With everything turning up red, white and pink in February, some might prefer a darker tone. To that effect, I present The Dark Soul Martini, an alternative drink for the month.

To ensure I provided you with the best possible cocktail, I turned to a close friend whose mixology skills are far superior to mine. Without so much as a blink, Kristan Higgins returned the perfect formula to feature kraken ink.

Kraken ink? 

Why, yes. From the dark and shadowy seas, cephalopod ink adds a mysterious, black sheen and a deep, briny flavor to the Martini.

Should you be unable to enter an alternate history to obtain kraken ink, any cephalopod ink will serve as a suitable replacement. I suggest obtaining a whole squid from your local seafood store but, for the more squeamish or land-locked, both squid and cuttlefish ink can be purchased online.

So where did I obtain my ink? Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a step by step dissection demonstration featuring the very squid used in this preparation.

Without further ado, I present:


The Dark Soul Martini

The perfect drink for celebratory autopsies.

Depending upon the number of celebrants, double, triple, or septuple the recipe below, which accounts for a single adult beverage.


  • 2 ounces of vodka of one’s choice, combined with 1/8 teaspoon kraken ink*, to recall that much can be achieved under cover of darkness
  • 2 ounces of pomegranate juice, to symbolize the blood of one’s enemy
  • 1 ounce of orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau or Triple Sec, as one contemplates the sweetness of success
  • 1 ounce of lemon juice, to hint at the bitterness that once drove you underground

Fill the martini shaker 1/3 full with crushed ice to symbolize that revenge is a drink best served cold. Add the now-black vodka and other ingredients. Shake as long as a thrill flows through one’s veins. Pour into an appropriate receptacle, garnish with a tentacle and enjoy.

*should this prove impossible to procure, substitute the ink of your chosen cephalopod (or an equivalency of black food coloring)


How To Harvest Your Own Squid Ink



1) Obtain a whole squid. Fresh would probably be best, but I was able to locate frozen Korean squid at a nearby grocery.




2) Place the squid on a cutting board. Flip it over onto its back (siphon pointing up). Slice into the the mantle just beyond the siphon. (Don’t just cut the entire cephalopod in half.)






3) Locate the ink sac beside the digestive tract. Gently tease it free from the connective tissue. Using a sharp knife, cut the end free (not the bulbous end, but the end near the mouth).








4) Nick the bulbous end of the ink sac with a sharp knife. Holding the mouth end, squeeze downward toward the nicked, bulbous end, emptying the contents into a bowl. Depending upon the species you have selected, the amount of ink you will obtain will vary. Plan accordingly to acheive your 1/8 teaspoon.



5) Use collected ink to darken the vodka.



6) Cut the tentacles away from around the mouth. Simmer on the stovetop in water. When cooked, blot away water and use as garnish. 

About Anne

Though USA TODAY bestselling author Anne Renwick holds a Ph.D. in biology and greatly enjoyed tormenting the overburdened undergraduates who were her students, fiction has always been her first love. Today, she writes steampunk romance, placing a new kind of biotech in the hands of mad scientists, proper young ladies and determined villains.

Anne brings an unusual perspective to steampunk. A number of years spent locked inside the bowels of a biological research facility left her permanently altered. In her steampunk world, the Victorian fascination with all things anatomical led to a number of alarming biotechnological advances. Ones that the enemies of Britain would dearly love to possess.

To chat with Anne, stop by on Facebook or join the Department of Cryptobiology Facebook group. You can also join her newsletter list to have cover reveals, sneak peaks, sales and giveaways delivered straight to your inbox.


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