The Blackbeard

October 28, 2013

With Halloween just days away, I wanted a cocktail that would chill your bones. Last week I set the mood with a spooky pumpkin punch, but this drink needed to be truly terrifying. First, I turned it as black as the sea floor. Almost unnaturally so. But you won’t find any food coloring in this drink . . . just a touch of squid ink got the job done. Are you scared yet? Yo ho ho, add a little spiced rum (I couldn’t help myself). Arr matey, don’t be alarmed. These flavorful ingredients more than mask any brininess of the sea. What you have instead is a devilishly sweet cocktail sure to shiver ye timbers!

The Blackbeard // HonestlyYUM

Photography shot with the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 digital SLR camera. Small in size, enormous in performance.

The Blackbeard // HonestlyYUM

The Blackbeard // HonestlyYUM

The Blackbeard // HonestlyYUM

The Blackbeard // HonestlyYUM

The Blackbeard // HonestlyYUM

The Blackbeard // HonestlyYUM

The Blackbeard // HonestlyYUM

The Blackbeard cocktail

A spirit forward spiced rum cocktail dyed black naturally with squid ink
Servings: 1 cocktail



  1. Start by adding the spiced rum, Fernet, and crème de cacao to your shaker.
  2. Next, add the squid ink. Careful, this stuff stains!
  3. Give the ingredients a hard, dry shake (no ice). This will help thoroughly incorporate the ink.
  4. Fill your shaker with ice and shake vigorously for a full 30 seconds so that your drink becomes cold and frothy.
  5. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and top with the chocolate stout.


You can find squid ink at your local fish market. You can also try a grocery store with a good fish counter, like Whole Foods. If you're squeamish, feel free to substitute black food coloring.

(images by HonestlyYUM)


Hi Todd,

Do you know, if it’s possible to make this in a big batch? For instant in a jar, i am having a cocktailparty and making big batches just wanted to add a black one, above all the coloured ones. A very late replay

Just made this and oh my lord this is amazing. I never even considered using fernet in a way like this!! I also tried it with a chocolate peanut butter porter instead and it was great.

Love the look of the drink! Where did you get the tinted martini glass from? I’ve been looking for opaque martini glasses but may have to resort to something more like this.

Hi Campbell, thanks for stopping by! I picked it up at Target a few years back, believe it or now.

This looks great, however, can I use a different bitters instead of Fernet Branca? I can’t find this around me, and I will never use it again. Thanks!

Where did you get the Toxic Blend Poison? I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

I Want that poison bottle with the skull stopper. where is that from?

I love it! Too bad I only found this at 6:30pm on Halloween night… Next year!

PS> Where did you find that awesome “Poison” bottle!

Hi Todd
This cocktail from last Halloween is amazing. Mind if we share it on our Facebook page with credit to you and Honestly Yum?

This cocktail looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it. I’m curious about your “poison” bottle. I have the same one, but the skull on mine is glued to the bottle. What did you do to get it off?

Thank you Jenny! That’s so weird. Mine wasn’t glued in at all – how funny.

This looks amazing! I’m having trouble tracking down the Fernet Branca here in London. Do you have any recommendations for variations that might be easier to track down?

what craftsmanship … art at its finest. standing O. you guys always blow me away! the photos are amazing and the concepts always pushin’ the limits of my imagination.

I am loving these photos!! Perfect styling.

I never worked with squid ink before. Does it color your teeth ;)?

this is sooo cool. If I ever have a Halloween party, this is so happening.

Squid ink is quite common in Spain and there are a few Spanish renowned recipes that use it. Most usually it’s cooked with other ingredients for some time, and I recently heard a famous chef saying that uncooked squid ink is toxic. Any idea about this?

Ooooooo (ghosty-noises here), I sooooo want one of these! Right. Now! This looks incredible…devilish yes, but incredible all the same. Who’d a thunk that you could use squid ink in a cocktail? And is that a ghost face I see in the foam on your finished drink? Beautiful, artistic photography/styling on this post, from the dark tones to the sparse, limited splashes of color. All I can say now is wow. You sir, are a mad-cocktail-scientist!

Wicked, I tell ya! Loooove this Halloween cocktail! Oh so spooky and inventive from the squid ink for utter darkness to the touch of bitterness from the Fernet Branca to the fab combination of crème de cacao and chocolate stout as well as a hint of spice from rum. Pure genius! Incredible styling and photography here, too. Love that killer smoky stemware. You are an inspiration, Todd. Outstanding post, right down to the gravely pirate voice. I loved it. Happy Halloween, my friend!

Stacy!! Thank you sooo much! Your comments mean so much to me. I hope you had a fun Halloween. I ended up kicking back with the family watching a little tv and passing out candy. I’m totally in love with your scary movie breakdown on your site! So gooood!!

And again, thanks for ALWAYS being so kind and supportive 🙂

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