Food & Drink

Drink This Black Gin on Halloween. Or Whenever.

Scapegrace Is Naturally Black and Changes Color When You Mix It

By Kevin Gray ·
Image: Scapegrace

Let everyone else partake in the fake eyeballs and brains this year.

Because all you need for a proper Halloween party is this black gin, which looks the part, tastes good and magically changes color when it's mixed.

Scapegrace Black is the world’s first naturally black, color-changing gin, and it just arrived stateside.

Like all respectable gins, Scapegrace Black starts with juniper as its core botanical, alongside other classics like citrus peels and coriander. From there, the New Zealand-based distillery uses a combination of local sweet potato, aronia berries, pineapple and saffron, as well as butterfly pea flower sourced from Southeast Asia. It's these last five ingredients that, when steeped precisely, lend this gin its smoky color. 

scapegrace black gin changing color

Scapegrace has fresh aromas of spicy juniper, pineapple and lemon. It's full-bodied, though softer and more floral than a London dry. Its flavors range from juniper and earthy pepper to menthol, herbs and tropical fruits. It's solid on its own, if that's how you like to drink your gin. But if you want to break out a party trick, or drink something that doesn't resemble a Dementor, mix it with tonic or citrus. 

The butterfly pea flower in the gin contains a pigment called anthocyanin, which causes the color to change as it's introduced to acidity. As a result, the jet black gin quickly turns purple. If you keep your ingredients simple and make a G&T or a Collins, that purple color sticks around. If you choose to make a Negroni with bright-red Campari, or enlist sweet vermouth or other dark ingredients, you can expect your drink to turn a deeper hue. 

Is the color gimmicky? Maybe. But a lot of science and a year's worth of experimentation went into the product. And the result is a fun, eye-catching gin that tastes like gin. Not "gin."

That part's important.

Kevin Gray

Kevin Gray lives in Texas. He likes whiskey, weekends and hammocks, often at the same time.

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