Military

Dead Man’s Kiss: A Halloween Coffee Cocktail To Dye For

October 30, 2020Brittany Ramjattan
Dead Man’s Kiss

Photo by Amanda Weeks/Coffee or Die Magazine.

Some people eagerly wait all year for Halloween — they love the costumes, the decorating, and all the festivities. For others, the season is all about avoiding the onslaught of sugar and horror movies. Regardless of where you fall on the Halloween spectrum, it’s also a great excuse to imbibe in some tasty caffeinated drinks and adult beverages. Why not combine them with a dead man’s kiss?


As the name suggests, this beverage is dark and dastardly. While its dark color makes the cocktail festive enough to serve at your next Halloween party, a dead man’s kiss is as simple to make as it is to drink. All you need is black vodka and an espresso shot, with the option of simple syrup for those desiring something a little bit sweeter. 


dead man's kiss coffee cocktail, halloween, coffee or die, black rifle coffee company
The dead man’s kiss coffee cocktail is as simple as espresso and black vodka — and perfect for Halloween. Photo by Amanda Weeks/Coffee or Die Magazine.

Did you get hung up on the “black vodka” part? While you can scour your local liquor stores in hopes of finding that elusive bottle of Blavod, the sole commercial black vodka on the market, you’ll likely wind up empty-handed. However, there are methods for crafting your own black vodka, such as using black rice or food-safe black dye. 


DIY black vodka offers two distinct advantages: It costs less, and you can use any flavor of vodka you want. If you’re looking to balance the strong taste of espresso, a marshmallow- or vanilla-flavored vodka would work well. For something richer, there’s chocolate vodka. Making your own means you’re in control of the flavor, which can be a huge benefit when crafting a cocktail.


dead man's kiss coffee cocktail, halloween, coffee or die, black rifle coffee company
Photo by Amanda Weeks/Coffee or Die Magazine. Graphic by Kenna Milaski/Coffee or Die Magazine.

If you go the black-dye route, powder food coloring is the best option. Alcohol can be finicky about what it combines with, and gels and liquids have a tendency to sit on top of the alcohol or separate quickly. Powder food coloring is hydrophilic, meaning it’ll be soluble in alcohol. Use only one-half teaspoon of powder per 2 ounces of vodka — anything more and you run the risk of an unpleasant artificial taste or random dark spots in your drink. Then give it a good stir, and you’ll have jet-black vodka. 


Using black rice takes longer but is a little more forgiving. All you’ll need is a quart-sized jar, a cup of black rice, a strainer, and your vodka of choice. Rinse the rice, then place it in the jar and fill the rest of the jar with vodka. Let it sit in a cool, dry place. Strain the rice once the color is infused — this averages about eight hours, but feel free to leave it overnight or for up to three days.


Halloween isn’t for everyone, but with caffeine and alcohol, everything’s a little more bearable.



Brittany Ramjattan
Brittany Ramjattan
Brittany Ramjattan is a freelance writer with a background in film. Brittany is currently a graduate student at Stony Brook’s Television Writing program in Manhattan, and when she’s not slaving over her computer, she’s slaving over her French press, working on her perfect cup. 
More from Coffee or Die Magazine
BRCC Limited Edition Josh Raulerson Blackbeard Skull Shirt
From Naval Service to Creative Canvas: BRCC Veteran Artist Josh Raulerson

Coffee or Die sits down with one of the graphic designers behind Black Rifle Coffee's signature look and vibe.

Medal of Honor is held up.
Biden Will Award Medal of Honor to Army Helicopter Pilot Who Rescued Soldiers in Vietnam Firefight

Biden will award the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team from almost certain death.

dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

Ouija Board aircraft carrier
Low-Tech ‘Ouija Boards’ Have Helped Aircraft Carriers Operate for Decades

Since the 1920s, a low-tech tabletop replica of an aircraft carrier’s flight deck has been an essential tool in coordinating air operations.

Army vs. Navy mascot
The Navy Goat vs. the Army Mule: Mascot Origin Stories

For nearly as long as the Army-Navy football rivalry, the academies’ hoofed mascots have stared each other down from the sidelines. Here are their stories.

ukraine long-range weapon
Zelenskyy Says Ukraine Has Developed a Long-Range Weapon, a Day After Strike Deep Inside Russia

Zelenskyy said on his Telegram channel the weapon was produced by Ukraine’s Ministry of Strategic Industries but gave no other details.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2023 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved