Based on the classic Mai Tai recipe, this eerie twist not only adds color but also sweet hibiscus flavors to one of the most influential Tiki Drinks. A perfect drink to celebrate the spookiest day of the year.
Quick Facts Halloween Mai Tai
- Method: shaken
- Flavor profile: fruity, sour, boozy
- How to serve it: over crushed ice
- Best glassware: double old fashioned glass
- Alcohol content: ~ 19% ABV, 23 grams of alcohol per serving
Flavor-wise, the hibiscus brings a beautiful floral fruitiness to the drink, which is a fun contrast to the appearance of this Halloween cocktail and fits the base flavors perfectly. And don't worry, you won't taste the squid ink.
- 1.5 oz White Rum
- 0.75 oz Orange Curacao
- 0.75 oz Lime juice
- 0.5 oz Orgeat
- 0.5 oz Hibiscus-infused Dark, aged Rum
- 1 bsp Squid ink
- Before making the drink, infuse dark Rum with dried hibiscus flowers. Depending on the desired hibiscus intensity, this can take any time between 10 minutes to 24 hours. Check regularly to get the perfect amount of flavor for you.
- Add White Rum, Orange Curaçao, lime juice, orgeat, and squid ink into a cocktail shaker with crushed ice.1.5 oz White Rum, 0.75 oz Orange Curacao, 0.75 oz Lime juice, 0.5 oz Orgeat, 1 bsp Squid ink
- Shake for 5 to 8 seconds and "dirt dump" the contents of the shaker into your glass.
- Fill up with more crushed ice and float with hibiscus-infused dark Rum.0.5 oz Hibiscus-infused Dark, aged Rum
More About the Ingredients
Let's look at the ingredients of this Halloween Mai Tai a little closer and see how the roselle and the squid ink work with the other components. A traditional Mai Tai is made from the following:
- White Rum: we like to use Havana Club or Bacardi. Both make a fantastic base for this drink.
- Lime juice: your citrus juice should be freshly squeezed right before mixing this Black & Bloody Mai Tai
- Orgeat: a flavorful almond syrup, often refined with orange blossom or rose water. Orgeat is a staple in bars and part of various tropical cocktails.
- Triple Sec or Curaçao: You can either go with orange curaçao (not blue, because it will spoil the color of our Halloween cocktail) or triple sec. Both are orange liqueurs with an ABV of 15 to 40%.
- Dark Rum (float): We went a bit fancy here and used a Don Papa, but the roselle tastes very intense, so you don't need to spend a lot of $$ here.
In this Halloween Mai Tai, we also add squid ink to the mix to achieve a dark black color. Additionally, we infuse the dark rum with dried hibiscus flowers.
How to Make the Drink Black
Squid ink turns this drink into a spooky black. It is easy to use, flavorless, and risk-free. Simply add it to your shaker with the other ingredients and start shaking.
Tip: warm the squid ink up a little before using it. It tends to get a little cloggy, and warming the pack in your hand makes it more liquid again.
If you're not a fan and the thought of squid ink in your cocktail freaks you out a little, there are two alternatives. The first is activated charcoal, and the second is black food coloring:
While I like eating or drinking things made with charcoal, it does come with two catches:
- Charcoal doesn't dissipate completely and remains grainy in your drink. That is not a huge deal, but it still affects the experience.
- Consuming activated charcoal can have side effects if you or someone you will be serving the drink to is under medication. Check that before using it to color your cocktails.
If you want to avoid charcoal and squid ink, you can always go with food coloring. Personally, I like to stay away from artificial cocktail ingredients, but it's a viable alternative.
How to Infuse Rum with Roselle
You have to allow some time to prepare the hibiscus-infused rum float. Plan at least 10 minutes, but you can easily extend the infusion time to a few hours or even a day.
The longer the hibiscus flowers infuse, the more intense the hibiscus flavor and the color of your rum float.
Also, as the flowers will soak in some liquid, use more than the 0.5 oz required for the recipe. You can even consider infusing a larger batch of rum and use it up in the following weeks.
More Tips & Best Practices
As with a regular Mai Tai, shaking this Halloween version slightly differs from standard recipes. For one, you shake it with crushed ice.
Crushed ice chills your drink faster but also melts quicker. So, limit the shaking to only a few seconds. About 5-8 are alright. That's enough to get your drink ice cold.
Usually, you would strain the drink. However, in this case, you don't. You "dirt dump" the drink into your glass. -Dirty dumping simply means that the full content of a shaker goes into your glass.
Then fill up the glass with more ice and carefully float the cocktail with our hibiscus-infused dark rum. Et voila, a spooky Halloween Mai Tai is ready to be served.
Halloween or not, coloring drinks black has been a trend for years. Actually, it's been around for decades. Only the methods to achieve the color were different. Some examples are:
So, if you need more Halloween-themed inspiration, here are some great cocktail recipes for drinks for your Halloween party.