Activated charcoal is thought to be detoxifying, purifying, even medicinal — perfect for keeping it clean as you get ready for bathing suit season. It’s no wonder, then, that restaurant mixologists and bartenders have gone to the dark side, adding activated charcoal to their cocktails for sexy black sips. Here are five photogenic charcoal-activated cocktails that will blow up your Instagram feed. To your health!
Not Kilgore’s Drano, Spoke & Steele, Indianapolis, Indiana
It’s been ten years since the death of iconic author Kurt Vonnegut, and to honor the local Indy legend, as well as giving a nod to the grand re-opening of the Vonnegut Museum there, many of the city’s restaurants have Vonnegut-inspired cocktails on their menus, including the charcoal-activated Not Kilgore’s Drano sip at this downtown restaurant. Kilgore Trout was a character in many of Vonnegut’s books, and in the Breakfast of Champions, Kilgore’s demise is brought on by drinking Drano. This dark sip is created with Bank Note Scotch (Vonnegut’s drink of choice was scotch and water), Rittenhouse Rye, lemon, thyme agave syrup, two drops of saline solution, and ¼ teaspoon of activated charcoal (a nod to Kilgore’s dark fate) – with a cayenne pepper and thyme garnish. Make a reservation at Spoke & Steele.
Black Tie White Noise at Beauty & Essex, New York, New York
The name of this interesting cocktail is a nod to David Bowie’s 18th album. The drink blends a host of ingredients — simple syrup, lemon zest, yellow chartreuse, Gentleman Jack Tennessee Whiskey, Bruichladdich Port Charlotte Scotch, and Angostura bitters. But the ingredient that really rocks this sip is one capsule of activated charcoal (and that whiskey, by the way, is filtered twice through charcoal). Make a reservation at Beauty & Essex.
Black Tai at Stripsteak by Michael Mina-Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii
Lead bartender Raymundo Jaime designed a cocktail program at Michael Mina’s newly-opened restaurant that creatively plays with island life cocktails, including his tropical Black Tai. The aloha cocktail is a nod to Hawaii’s celebrated Mai Tai, and the recipe calls for Appleton Estate VX Rum, lime juice, Black Sesame Orgeat, Pierre Ferrand Orange Curacao, brown sugar syrup, and, wait for it, a capsule of activated charcoal. It arrives garnished with a mint sprig. Make a reservation at Stripsteak by Michael Mina-Waikiki.