Today’s recipe is a Black Whiskey Mac. An avant-garde version of a very traditional cocktail.

Whiskey Mac is a mixture of whiskey and ginger wine, this Black Whiskey Mac, is quite different. It’s a mixture of honey bourbon, vanilla vodka, ginger wine, food grade activated charcoal and bitters. A serious blend of blackened liquors, just in time for Halloween.


Black Whiskey Mac by Diverse Dinners


As you have no doubt surmised, the food grade activated charcoal acts as a coloring to blacken this cocktail. Activated charcoal isn’t just a food coloring though, it has many health benefits.  See list below of its many uses and benefits:

  • anti-aging
  • lowers cholesterol
  • emergency toxin removal
  • hangover cure
  • eases gas
  • teeth whitening
  • weight loss
  • added to juices during detox regimen

There is one very important thing to note. Activated charcoal’s absorption qualities will absorb medication. The same applies to vitamins, birth control and supplements. There is a very small amount of activated charcoal in this recipe, but if you have a chronic illness that requires you take medicine on a regular basis, it might be best to avoid activated charcoal altogether.

Activated charcoal has been showing up in so many foods of late. Ice cream, coffee, cocktails, bread and juices to name a few.  These foods are fun to try, but you shouldn’t make them a habit if you require medication to keep your body in healthy balance.

Serve your Black Whiskey Mac in a novelty shot glass, it’s a potent little number that should be enjoyed in small amounts. It makes for a perfect aperitif to start off a Halloween party, and in the theme of this upcoming holiday, I added a smoking cinnamon stick as garnish in each glass for that “woooo” factor.

Cinnamon sticks do not light up, so you will have to wait until just ready to serve before you light them, so that the cinnamon stick is smoking when you serve. Burning the cinnamon sticks also emits a wonderful scent, which will add to the ambience. 


Black Whiskey Mac by Diverse Dinners


Black Whiskey Mac cocktails are a lot of fun, especially for halloween. No need for ice in this drink, it’s a warming potion that will add a little pep to your step.

Remember drinks responsibly.


Black Whiskey Mac

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 minutes
Total Time12 minutes


  • 1/2 cup honey bourbon
  • 1/2 cup vanilla vodka
  • 1 cup ginger wine
  • 1/4 tsp food grade activated charcoal optional
  • Bitters
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Equipment & Utensils

  • Cocktail shaker
  • Bar spoon


  • Pour bourbon, vanilla, ginger wine into cocktail shaker, then add charcoal.
  • Shake contents vigorously.
  • Allow to sit for 5 mins to allow the charcoal to dissolve, then shake vigorously once more.
  • Shake 4-8 drops of bitters into shaker, according to taste, then stir.
  • Divide into four large shot glasses and add one cinnamon stick to each.
  • Light cinnamon stick just prior to serving, for a smokey presentation.