I’m going creepy-crawly on you today!!
Look at that dark-as-night cocktail. So spooky! The Total Eclipse is here to stay, at least until Monday 😉
Since I’m going to be in Hawaii with my pops for Halloween (hunkered down in our hotel chowing on some sort of Korean takeout, no doubt, because no way will we be venturing into the streets of Waikiki on such a crazy evening), I figured I’d start the celebration a little early and make an eerie black cocktail to get in the Halloween spirit.
My secret to the crazy color of this tasty Total Eclipse? Activated charcoal! Guys, I think I may have found a new favorite ingredient for turning any and all recipes the darkest shade of black.
I have to admit, I’m not the first one to jump on the activated charcoal cocktail bandwagon. I first tried a drink using this new “it” ingredient when I attended this year’s Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival Cocktail Competition. The theme was “Year of the Mule,” and I’m pretty sure I tasted every single version of a mule under the sun. The one with the activated charcoal really stood out, though. Not necessarily because of the taste (it was reminiscent of some sort of tincture or cough medicine), but because of the crazy color! I immediately knew I had to do some research on this new and intriguing ingredient.
Lucky for me, Amazon now sells everything under the sun, and I was easily able to snag an ample bag of activated charcoal. Now I just had to figure out what to do with it!
A quick brainstorm sesh with the hubs (my go-to for all things cocktail) led to using some sort of white rum. Maybe the midnight color of the charcoal made us think of pirates? No idea. We just knew we didn’t want to use any alcohol that had any color to it, so as not to mess with the already inky color of the drink.
Activated charcoal doesn’t have much of a taste to it, which makes it perfect for mixing into cocktails just for color. When I was researching, I found an article from Food & Wine stating that bartenders used to use squid ink to lend a black-ish color to their drinks. Unfortunately, this was a bit limiting, as the squid ink imparted somewhat of a saline flavor into whatever they were making. With the activated charcoal, you don’t have to worry about that!
Because there’s not much taste, I decided to make a slightly modified version of my favorite light rum cocktail that has loads of flavor – the mojito! Of course, I had to tinker with it a bit to make it my own, and thus the Total Eclipse was born. Pretty spooky-cool, huh?
The recipe is incredibly simple. You’ll need all of the basic mojito ingredients – white rum, lime juice, fresh mint, simple syrup, soda water – plus some angostura bitters. Don’t leave these out! They were the final nail on the coffin for this drink (pun completely intended.) And of course, we can’t forget the star of the show, the activated charcoal!
We’re going to muddle, shake and stir for this Total Eclipse, because we need all of the flavors to combine “just so.”
We first muddle the fresh mint with the simple syrup right in the glass.
Now we throw the rum, activated charcoal, and lime juice into a cocktail shaker with a good dose of ice and give it a good shake.
Next step is to pour this into the glass with the muddled mint, ice and all.
A splash of soda water, a dash of angostura bitters, and a little stir, and you’re good to go!
I don’t know what your plans are for the weekend (or Halloween, for that matter,) but if you’re looking to scare a delicious drink into someone, this Total Eclipse is most definitely your answer.
You’ll have to mix some up and enjoy them for me while I’m busy eating my way through Oahu!
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- 5-7 fresh mint leaves
- 2 ounces white rum
- 1/4 teaspoon activated charcoal
- 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
- 2 ounces soda water
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- Place simple syrup and mint leaves in the bottom of a rocks glass and muddle to combine.
- In a cocktail shaker loaded with ice (about enough to fit in the rocks glass), add the white rum, activated charcoal and lime juice. Shake vigorously for 15 or so seconds, then pour into rocks glass.
- Top with soda water, then bitters. Stir to combine all of the ingredients. Garnish with a fresh mint sprig, if desired.
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Trick or treat?!