The Black Heart is a Halloween cocktail recipe that's one witch of a drink! With Chambord, mezcal, and genever, this is one brew that'll keep you coming back for more. It's on the sweet side, but the smokiness of mezcal cuts through it to make a truly satisfying cocktail.
I called this drink The Black Heart because of the deep, dark red color. Plus, Chambord is a black raspberry liqueur! The other ingredient that adds to the color, plus gives a tangy flavor, is the lingonberry syrup. I highly recommend it, but you can check out the Substitutions section below for other ideas if you don't have it around.
Check out my easy and delicious Halloween Margarita recipe or the spooky Bloody Shiraz Sour recipe for more Halloween-inspired drinks! If you're looking for something else using mezcal, this Mezcal Chocolate Cherry cocktail is a definite winner.
Here's what you'll need to mix up this brew:
- Genever (or gin) - I used Bols brand genever. Genever is a traditional Dutch spirit that's a precursor to gin, and has some juniper and malt flavor notes. It reminds me a lot of unaged brandy (like Pisco) mixed with gin.
- Mezcal - I used El Silencio brand mezcal. Mezcal, like tequila, is made with agave, but it's usually a lot smokier in flavor because of how it's made.
- Black Raspberry Chambord liqueur - this brings a ton of sweetness and raspberry flavor.
- Chocolate bitters - these are so good! I love using them with just bourbon on ice too.
- Lingonberry syrup - this brings both tart and sweet flavors.
- Maple syrup
- Dried jasmine flowers for adding smoke (optional)
Although some of these ingredients are out of the ordinary, I recommend them all! That said, there are some substitutions you could make in case you don't have something available.
- Genever - you could use gin or vodka in place of the genever.
- Mezcal - you could use tequila in place of the mezcal. If you do this, I definitely recommend using smoke in the glass. Or, you could use smoked simple syrup in place of the maple syrup for a more smoky flavor.
- Chambord - any berry liqueur could work well here, like Crème de Mûre (blackberry).
- Chocolate bitters - if you don't have these, you can use Angostura, or a spiced style of bitters like ginger or cardamom.
- Lingonberry syrup - this is a very tangy and tart syrup. If you can't get it, a cranberry syrup would work great. You could also make a reduction out of cranberry juice by heating it on low heat for a while until it gets thicker, and add sugar to create your own syrup.
- Maple syrup - you can use simple syrup instead, or increase the lingonberry syrup.
- Dried flowers - I just used these to add a little smoke to the cocktail glass. It added a nice touch! You could use any herb or spice, or a few wood chips. Or, just omit it.
You can play around with this one a lot! Try out one of these variations.
- Super Smoky - omit the genever/gin and just use mezcal.
- Glinda the Good Witch - add ½ ounce of heavy cream or half-and-half for a creamy pink drink. You'll likely want to shake it instead of stirring with the cream addition.
- Spicy Black Heart - mix the drink ahead of time before shaking with ice, and add some cut up pieces of Thai chili peppers to it. Let it sit overnight, and strain out the chili peppers before finishing.
To make this drink, you'll need a heavy-bottomed cocktail stirring glass, a long bar spoon to stir, and a strainer to strain out the ice. I love all of the equipment I use from A Bar Above! They have great quality tools and they last forever.
If you want to add the smoke, you'll need a heatproof plate to get the flowers to smoke. Then, just turn your cocktail glass upside-down on top.
You can use any serving glass you want, but a Martini glass is a great choice! I love the gold-bottomed Martini glass I used in the photos.
Start out by getting your cocktail glass ready, and adding smoke to give it a little flavor. Make sure you know where your fire extinguisher is before you try this! Take your heatproof plate and add the dried flowers, then touch a long lit match or lighter to them to get them to smoke.
Turn your serving glass upside-down on top of the smoke and set the plate aside while you make the rest of the drink.
Turn your cocktail serving glass over and strain the drink into the glass. Serve immediately.
Hint: A maraschino cherry on a cocktail pick would be a great garnish!
You can make a big batch of these ahead of time for a Halloween party! Mix together everything in proportion in a pitcher, and add in a quarter ounce of water per drink.
So for four drinks, multiply everything by 4 (you can use the handy multiplier in the recipe below!) and then add in one more ounce of water. Stir it together and keep the pitcher in the fridge overnight.
There's no need to chill or dilute with ice, since it'll already be chilled and diluted! Just add smoke to your cocktail glasses before serving.
The Black Heart - Halloween Cocktail
- Cocktail stirring glass
- Cocktail serving glass
- Lighter or long match (optional)
- Heatproof dish (optional)
- Place the dried jasmine flowers on the heatproof dish and use the lighter to char them so they are smoking.
- Turn your cocktail glass upside down and place it over the smoking flowers.
- Add the genever, mezcal, Chambord, chocolate bitters, lingonberry syrup and maple syrup to your cocktail stirring glass.
- Add ice to the glass and stir with a bar spoon for about 30 seconds.
- Turn the cocktail glass upright and strain the drink into the glass.
- Serve immediately.