Activated Charcoal Cocktails Are Our Latest Drink Obsession

Mission Chinese Food's Moonwalk Cocktail photographed by Mikey Asanin.

Back to black

The following feature appears in the May 2017 issue of NYLON.

It’s a known fact: Black is always in fashion. And these days the color has transitioned from street-style staple to cocktail menu must-have courtesy of activated charcoal, the ingredient responsible for the spike in midnight-hued happy hour beverages on your Instagram feed.

You might recognize the activated-charcoal hype from the beauty world, as seen in the form of face masks, cleansers, and even toothpastes, since it’s believed to absorb dirt and oil. A similar theory applies to ingesting it—once in your body, proponents say that activated charcoal binds to and eliminates toxins in your system. For this reason, it’s also become a favorite of the supplement- and juice-shop set. 

But now that activated charcoal seems to have officially crossed over from health fad to fun drink trend, a bevy of aesthetically on-point cocktails are cropping up that incorporate the ingredient to magical, moody effect.

Mission Chinese Food’s Moonwalk cocktail, for instance, is made from mezcal, yuzu sake, kosho, citrus, and, of course, activated charcoal, and is sprinkled with “disco salt” (a combination of Maldon salt crystals and confectioners’ luster dust). Slowly Shirley in New York’s West Village has also created a showstopping drink dubbed the Perla Negra, a large-format, rum-punch cocktail served in a huge skull glass, topped with sorrel, and garnished with flowers and a burning candle.

Both Sam Anderson of Mission Chinese Food and Ray Sakover of Slowly Shirley acknowledge that the charcoal’s primary function is to create a deep black tone, and that the ingredient doesn’t really alter the flavor profile of drinks. That said, it definitely makes the cocktail experience more exciting. And while it’s important to note that health professionals advise against consuming too much activated charcoal, indulging in the occasional cocktail only turned our tongues black. 

Slowly Shirley's Perla Negra Cocktail photographed by Mikey Asanin.

Screenshot via Youtube

While the song should serve as a reminder to your exes

Just a day after dropping new single "Nunya," featuring Dom Kennedy, Kehlani has released the winter-wonderland visuals to go along with. The singer, NYLON November cover star, and mother-to-be rocks some of the best winter 'fits I've seen in a while, including a glorious puffer jacket that could double as a down comforter that I absolutely need in my life right now.

Kehlani is clearly living her best life up in some snow-filled forest hideaway, vibing on the beach at sunset and sipping on something bubbly as she coolly reminds nosy exes that who she's with is "nunya business." There's not much of a story line (unlike her recent "Nights Like This" video); the main takeaway is that Kehlani is busy dancing through a forest, missing no one and chilling amongst people who are clearly not the subjects of the song.

Kehlani is only two short months away from bringing baby Adeya into the world, who she thanked for helping her get through the video process. "Shot that 7 months pregnant in da snow..." Kehlani wrote on Twitter, adding, "thank u baby for da motivation, mommy was FROZE."

Even from the womb, Adeya has been hustling hard alongside her momma. Twitter user @ODtheMC pointed out that this is already her second music video appearance, and she's not even been born.

Get some mulled wine ready and escape into Kehlani's winter getaway, below. Stay tuned for her forthcoming mixtape, While We Wait, out on February 22.

Kehlani - Nunya (feat. Dom Kennedy) [Official Music Video]



Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images.

As in Black Panther Political Party leader

It's been a running joke that the Black parents/grandparents of millennials were really confused about all of the Black Panther hoopla ahead of its 2018 release. Many of them were anticipating a movie about members of the Black Panther Political Party and didn't know who the hell T'Challa was. Well, those people are about to have their moment, and we're about to have another one.

Variety is reporting that Fred Hampton, the Black Panther leader at the center of the upcoming biopic Jesus Was My Homeboy, could be played by none other than Daniel Kaluuya. Apparently, he is in negotiations for the role. And he's not the only Black Panther alum in the mix. The Warner Bros. project is being produced by Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler. The same article reports that the forever swoon-worthy Lakeith Stanfield—who appeared with Kaluuya in Jordan Peele's Get Out—is also in negotiations, to play William O'Neal, an FBI informant who infiltrated the Black Panther Party.

Coogler and Charles King are putting together a dream cast to tell a difficult story. Hampton was killed by the Chicago Police Department, while his pregnant girlfriend lay next to him, thanks in part to information they received from O'Neal. Whenever it's out, I strongly recommend having Black Panther queued up as a palate cleanser.