Vanished in the Dark – The Classy Halloween Cocktail
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Is it the fourth week of October already? Oh man, I know it’s been a while since we put a blog post together, but this month has been bananas for Mikey and I. Between events, cocktail tastings for clients and working on a holiday cocktail project for Instagram, we barely had any time to get the cameras out ourselves and work on the blog. Not to mention, we finally started our long awaited mixology workshops in Santa Barbara, so it’s been a hectic month, to say the least. Anyhow, I’m not sure if I am bragging or making excuses here, but it’s almost Halloween, and it was about time to get our act together and finally put a blog post in October.
Now, I know that Halloween is all about creative costumes, trick or treating and allowing yourself to eat candy like there is no tomorrow. But “The day of the dead” is also about spending time with friends, and yes, we are all adults here so I’ll just say it: it’s a day to drink.
But you can’t just have a regular cocktail on Halloween, right? Sure, spooky cocktails are at their peak this period of the year, and there is nothing wrong with putting a scary spin your “witch brew” or adding special effects to your shimmery martini.
But most often than not, Halloween cocktails look like something my friends and I went crazy about when we were ten rather than a cocktail I would be intrigued by in my 30’s. Between bloody lychee eyeballs, artificial coloring and smoking dry ice concoctions, Halloween cocktails might just be the “cheesy one-liners that never got the adults in the room amused.” So our mission was to create a mysterious yet elegant Halloween cocktail for those of you who still like to drink in style. Enter
Vanished in the Dark
We started this classy Halloween project by infusing bourbon with Lapsang Souchong tea. This Chinese black tea is notorious for its smoky characteristic, and we often use it as a mezcal substitute in none alcoholic cocktails. We were obviously going for a black cocktail here, and the dark color and smoky aroma of the infused bourbon made the perfect base for this cocktail. (If I were you, I would jump on Amazon and order a box online right away because I had really hard time finding it in stores and tea shops in Santa Barbara and this might just be the case where you live.) Anyhow back to the cocktail.
To sweeten and flavor the cocktail, we use one of our favorite blackberry liqueurs, Creme de Mure by Edmond Briottet. And even though, a generic liqueur or a simple homemade blackberry syrup would do the trick, we highly recommend having Creme de Mure in your liquor cabinet – it’s well worth the investment. Check our Blackberry-Mint-Lemon foam Cocktail.
But the secret ingredient for this enigmatic looking cocktail was activated charcoal. Ironically, the black powder is usually used for detoxing, but in the case of an all-black cocktail, it made the perfect coloring agent. Even though the black dust didn’t flavor the drink, it did give the concoction a lovely black tone and slightly crunchy mouthfeel as the charcoal didn’t actually dissolve (and we liked that.)
After adding egg whites for texture, fresh lemon juice for balance, and an orange La Croix for some bubbly kick, we ended up with a beautiful and delicious Halloween treat worthy of the title classy Halloween cocktail.
Mysterious and delicious the Vanished in the Dark is a great way to spoil your friends and family this Halloween, show off your mixology skills and it’s another bar quality cocktail made at home.
Vanished in the Dark
- 2 oz Lapsang Souchong Tea Infused Bourbon (see notes below)
- .75 oz Creme de Mure (or blackberry liqueur/syrup)
- 0.5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 capsule Activated Charcoal
- 1 Eggwhite
- Orange La Croix
Add all ingredients, besides the orange La Croix, in a cocktail shaker
Add ice and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds
Strain over ice in a tall glass
Top with just a splash of orange La Croix and garnish with loose Lapsang Souchong tea leaves
In a sealable container, combine 750 ml. bottle of bourbon of your choosing (we used Bulleit) and 1/8 of a cup of Lapsang Souchong loose leaves. Seal and let it marinated for about an hour. After an hour, the bourbon will adopt a dark black-ish color and smoky aroma. Try your infusion and see if the bourbon is as smoky as you want it to be. The amount of the tea in the infusion will depend on your personal preference, the brand of tea you buy and the bourbon you're using for the infusion, so we suggest to start small and adjust from there. If you're ok with the taste and aroma, fine strain the leaves through a fine mesh strainer and voila, you got some smoked tea bourbon. If not, add another 1/8 of a cup and marinate for 30 more minutes.