Black Opal Cocktail Recipe

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Black Opal Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Black Opal cocktail is a mysterious and alluring drink that originated in the 1920s during the Prohibition era. It was created by a bartender named Jack, who worked at a speakeasy in New York City. The cocktail quickly gained popularity among the elite and adventurous drinkers who frequented the underground bars during that time. The Black Opal is a favorite among those who appreciate a complex and sophisticated flavor profile.

  • The Prohibition era
  • Created by a bartender named Jack
  • Popular among the elite and adventurous drinkers

How Black Opal Tastes?

The Black Opal cocktail is a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors with a hint of smokiness. The drink is well-balanced, with a rich and velvety texture that coats the palate. It has a strong, yet smooth, finish that leaves a lasting impression.

Interesting facts about Black Opal

  • The Black Opal is named after the rare and precious gemstone, which is known for its stunning play of colors.
  • The cocktail was featured in the 1946 film 'The Big Sleep,' starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
  • The Black Opal is often considered a 'sipping' cocktail, meant to be enjoyed slowly and savored.


A few good options for Black Opal are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


  • Why 2oz? A solid base to ensure the botanicals stand out without overwhelming the modifiers. Too much gin could overpower the cocktail's delicate balance. Too little and it becomes a fruity mocktail minus the kick.
  • The flavor: Juniper-forward with herbal and floral notes. It's what turns a juice into an adult beverage!
  • Without it: You'd have a berry lemonade. Nice, but not a cocktail.
  • Substitute: Vodka for a cleaner taste, or a flavored gin to twist the botanical notes.

Mary Mitkina

Blackberry Liqueur

  • Why 1oz? It's the sweet spot. Literally. Any more and you might as well be sipping syrup. Any less, and you'll miss the berry boat entirely.
  • The flavor: Sweet, rich, and as deep as a blackberry bush that's been soaking in alcohol. Which it has.
  • Without it: You're berry-less in a gin sea. A no-go.
  • Substitute: Raspberry liqueur for a tangier taste, or crème de mûre for a deeper berry vibe.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

  • Why 0.5oz? This is the zesty zing needed to cut through sweetness and balance the drink. Too sour can turn faces inside out. Not enough, and it falls flat.
  • The flavor: Fresh, acidic, bright – like a sunbeam in a glass.
  • Without it: Say goodbye to refreshing and hello to cloyingly sweet.
  • Substitute: Lime juice for a slightly different tart twist.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

  • Why 0.5oz? It's the peacemaker between tart and sweet. Too much, and you're sipping sugary gin. Too little, no peace is made, and the flavors war on your taste buds.
  • The flavor: It's sugar water; it tastes like your favorite sweet childhood memories.
  • Without it: The balance tips, and the tart lemon could bully the other ingredients.
  • Substitute: Honey syrup for a more complex sweetness with a touch of floral notes.

Mary Mitkina

Egg White

  • Why 1 egg white? For the silken froth that crowns the glass. It's like a pillow of cloud atop your cocktail. Too much, and you're drinking meringue. None at all, and the texture flatlines.
  • The flavor: It's not about flavor; it's about mouthfeel – smooth, velvety, luxurious.
  • Without it: You lose the magic touch that elevates this from drink to elixir.
  • Substitute: Aquafaba for a vegan option, giving you similar froth without the egg.

Emma Rose

Angostura Bitters

  • Why 2 dashes? Just enough to add depth and complexity. It's the sprinkle of magic dust. More than a few dashes and it can turn the drink bitter. Too few, and you might miss out on the mysterious undercurrent.
  • The flavor: Herbal, a tad bitter, and with a warm spice that hugs the back of your palate.
  • Without it: The cocktail tastes less dimensional. Flat, even.
  • Substitute: Orange bitters for a citrusy edge, or Peychaud's for a lighter floral note.

Alex Green

Lemon Twist

  • Why garnish? Because we eat (or drink) with our eyes first! Plus, the oils from the twist add a hint of aroma and flavor.
  • The flavor: It's all in the nose – a waft of citrus that signals the brain, 'Get ready for refreshment!'
  • Substitute: An orange twist for a different zesty note, or a blackberry for a berrylicious hint.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Black Opal Drink

  1. In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, blackberry liqueur, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  2. Add the egg white and shake vigorously without ice to emulsify the egg white.
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake again until well-chilled.
  4. Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Add two dashes of Angostura bitters on top of the foam.
  6. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Pro Tips

  • To achieve a frothy and velvety texture, make sure to shake the cocktail vigorously without ice first to emulsify the egg white.
  • Use fresh lemon juice for the best flavor.

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie Board: The rich fruit notes of the Blackberry Liqueur will complement the savory flavors of cured meats and aged cheeses.
  • Dark Chocolate: The bitterness of dark chocolate can balance the sweetness and acidity of the cocktail, making it a delightful pairing.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Lamb Chops: The herbal notes of the gin can harmonize with the earthy flavors of lamb, while the blackberry adds a hint of sweet contrast.
  • Roasted Duck Breast: The fruit-forward aspect of this cocktail pairs beautifully with the richness of duck.


  • Lemon Tart: The citrus in both the cocktail and the tart will echo each other, creating a refreshing and coherent flavor experience.
  • Berry Sorbet: The berry flavors will naturally vibe with the blackberry liqueur, amplifying the fruitiness in the drink.

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What you could change in Black Opal

  • Gin: You can substitute vodka for a lighter flavor profile.
  • Blackberry Liqueur: You can use creme de cassis or Chambord as a substitute.

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In case you forgot basics how to make Black Opal

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Black Opal

Can I use a different type of bitters in the Black Opal?

Yes, you can experiment with different types of bitters. However, the Angostura bitters originally used in the recipe add a specific depth and complexity to the cocktail, so swapping it out may change the taste.

I don't have a cocktail shaker. Can I still make the Black Opal?

Yes, in the absence of a cocktail shaker, you can use a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid. Just be sure to shake vigorously to properly emulsify the egg white.

Is the Black Opal a good choice for a cocktail party?

Absolutely, its sophisticated flavor profile and intriguing history make the Black Opal a great conversation starter at any gathering.

How did the cocktail get the name Black Opal?

The Black Opal is named for its deep, gem-like color mimicking that of the precious black opal stone.

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