The Cocktail Hour: Little Black Spell

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Little Black Spell

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!4leafclover


The mojito has a long and colorful history. The drink originated on the island nation of Cuba, and from there comes a parting of the minds. One popular story has an associate of explorer Sir Francis Drake creating a drink called El Draque with a crude precursor of rum in the 1500s.

Another theory is the drink was developed by the African slaves who worked the sugar cane fields on the island. That the word ‘mojito’ is thought to come from the African word mojo which means ‘little spell’ would lend credence to that particular school of thought.

Either way, the mojito has become a popular drink in England, throughout the rest of Europe, and the United States.

In Paris, I was introduced to a version of a mojito I’d not encountered before. At a small bar in the Bastille, the bartender made a Black Mojito, and I was instantly enamored.


Like the traditional mojito, the Black Mojito contains lime juice, mint, sugar, and soda water. Here’s where it differs: as the original was created in Cuba, it makes sense that the primary alcohol used is rum. The Black Mojito uses a black vodka from Russian maker, Eristoff. The company has since been acquired by Bacardi, the distillery famous for its rum.


Eristoff Black is a vodka infused with wild berries, black currant and a hint of apple, making for a rich spirit, sweet and tangy at the same time.

The rest of the ingredients follow a typical mojito recipe, down to the muddling of the mint leaves in the sugar and lime juice.


Now that you’re all worked up at the prospect of a Black Mojito, here’s the bad news, you cannot buy Eristoff Black in the States. And you can’t buy it online and have it shipped to the States. And you can’t have someone in France buy it and ship it to you in the States. The only way to get Eristoff into the U.S. is to bring it with you from wherever you purchased it.

Or have someone who travels to Paris frequently and loves you a whole LOT bring it back for you! 🙂

So assuming you can get your hands on some Eristoff Black, here’s the recipe for my favorite version of the Black Mojito, the unforgettable, Little Black Spell.

recipe card

Instead of adding the one ounce of plain vodka, you could always add a light rum, instead, to change the flavor up a bit.

This is a perfect summer cocktail, but I don’t have any reservations about having one in the midst of a January blizzard.

It’s a simple drink, the flavors are not what I would call complex, but it is oh so tasty. And while Eristoff takes a bit of planning to acquire, it’s totally worth it.

UPDATE 10.28.18: There are several different berry infused vodka’s available in the US, now, and although I can’t vouch for the flavor, it certainly would be worth a try!


On this St. Patrick’s Day:

May your mornings bring joy
and your evenings bring peace…
May your troubles grow less
as your blessings increase!

Cheers! Chin Chin! Sláinte!

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