We’re always on the lookout for fun new food and drinks trends. And lately, inky cocktails have been popping up, coinciding perfectly with our July 2017 #HLBWIssue – if you’re looking for an explosion of monochrome inspiration, get your copy in stores or online now. Bartenders have been experimenting with activated charcoal, squid ink (not to be used if you have seafood allergies), toasted black sesame seeds and black walnut hulls to produce dramatic drinks.
If you’ve already tried the Heart of Darkness, for which we shared the recipe last week, here’s another: the Absolut Kelly. Created by Ektoras Binikos for the opening of the Sean Kelly Gallery, this dark drink is meant to be a transformative experience based on German artist Joseph Beuys’ idea of the ‘anti-image’. ‘The outward appearance of the Absolut Kelly — with its grey, muted tones — belies its combination of unexpectedly colourful, complex flavours. All components were carefully selected to represent the ethos and sensibilities of this great art institution that is the Sean Kelly Gallery.’
2 lime wedges
3 shiso leaves (2 for garnish; alternatively substitute with peppermint, lemon basil or Thai basil sprigs)
45ml gum Arabic syrup (or make a simple syrup by dissolving 2 parts sugar in 1 part water at a slow boil)
4 drops of Mastiha water
45ml Absolut vodka (although another kind would work too)
45ml Becherovka herbal liqueur
30ml lime juice
30ml yuzu juice (try Seville orange juice if you can’t source yuzu)
3 drops of Hella Citrus bitters
100mg activated charcoal powder
smoked sea salt for garnish
3 drops of Bergamot bitters
In a martini shaker, muddle 2 lime wedges, one shiso leaf, the gum Arabic syrup and Mastiha water. Add ice and the remaining ingredients minus the Bergamot bitters. Shake well. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice and rimmed with smoked sea salt. Garnish with 2 shiso leaves and top with 2-3 drops of Bergamot bitters.