The black cat is a simple mixed drink that is perfect for a party, happy hour, or a lazy day on the patio. You can think of it as a spiked cherry cola with a cranberry twist. It's a tasty cocktail for your favorite vodka and incredibly easy to mix up.
Ideal for a Halloween party, this is one black cat you won't mind crossing your path! The vodka and cherry brandy are a nice foundation for the cranberry juice and cola. All of the ingredients are relatively inexpensive and common, so it's also a very budget-friendly drink.
In a highball glass filled with ice, pour the vodka and cherry brandy.
Fill the glass with equal amounts of cranberry juice and cola.
This recipe is very basic and there are a number of ways you can put a personal spin on it. If you don't have one of the ingredients, don't worry! It's possible that you already have or can find a viable substitute.
Vodka: The black cat is heavily flavored, so there's no need to pour your best vodka in this drink. It's a perfect recipe for cheaper vodkas, some of which are surprisingly impressive for the price. Flavored vodkas are also a great option. Consider building on the red fruit flavor with berries or pomegranate. Espresso vodka and many of the dessert vodkas would be interesting here as well.
Cherry Brandy: Any cherry liqueur will work just fine in place of the brandy. Consider maraschino or Cherry Heering, or double up on the vodka and pour a cherry-flavored vodka instead. You can even skip the alcohol and use a syrup of that flavor or simply grab a bottle of grenadine, similar to the Roy Rogers mocktail.
Cranberry Juice: The easiest way to build up a different fruity flavor is to use a juice blend that includes cranberry. Pomegranate, berries, apple, grape, and cherry are often added to cranberry juice and any of these blends would be great in the black cat. Simply explore the options available at the store and give one a try.
Cola: Cola is cola and there is no other soda that can really replace it while delivering the same flavor. However, not all colas are created equal, so give this drink a try with different brands. Rather than Coke or Pepsi, pick up a bottle of any specialty sodas you find. They're often much better for mixed drinks because they tend to be less sugary. Root beers and sarsaparillas could make an interesting black cat as well.
Though the black cat recipe does not specify a garnish, it would be a nice addition for a party. The natural choice would be a cherry. You could skip the bright red maraschinos and make your own using fresh cherries and maraschino liqueur. It's a fun and useful DIY project that creates cherries you'll actually want to eat.
It would also be fun to use a novelty ice tray with skulls, bones, and other creepy figures. To add a "bloody" effect, drizzle a little grenadine in the tray when the water's partially set up or add red fruit like cranberries to the ice.