explains Jim Kearns, bar director and partner of New York City’s Slowly Shirley, who created the frightfully delightful Perla Negra. "I also wanted to create a cocktail with activated charcoal for a while, because I had seen a few at other bars and really appreciated the visual impact they had, along with the way they play with one's perception of how they will taste."
"For instance, in the case of the Perla Negra, the cocktail is jet black, served in a large, skull-shaped bowl, topped with blood-red sorrel, and yet it is a bright, exotic, tropical drink with a fruity, floral flavor profile," he adds.
If you’re hesitant about painting it too black with your drinks, Kearns assures us that the small amount of activated charcoal used in his recipe "is only there for looks," and in general, it’s recommended you go small with the amount. And if you’re still shaking in your Puss in Boots costume's boots, we even threw in an alternative that’s just as gruesome and tasty.
Get the party started by making your own fightful concoction below: