Turn back time and sip like you’re in a different era with this Mount Vesuvius-inspired drink

By Alyssa Sparacino
Updated: November 09, 2016

This cocktail is named after a volcanic mountain near the shores of Southern Italy, known to have destroyed entire towns and civilizations. But we swear this cocktail is tame enough for you to drink.

Frangelico subdues the more intense flavors from the bourbon and the ancho chili liqueur, and the activated charcoal plays into the drink's name, giving the entire glass an eerie, deep gray appearance. (Maybe you should keep this recipe on hand for your Halloween punch bowl-just saying.)

You may have heard about-or even tried-activated charcoal; it's popping up everywhere from fine dining restaurant menus and pressed juice bottles, but the purported health benefits of activated charcoal, including its supposed detoxifying effects, are mostly smoke and mirrors, as Dr. Mike Roussell told us in The Truth Behind Activated Charcoal.

Even if you aren't getting a cleanse as you drink, mad scientist and bartender James Palumbo of Belle Shoals Bar in Brooklyn, NY, who crafted this creative cocktail knows what he's doing when it comes to delicious drinks that will impressive your friends, and trust us, this one will blow their minds. Boom! (Looking for more cocktail recipes unlike those you've ever DIY-ed before? Mix up this egg white cocktail, this boozy banana smoothie recipe, or this alcoholic dark chocolate drink.)

Vesuvius Cocktail Recipe


0.5 oz. Frangelico

1.5 oz. Woodford Reserve Bourbon

0.5 oz. Ancho Reyes chili liqueur

Activated charcoal


  1. Combine Frangelico, bourbon, chili liqueur, and activated charcoal in a mixing glass.
  2. Add ice and stir until properly diluted.
  3. Strain into a cocktail coupe filled with ice.
  4. Then, top it off with a garnish of mini chili peppers.


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