Halloween has creeped up over the years into the list of my favorite holidays. A lot of it has to do with the opportunity to come up with creative themed food and cocktails, but I’ve also discovered a newfound appreciation for quality horror films and TV. I’m not talking about the torture porn that gets churned out by the boatload, but the definitive horror classics, from Halloween to Drag Me To Hell to The Walking Dead (at least the first few seasons). Give me Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist any day and I'll happily watch and then go get a full uninterrupted night's sleep.
I used to hate to watch anything remotely scary (I had to sleep with the light on for several weeks after I watched Signs). Then I hit my mid 20s and settled firmly into non-paranormal-believer status, and then I was free to appreciate the best of horror and suspense filmmaking available without fear. There’s just something about the mythology surrounding American Halloween that makes it the most fun holiday to play with.
Which brings us to this drink! This cocktail has a really nice tart berry flavor that just screams autumn. The activated charcoal (along with some creative photography) is what gives it its dark color, but it’s completely optional. I realize that most people don’t have this ingredient just laying about, and you don’t really need it for flavor here, it’s just for show. Activated charcoal is not expensive, and I happen to have it around because I use it to naturally whiten my teeth. Honestly it’s one of tricks that a food blogger uses to make their content look great, and I guarantee you will enjoy your nice bright red drink without it.
The Black Heart Martini
2 oz vodka
.5 oz creme de cassis
Juice of half a lime
3 oz POM Pomegranate Cherry Juice
6-7 drops rose water (optional)
Activated Charcoal (optional)
Lightly muddle one strawberry with all ingredients except soda in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until it’s as cold as your black, dead heart. Top with a splash of soda water and garnish with the remaining strawberry.