The Black Beetle

A stirred and strong cocktail created for National Comic Book Day in 2021 in celebration of the character Black Beetle.

National Comic Book happens every year on September 25th. Make yourself a cocktail, grab a comic book (use the Comic Shop Locator to find a shop near you) and relax with one of America’s original art forms.

The Black Beetle Cocktail

For National Comic Book Day 2021, I re-read one of my favorite comics, Black Beetle: Kara Bocek. Black Beetle, an original character created by writer and artist Francesco Francavilla, is a 1940’s style masked vigilante in the vein of the Shadow and the Green Hornet. In this particular story, the Black Beetle travels to the Middle East to fight Nazis in pursuit of a mysterious object of terrible power. Francavilla adds many details that incorporate the culture of the day, including jazz music and, yes, cocktails.

Man holding a comic book and drinking a cocktail

The Black Beetle Cocktail

This cocktail is very strong and quite bitter, making use of a dark rye, a strong (and high-proof) Italian Amaro, and coffee liqueur. It’s a strong and bitter drink, so those unaccustomed to such strong flavors might wish to add a small measure of simple syrup to balance it to their liking.


  • 2.0 oz Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye
  • 0.5 oz Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur
  • 0.5 oz Fernet Branca
  • 2 dashes Coffee Bitters
  • ¬†Optional: 0.5 oz Simple syrup
  • Garnish: Brandied cherry
  • Preparation: Stir all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice until well-chilled. Strain into a cocktail or coupe glass, then garnish.



Make sure to check out the other cocktails created by the Cadre for National Comic Book Day.


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