June Gloom

If you’ve spent time around LA — or really any part of Central to Southern California — during June, then you’ve experienced the oddity that is June gloom. You’d think because it’s summer, the days would be amazing sun-washed experiences of brilliant glory. However, the sad reality is that coastal clouds overhang and put a damper the mood, hence June gloom. We decided it was time to turn that gloominess into a drinking opportunity. Get ready for the June Gloom (in cocktail form)!

tequila and grand marnier

The first thing that I knew we needed with this drink was to give it the appearance of gloominess. Then, we’d have to counterbalance that with a bright, tart, exciting flavor. See? Bringing the fun. Defying expectations, that’s us.

I’d been playing with activated charcoal as an ingredient for cocktails for a little while, but hadn’t found the perfect application — until now! While it’s not the most common of ingredients, I think you’ll find the charcoal in the cocktail provides (no flavor) a medicinal quality. It’ll help cleanse you. See that? A health drink! You’re welcome.

Once I’d keyed in on how to make this June Gloom cocktail bitchin’ looking, I just needed to decide the flavor. For me, when it comes to California inspired, I couldn’t help but riff on a Margarita. While states don’t technically have cocktails, if we did, I’d vote for the Margarita.

add filtered charcoalstrain cocktail

As we were riffing, I added some lemon simple syrup to the mix — so we have three full citrus flavors: orange, lime and lemon. In case you missed the memo, simple syrup is a one-to-one mix of water to sugar. To make a lemon edition, just add lemons peels to it while you boil it. Cool it, bottle it and add it to your drinks for a subtle lemon flavor.

Then, since we’d already kicked up the citrus, I figured we needed to add more. Because more is more. It’s simple math. Plus, to balance the tartness and sweetness, I figured we needed some bitters to round out the flavor. Hence, I added a splash or two of orange bitters.

From there, we were set!

garnish with lime circle

What you get with this June Gloom cocktail of excitement (and intrigue) is a dark, moody looking drink that hides its bright, cheery nature.

Now, let’s get to the June Gloom!

June Gloom
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 3 oz. tequila
  • 1 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 1½ oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. lemon simple syrup
  • Dash of orange bitters
  • ¼ tsp. activated charcoal
  • Lime round
  • Glass type: coupe
  1. Make your lemon simple syrup and cool it.
  2. Add tequila, Grand Marnier, lime juice (fresh), lemon simple syrup, orange bitters and activated charcoal to your shaker with ice.
  3. Shake.
  4. You're now creating a gloomy cocktail.
  5. But it's gonna taste bright.
  6. Mind = blown.
  7. When you're done shaking, pour into your coupe.
  8. Garnish with a lime round.
  9. Looks gloomy.
  10. Tastes bright and delicious.
  11. Suck on that clouds!