As most bartenders will say, when it comes to mixing drinks, not everything is black and white. But restaurant manager of Paradise Point’s Tidal Restaurant, Mike Perez says at least one cocktail on Tidal’s menu is — literally — black and white.
1404 Vacation Road, Pacific Beach
Besides being remarkable as a study in ultimate contrasts — a black base topped with an inch-thick collar of white — the Tidal’s Black & White is also a tip of the hat to Hollywood producer and real estate developer Jack H. Skirball, whose house is now Tidal’s home.
“We looked at black-and-white movies, and that’s what started it all,” Perez says, explaining the drink’s inspiration. “We started off with tequila and thought it was going to be more of a sour drink and it evolved after four rounds of tasting and testing.”
The Black & White is drunk all over, thanks to Tidal bartender Kennedy Ocambo, Perez says, who made it after he and Perez began experimenting with activated charcoal — the element that creates the drink’s deep ebony hue. There are also, Perez says, possible therapeutic reasons for mixing the black powder into a cocktail.
“We look at activated charcoal as a detox/retox agent,” he says. “If you mix activated charcoal with alcohol in a small portion, it can be a drink you can have that cures its own hangover. It’s a two-in-one punch.”
Belying the Black & White’s binary appearance, Perez says the drink offers a spectrum of flavors.
“You get the smokiness of the mezcal and it’s a little sweet,” he says. “When you look at its color, it doesn’t look like the most refreshing drink, but it is surprisingly refreshing. It has some of the citrus flavor to it. If it were any other color, someone might say it was a tropical smoky drink.”
Paradise Point/Tidal’s Black & White
- 1.5 oz. mezcal
- .75 oz. grapefruit juice
- .25 oz. green chartreuse
- .25 oz. pineapple juice
- .25 oz. lemon juice
- Splash of agave nectar
- Dash of charcoal powder
Dry-shake ingredients in cocktail tin, add ice, shake again, pour into a coupe and top off with aquafaba froth* and sprinkle of charcoal.
*To prepare aquafaba froth, add 2 oz. aquafaba (a bean-based egg-white substitute), a splash of simple syrup and lemon twist, shake until foaming, about one minute.