Several Tampa Bay bars are going all out for the holiday, crafting seasonal cocktails that pack a hallowed punch. Datz in Tampa and the Mandarin Hide in St. Petersburg use squid ink to turn their cocktails a shocking black. Datz uses it in their Black Widow cocktail, one of their specialities this time of year. It's categorized as a beer cocktail because it contains chocolate porter, among other ingredients like spiced rum and cacao liqueur. Their Dracoola uses fig jam and red food paste to turn the drink a bright red.
One of the Mandarin Hide's seasonal cocktails, La Noche Oscura, is made with a tequila base, lime juice and a dash of that squid ink. Erin Davey, director of eduction at the bar, says, "The cocktail tastes like a refreshing, salt-touched spicy margarita, but is an eerily disconcerting black color. Perfect for Halloween." Over at Ciro's Speakeasy and Supper Club in Tampa, a Prohibition-themed bar, they go the pumpkin route, with actual pumpkin puree in their Harvest Moon drink.
Feeling extra adventurous? Here are the cocktail recipes from the three bars.
2 ounces High West double rye
½ ounce lemon juice
1 ounce brown sugar simple syrup (equal parts brown sugar and water, melted together and cooled)
3 to 4 dashes fennel bitters
½ ounce fig jam
3 dashes red food paste
Shake all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker and double strain. Garnish with a dried fig.
Makes 1 drink.
La Noche Oscura
1 ½ ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila
½ ounce lime juice
½ ounce lime cordial
½ ounce jalapeno-infused agave nectar
Dash squid ink
Combine all ingredients with ice, shake and double strain into a coupe glass. No garnish.
Makes 1 drink.
Source: Mandarin Hide
½ ounce Demerara syrup
¾ ounce lemon juice
1 ounce Averna Amaro
1 ounce Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka
Bar spoon of pumpkin puree
Add first five ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake. Double strain into a Collins glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a lemon twist.
Source: Ciro's Speakeasy and Supper Club