The Dracula's Kiss is a haunting and super easy cocktail that is perfect for Halloween parties. It is nothing more than black cherry vodka, grenadine, and cola. This makes it, essentially, a made-from-scratch spiked 'Cherry Coke.'
Yet, it is a bit more interesting than that simple description. As is common with Halloween cocktails, we have to add a little visual flare and in this case, that comes in the form of a 'bloody' layer inside the glass.
The Dracula's Kiss is built in two layers: the bottom is red with grenadine and the top is black with cola. It's actually quite a cool effect and one that requires no special skills or practice of your ability to float drink ingredients. The two layers are naturally formed and are only disturbed when the drink is stirred.
You might also notice a similarity here to a non-alcoholic drink called the Roy Rogers. If we were to take the vodka out of the Dracula's Kiss, we would be left with that popular mix of grenadine and cola.
- Coat the bottom of a highball glass with grenadine.
- Add ice and vodka.
- Fill with cola.
- Garnish with cherries.
Dress Up Your Drink With Creepy Embellishments
If you would like to play up the Halloween theme with the Dracula's Kiss, add a novelty Halloween toys to the glass.
- Hang plastic spider rings on the rim.
- Float fake teeth or eyeballs on top of the ice.
For those who want to get a little craftier, consider adding a creepy garnish (the lychee eyeball would be a great fit here).
How Strong is the Dracula's Kiss?
In order to estimate the strength of the Dracula's Kiss cocktail, we need to make a few assumptions. Let's suppose that we use a 40-proof black cherry vodka and 5-ounces of soda to top it off.
With that, we can say that this drink averages out to 5% ABV (10 proof). That means that you can skip the pumpkin beer this Halloween and enjoy a great soda highball without unknowingly turning into a zombie overnight.
Choosing a Great Vodka for the Dracula's Kiss
Let's be honest, cherry and vodka do not work well together in most cases. The majority of cherry-flavored vodkas taste like cough syrup. No matter how hard you fight it, you will have a flashback to your mother stuffing that nasty stuff down your throat as a kid.
That is because many cherry vodkas are flavored with either tart cherries or artificial flavors. These simply do not work well with straight alcohol like we have in vodka. At times, you cannot hide this in a mixed drink, even sweetened recipes like the Dracula's Kiss.
Black cherry vodkas are a welcome exception to this rule. The cherry itself is naturally sweeter than many cherries we're use to and this offsets that cherry-alcohol taste that often makes us cringe. Thankfully, many vodka companies have come over the black cherry side and there are finally some decent (dare I say impressive) cherry vodkas available.
The Best Black Cherry Vodkas
If you're buying a cherry-flavored vodka, opt for a black cherry vodka. You will find these the most mixable and the first four on this list can even be enjoyed on their own when properly chilled. (That's something I didn't think I'd ever suggest with cherry vodka before these came to the market.)
The sweetness of the cherry itself really does help. Yet, some brands like Effen and Little Black Dress add more sweetness with a little vanilla, which is a welcome addition.
- Effen Black Cherry Vodka - A high-class Dutch wheat vodka that is the best black cherry vodka to date (the vanilla seems to really help). Sells for around $27. 37.5% ABV (75 proof).
- Grey Goose Cherry Noir Vodka - Everything you love about the famous French wheat vodka, but with a cherry flavor. It's the first one that turned me on to black cherry. Sells for around $30. 40% ABV (80 proof).
- Zodiac Black Cherry Vodka - A truly impressive hand-crafted potato vodka made in Idaho with natural black cherry flavors. Sells for around $25. 35% ABV (70 proof).
- Van Gogh Black Cherry Vodka - This Dutch vodka brand rarely misses the mark on their flavored vodkas and Black Cherry is no exception. Sells for around $30. 40% ABV (80 proof).
- Little Black Dress Black Cherry Vanilla Vodka - I've not had this personally, but most reports say that it's decent and, at the price, it's worth a try. Sells for around $14. 32.5% ABV (65 proof).
- Seagrams Black Cherry Vodka - If you're going to be cheap on your cherry vodkas, at least step up to Seagrams Black Cherry. As an added bonus, it's very easy to find. Sells for around $11. 40% ABV (80 proof).