Day of the Dead Cocktails: La Diabolita

Continuing our theme of black cocktails for Halloween, here’s La Diabolita, an inky black riff on the Bloody Maria in time for Day of the Dead celebrations.

Day of the Dead Cocktails: La Diabolita

Day of the Dead or Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico as well as in several countries around the world on November 1. It’s an occasion to honour the dead and is often centred around food and drink.

Taking cue from the squid ink cocktails for Halloween while giving a nod to the Black to the Future cocktail by the team at Maybe Frank, La Diabolita is a spicy Bloody Maria gone goth with activated charcoal to give the drink its deep black colour.

Activated charcoal comes in a very fine powder form and while it has many uses from whitening teeth to detoxing effects, we’re putting it to use in a cocktail. A little goes a long way when working with activated charcoal. It doesn’t add additional flavour when it’s used in very small amounts. We recommend you use it sparingly until you have the desired effect.

The drink is garnished with kumatoes for eyes, red chilli for horns, pickled jalapeño and parsley, also known as the devil’s herb.

If you’re looking for a Halloween hangover cure with a kick, here’s how to make La Diabolita.

La Diabolita Cocktail Recipe


  • 60 ml tequila blanco
  • 120 ml tomato juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of activated charcoal powder
  • 5 ml fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon of horseradish
  • 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 dashes of hot sauce
  • 1 bar spoon pickled jalapeño brine
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • celery salt
  • pinch smoked paprika
  • 10 ml mezcal (to float)

Glassware: Hurricane glass
Garnish: 2 red chillis, pickled sliced jalapeño, kumato, parsley


  1. First, in a tall glass, add the activated charcoal to the tomato juice and stir well to combine.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add tequila, tomato juice with the activated charcoal, lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, jalapeño brine, salt, pepper, celery salt, smoked paprika over ice and roll the drink back and forth.
  3. Strain the drink into a hurricane glass over ice and float the mezcal on top. Garnish with two kumatoes and a sliced jalapeño on a skewer, red chilli and parsley.

You may also like: Activated Charcoal Cocktails – Black Is the New Black

Photo by Cocktails & Bars – © Copyright: All rights reserved.

Day of the Dead Cocktails: La Diabolita was last modified: February 1st, 2018 by Corinne Mossati
Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of Cocktails & Bars and popular online magazine Gourmantic. She is named in the Australian Bartender Magazine Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The World’s 50 Best Bars Academy who judges the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions. Read the full bio here.