The Witch

Halloween is so fun and stupid. This weekend we spent like an hour in the Halloween section of Target and I never wanted to leave. Every animatronic monster and fake-elegant-goth serving bowl called to me. Bryan and I are very interested in someday hosting a fancy AND scary Halloween dinner party. We talk about it a lot, but still haven’t made it materialize. Maybe next year. We do know what cocktail we will serve.

This black elixir, which I am calling The Witch, ticks a couple of important boxes for a Halloween cocktail party: it is beautiful while remaining scary and it is delicious without being too challenging. Also, fire is involved.

I can’t believe I am posting a recipe that calls for activated charcoal, yet here we are. You might have a juice bar near you that adds this ingredient to recipes and claims it eliminates toxins from your body. Even the little jar I have makes this claim, which is funny in combination with gin. Anyway, you absolutely need this ingredient, which is easy to find online. The cocktail isn’t worth it without the color. Also, for more background and health guidelines on activated charcoal, read this article which seems pretty well-reasoned and researched. It also contains the quote (spoken by a nutritionist*): “I think our bodies are really toxic”.

Happy Halloween!

The Witch (adapted slightly from Epicurious)

  • 2 ounces pear juice**
  • 1 ounce dry gin
  • 1/2 ounce Chartreuse liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon activated charcoal powder
  • 1 dried sage leaf***

Combine everything in a cocktail shaker, fill with ice, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass. Light the dried sage leaf on fire and drop it into the glass.

***I happened to have some dried sage leaves. The original recipe suggests (see link) that you can dry our fresh sage leaves in the microwave.

**I found pear juice at Whole Foods. Everything at the supermarket was a juice cocktail or sweetened, and I think pure pear juice seems important here.

*A nutritionist in Los Angeles.

10 comments to “The Witch”

  1. Tim, your open disdain for the froufrou and trendy never ceases to amuse/delight me. I hope you have this fancy scary Halloween party soon, as I would gladly invite myself to it.
    I like to think I’d be an acceptable guest despite living in a neighborhood where activated charcoal vegan soft serve is the food of the moment… :P

  2. Genius. Thank you.

  3. OMG – I’d fly to Chicago to attend your fancy scary Halloween party. And, I’ll bring whatever you ask.

  4. I relate to your Halloween obsession so much, including the ultimate dream of having a themed dinner/party with all of the decorations and spooky food. This cocktail certainly fits the bill, and I love the flavor combo! xoxo

  5. We returned from France with a bottle of Chartreuse…thank you for the timely recipe!!!!

  6. Curious about what spooky foods you would serve at a Halloween cocktail party!

  7. Wow yes, I would also love to hear some ideas for a fancy scary dinner party (in addition to this cocktail that is). You can’t believe you’re posting a recipe with activated charcoal, and I can’t believe I’m going to make one. Thanks!

  8. As reason to go buy myself a bottle of Chartreuse.

  9. I just had a drink with activated charcoal in it! I was suspicious at first, but it was really good!

  10. Between activated charcoal and gluten free pasta, I really am toxin free. That is spooky, no?