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”.
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.