Cocoa Old-Fashioned

Cocoa Old-Fashioned With Chocolate-Infused Rye Whiskey

The Spruce / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Infuse: 36 hrs
Total: 36 hrs 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
344 Calories
2g Fat
49g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 344
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 428mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 11mg 55%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 166mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Add a little chocolate to your old-fashioned with a chocolate-infused rye whiskey. Recipes like this are one of the great things about a drink like the classic old-fashioned; it's a perfect base for some wonderful and very tasty experiments. Joy Richard of The Franklin Café in Boston created this one and it's definitely a winner.

Chocolate is the featured flavor in her cocoa old-fashioned, but it comes via two interesting sources. First up is a rye whiskey, which obtains its chocolaty flavor from a three-day infusion of cacao nibs. The second chocolate element is a few dashes of bitters, which adds a sweet and spicy touch that works wonderfully with the drink.

Unlike other chocolate drinks, this is not sweet. Instead, it's a nicely balanced drink that may transform your thoughts of what chocolate can do in cocktails.


For the Chocolate-Infused Whiskey:

  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle rye whiskey

  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs

For the Cocktail:

Steps to Make It

Make the Chocolate-Infused Rye Whiskey

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In an infusion jar, add cacao nibs and fill the jar with rye whiskey.

  3. Shake well and allow the infusion to set for 3 days, or until you get a nice, balanced flavor.

  4. Once it reaches your desired flavor intensity, strain out the nibs and rebottle the whiskey. It can be stored like any other whiskey.


  • Cacao nibs (lightly processed beans) are now relatively easy to find because they're popularly used in granola and smoothies. A search online or in the grocery store should turn up a number of options. You can use either roasted or chocolate-covered nibs in the infusion.
  • Nearly any whiskey will work for the infusion, though the spiciness of rye is a great backdrop for the sweet chocolate. Experiment with a few brands and styles to see which you prefer.

Make the Cocoa Old-Fashioned

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In an old-fashioned glass, add one brandied cherry and half an orange slice along with the demerara syrup and mole bitters. Muddle well.

  3. Fill the glass with ice and add the cocoa-infused whiskey.

  4. Stir lightly.

  5. Garnish with the remaining cherry and orange slice. Serve and enjoy.

Recipe Variation

  • As an alternative to a brandied cherry, muddle a fresh cherry or a real maraschino. Avoid the bright red maraschinos as they're artificially dyed and flavored after bleaching. Your drink would be better off without the cherry.

How Strong Is a Cocoa Old-Fashioned?

Most old-fashioneds are simply a way to dress up and show off the whiskey, so there's not much to knock the alcohol content down. Just a little lighter than the whiskey's bottling strength, this recipe mixes up to 29 percent ABV (58 proof).