Chocolate lovers will adore this Chocolate Old-Fashioned with their favorite bourbon, a hint of zesty orange and lots of chocolate flavor thanks to a splash of chocolate liqueur, chocolate bitters and chocolate garnishes. Velvety and sweet, this whiskey cocktail is a great after-dinner sipper.
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Chocolate Old-Fashioned recipe
Whiskey is wonderful for many reasons, but one of my favorites is how well it pairs with so many flavors.
Its canvas of tasting notes — oak, caramel, smoke, molasses, vanilla and more — offers room for pairing with a spectrum of complementary flavors.
Chocolate is another delicious pairing, bringing out the sweet caramel and vanilla flavors in bourbon.
This chocolate old-fashioned celebrates this duo, with a hint of coffee and orange zest.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- With three kinds of chocolate added to your favorite bourbon, it’s a chocolate lover’s dream.
- Bourbon lovers will adore it for its twist on the classic old-fashioned.
- It’s easy to make with just a few ingredients.
Serve it after a holiday meal or whip it up as the perfect date night cocktail. Enjoy it after dinner for a dessert drink or a tasty nightcap.
What is an old-fashioned?
Old-fashioned cocktails are spirit-forward, meaning they are heavy on the alcohol. They shouldn’t have any mixers like sour mix or soda.
(Though there is such a thing called a Wisconsin old-fashioned, which does contain club soda. Drink at your own risk though.)
This chocolate old-fashioned includes a splash of chocolate liqueur and chocolate bitters, plus a few garnishes if you want to make a statement.
You only need a few ingredients to make your chocolate old-fashioned. Here’s what to grab from the liquor store and grocery store:
If you have a favorite bourbon, use it here! I love Old Forester for its sweet caramel flavor it brings to a drink at a good price, but there are many more options out there that would be equally delicious.
Check out my Bourbon 101 guide if you need help picking a brand to buy.
Chocolate liqueur lends its sweet, chocolate notes to the whiskey.
Crème de cacao is a sweet, chocolate-flavored liqueur. It comes in a clear version and a dark brown color.
The clear version will keep your old-fashioned cocktail looking more whiskey-like, whereas the dark-colored version will have a more chocolatey vibe. Up to you!
Bitters are essential to any old-fashioned cocktail.
Chocolate bitters is what gives this cocktail it’s melted chocolate flavor. It gives it a balance with the sweetness of the burnt sugar syrup and bourbon.
There are a number of bitters brands selling chocolate bitters. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters are classic chocolate.
- El Guapo Spiced Cocoa Bitters have a gently spiced flavor.
- Hella Mexican Chocolate Bitters include notes of cinnamon.
Coffee bitters are a bit harder to find, so they’re definitely optional. But if you’re up for growing your bitters collection, they’re wonderful in so many drinks.
- Crude Bitters Big Bear Bitters brings notes of both coffee and cocoa to the mix.
- Cocktail Kingdom Coffee Bitters has notes of coffee, chocolate and licorice.
- El Guapo Chicory Pecan Bitters offers a hint of nuttiness.
Old-fashioneds often include a twist of orange peel. The sour essential oils from zest lend themselves well to balancing the sweetness of the chocolate liqueur and whiskey.
However, it does produce a chocolate orange flavor in this drink, which is not everyone’s cup of tea. (People either love a Terry’s chocolate orange or they don’t!)
If you don’t love chocolate and orange together, simply skip this ingredient.
And if you love the chocolate-orange flavor, you can add a few dashes of orange bitters to the drink too.
What’s a cocktail without a garnish?! Definitely consider adding a garnish or two to this drink, especially if you want a gorgeous dessert presentation.
Here are a few ideas:
- Rim the glass in chocolate syrup. (I love making it at home with cocoa powder.)
- A rim of chocolate sprinkles would also be fun.
- Place a chocolate cookie (like a Pocky chocolate biscuit stick) on top
- Add a chocolate candy like a Reese’s cup to the rim.
- Use a Microplane to add grated chocolate on top.
Old-fashioneds are usually served in an old-fashioned glass AKA a rocks glass.
They are short tumblers, often decorated with etching or unique patterns.
Rocks glasses are a must-have for old-fashioned cocktails.
How to make a Chocolate Old-Fashioned
Making this chocolate whiskey cocktail is so easy! Here’s what to do:
First, grab a rocks glass. If you want to garnish it with chocolate syrup, pour some on a plate and gently roll the rim in it (or part of the rim). Holding it upside down, let any excess drip off.
Carefully lower in a large ice cube. Add a few dashes of bitters.
Garnish with a piece of orange zest and a chocolate cookie, if desired.
Variations and substitutions
Chocolate peanut butter old-fashioned: Use peanut butter whiskey to make a peanut butter cocktail that tastes like a Reese’s cup.
Mocha old-fashioned: Use ¼ ounce coffee liqueur and ¼ ounce chocolate liqueur. Use chocolate bitters and coffee bitters if you can! You could also add a splash of espresso.
Mint chocolate old-fashioned: Use mint-infused whiskey or add a splash of crème de menthe. Garnish with your favorite chocolate mint candy.
Mexican chocolate old-fashioned: Use cinnamon bitters or Mexican chocolate bitters to add some spiced flair.
More old-fashioned recipes
- S’mores Old-Fashioned
- Coffee Old-Fashioned
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Old-Fashioned
- Chai Old-Fashioned
- PB&J Old-Fashioned
- Pumpkin Spice Old-Fashioned
- 2 ounces bourbon
- ½ ounce chocolate liqueur
- 4-6 dashes chocolate
- 2 dashes coffee bitters, optional
- 2 dashes orange bitters, optional
- 1 piece orange zest, for garnish
- ½ teaspoon chocolate syrup, for garnish
- If using a chocolate syrup garnish, add chocolate syrup to a plate. Roll the edge of the glass in the syrup and shake off excess.
- In a rocks glass or mixing glass, stir together chocolate liqueur and bourbon.
- Carefully lower in a large ice cube.
- Top with bitters and garnish with a piece of orange zest. Twist the zest over the drink before you add it to release its essential oils and aroma.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 3 ounces
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 351Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 6mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 0g