Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Tequila & Mezcal Cocktails

Black Betty

A solid rocks glass holds a dark black cocktail. Its egg white foam top creates a stunning contrast, and it’s dusted with a bright red powder. The drink rests on a black and white marble surface.
Image: Fred Fung

The Black Betty is the creation of Kaitlyn Stewart, formerly the bar manager of the now-closed Royal Dinette, a celebrated farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Vancouver. The drink is by no means a quick or easy concoction to make—with activated charcoal, dehydrated beetroot-sugar, and black sesame orgeat, there is a lot of prep work to be done. Because of this, it’s a drink best saved for a special occasion, when you can make a number of them for guests—they’ll surely appreciate the stunning dark depths and vibrant beetroot-sugar garnish dusted across a layer of egg white. When entertaining, it’s best to make the orgeat at least a night in advance, that way you can taste it for quality.

The Black Betty is more than a looker—the black sesame orgeat adds a deep complexity, while the sweetness of crème de cassis blends beautifully with the bright and funky blanco tequila and tart lime. More than giving the drink a stunning contrast, the egg white adds a creamy mouthfeel. A dry shake— a preliminary shake with no ice—enhances the foaminess of the egg white and creates a firmer layer for the dehydrated beetroot sugar dust to settle on.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounce El Jimador blanco tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Odd Society crème de cassis
  • 1 ounce pressed lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce black sesame orgeat*
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon activated charcoal
  • Garnish: dehydrated beetroot sugar**

Steps

  1. Combine all the ingredients into a mixing tin, and dry shake to emulsify egg white.

  2. Add ice and shake again for 10 to 15 seconds.

  3. Fine-strain into small rocks glass with no ice.

  4. Garnish with dehydrated beetroot sugar.

  5. *Black sesame orgeat syrup: Lightly toast 2 cups of black sesame seeds in a pan. Let cool, then blend in a blender or food processor. In a separate saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/4 cups water to a light simmer. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the blended sesame seeds to the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then remove from heat and cool for 3 hours. Once the mixture has cooled, strain through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth until silky. Add 1 teaspoon orange blossom water and 1 oz vodka. Bottle and refrigerate. Can be stored for up to 3 months.

  6. **Dehydrated beet sugar: Juice four large beets, take the pulp (or byproduct), and ring out excess juice using a kitchen towel or cheese cloth. Spread the pulp onto a tray, and place the tray in a dehydrator or oven at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the pulp is completely dry, add it to a spice grinder or blender with 1/2 cup white sugar, then blitz into a fine powder. Makes 1 cup.