Creating Craft Cocktails with Activated Charcoal (Guest post by Rebecca Siggers)

by | Jul 21, 2020 | Culture, Home Bar, Mixology, Recipes

Recent innovations in drink creation, paired with increasing quality of specialty products available, have allowed us to now craft our cocktails with activated charcoal. The detoxifying and purifying effects of activated charcoal (carbon ash) can help to cure various ailments, like controlling bloating, as well as whitening our “pearly whites”.

You have all the options to cherry-pick from; charcoal capsules to powder or even coarse charcoal powder, to add in your drink. These ‘over-the-counter’ activated charcoal options transform your favorite cocktails into an uncanny and peculiar “Halloween”-esque drink within a few seconds. However, be careful about the measurements, as overdosing can make your drink taste gritty and devoid of any flavor! Below are recipes to create five fantastic craft cocktails with activated charcoal. You can transform your traditional home-bar into an innovative one, by simply trying your hands on these five recipes.


Black is the New Black

Let the darkest of dark color embrace your ‘darker side’ with this particular Halloween cocktail. It’s ideal to celebrate these occasions in full glory!

Glassware: Coupette

Ingredients: Tequila Blanco – 45 ml, Mezcal – 15 ml, Fresh lime juice – 15 ml, Agave syrup – 10 ml, Blackberries – 6, Activated charcoal powder – ¼ bar-spoon, Orchid or any edible flower for garnish

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients (aside the garnish). Give it a good shake with ice, until the entire cocktail shaker turns icy. Strain, with the help of a fine strainer, into a pre-chilled Coupette. Garnish with an orchid or any edible flower. And now your cocktail drink is ready for thirst quenching!


Death Before Dinner

The eeriness of this drink does not only give a fascinating feeling, but will help in minimizing your hangover! All kudos to the purifying effect of activated charcoal, as you can taste the ‘goodness of life’.

Glassware: Coupe

Ingredients: Flor de Cana (or Black Rum – 4-Year) – 1 1/4 ounces, Activated charcoal powder – a pinch, Agave syrup – 1/4 ounce, Grapefruit juice – 3/4 ounce, Fresh lime juice – 1/2 ounce, Orgeat – 1/4 ounce, Maraschino liqueur- 1/4 ounce, Garnish with a grapefruit twist

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker, mix all the ingredients and give it a thorough shake. Then strain the liquid, with the help of a bar strainer, into a coupe. Garnish it well, with a bit of grapefruit twist. And now you can taste the sinful ‘Death before Dinner’!


Ciroc Kelly

Experience the gray shades of life with this cocktail! This lemony, mildly-floral drink ought to make you ask for more!

Glassware: Highball Glass

Ingredients: Simple syrup – 1 1/2 ounces, Mastiha water- Four drops, Ciroc vodka– 1 1/2 ounces, Becherovka – 1/2 ounce , Fresh lime juice – 1 ounce, Yuzu juice – 1 ounce, Hella Citrus Bitters – 3 drops, Activated charcoal powder – 100 mg, Two lime wedges and a Shiso leaf (for shaking), A couple of Shiso leaves and a few drops of Bergamot bitters (for garnishing)

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker put all the ingredients barring Ciroc Vodka (and the garnish ingredients). Give it a thorough shake. Then add some ice cubes along with the Ciroc Vodka. Give it another good shake. Place a few ice cubes at the base of the Highball glass. Then strain the entire liquid into it, with the aid of a strainer. Garnish the cocktail with some Shiso leaves and a few droplets of Bergamot bitters. The “(Ciroc) About Kelly” is ready for a go!


Black Mamba Margarita

This particular cocktail has the goodness of most alcoholic beverages, along with the ‘craftiness’ of activated charcoal. Ignite your midnight spirit by sipping the Black Mamba Margarita.

Glassware: Rocks Glass

Ingredients: Tequila – 50ml to 2 ounces, Activated charcoal powder – 1 teaspoon, St. Germain – 1 ounce, Fresh lime juice – 3/4 ounce, Orange bitters – a couple of dashes, Spritz and Bowmore Scotch – a few drops to garnish.

Instructions: Put all the ingredients, along with an entire mini-bottle of tequila (50ml), in the cocktail shaker. Shake well, with lots of ice, until the ingredients mix thoroughly. With both a bar strainer and a fine strainer , strain the drink into a glass containing ice. Garnish with few drops of Bowmore Scotch. And, your Black Mamba Margarita is ready to intoxicate you with its ‘sinning’ taste.


La Diabolita

Are you planning for a laid-back Halloween party with your besties? Try making this midnight-colored cocktail with activated charcoal. You will enjoy preparing it as much as drinking it, and love this ‘infamous’ Halloween drink.

Glassware: Hurricane Glass

Ingredients: Tequila Blanco – 60 ml, Juice of tomato – 120 ml, Activated charcoal powder – 1/3 teaspoon, Freshly squeezed lime juice – 5 ml, Horseradish – one teaspoon, Worcestershire sauce – 3 dashes, Hot-n-spicy sauce – 2 dashes, Jalapeño brine in pickled form – one bar spoon, Sea salt – a pinch, Black pepper – a pinch, Celery salt – a pinch, Smoky paprika – a pinch, Mezcal (for floating) – 10 ml, Pickled sliced jalapeño, parsley, kumato and two red chilies – For garnishing.

Instructions: In an overly large glass, add together the powdered charcoal along with the fresh juice of tomatoes. Stir well with a stir spoon. Inside a cocktail-shaker, put a few ice cubes at the base and add the 60 ml tequila, one bar-spoon of pickled jalapeño brine, freshly squeezed lime juice, a couple of dashes of hot-n-spicy sauce, horseradish, three dashes of Worcestershire sauce, with the ⅓ teaspoon of powdered charcoal, a pinch of celery salt, a pinch of sea salt, a pinch of smoky-flavored paprika and a pinch of pepper. Roll the shaker, to mix the ingredients, in both directions. With help of a bar-strainer, pour the drink into your hurricane glass, now pre-filled with ice cubes. Garnish with pickled jalapeño, two red chilies and a bit of kumato; as well as parsley. Float the entire 10 ml Mezcal on top of the drink, and your ‘superbly’ hot, spicy, tangy hangover-saving cocktail is ready!


A Cut Above

Before we know it, Halloween will quickly be on its way. It is time for you to embrace the darker side of the cocktail drink world, all courtesy of activated charcoal. Apart from its great potentiality to cure specific ailments, it stands one of the most sought-after cocktail drinks in the current day. Taste the eeriness and make your Halloween a special one. Pick any one of the five crafty charcoal activated cocktails mentioned above, and enjoy to the fullest!