Woodson’s Confidence “Cocktale”

The "Cocktale" of Carter G. Woodson, Founding Father of Black History Month

Woodson’s Confidence Cocktale

The Spruce / Heather Wibbels

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
185 Calories
0g Fat
6g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 185
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 8mg 41%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 42mg 1%
*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.)

“In fact, the confidence of the people is worth more than money.” - Carter G. Woodson

Carter Goodwin Woodson is the founding father of Black History Month as we know it today. Join our whiskey mixologist, Heather Wibbels, as she pays homage to this pioneering American icon through our newest "cocktale", Woodson's Confidence, created with ingredients historically inspired by Mr. Woodson's legacy.

Carter G. Woodson

Bettmann / Getty Images

A delectable yet meaningful drink, this virtual cocktail party showstopper is a fun and exciting way to soak up and soak in some Black history this February and all year long.

INGREDIENT This balanced riff on the Manhattan honoring this culturally significant Black man features the dark, herbaceous, and citrus-based Italian liqueur, Foro Amaro. The cocktail spotlights Black-owned whiskey brand Uncle Nearest 1856 Tennessee Whiskey (Uncle Nearest is the Black man who taught Jack Daniels how to make whiskey), made through the state-specific Lincoln County process of charcoal filtration. INSPIRATION This process references Woodson’s time working as a coal miner in his youth. It was at this point in his life Woodson began to mingle with other Black intellectuals at a local Black miner’s gathering place and work up an insatiable appetite for Black historical studies.

INSPIRATION Woodson's hunger for knowledge propelled him to graduate high school in two years, receive a bachelor’s and master's in history from the prestigious University of Chicago and earn a Ph.D. in History from Harvard University in 1912, where he became the second Black American in history to graduate from the Massachusetts university, known as the "Bay state." INGREDIENT Topped with a refreshing pour of club soda and infused with a toasted, slightly smoky bay leaf.

INSPIRATION Everything would change for Woodson in September of 1912 when he visited Washington D.C. (known as "Chocolate City") for an exhibit celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Black progress since the Emancipation of Proclamation. Inspired by this celebration, Woodson formed the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) to help the Black community go "back to that beautiful history and it is going to inspire us to greater achievements.”

The ASNLH held the first Negro History and Literature Week in 1924 during the second week of February honoring the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. This celebration designed to educate and promote equality was the foundation and forerunner of modern-day Black History Month. INGREDIENT To showcase this pivotal moment, a couple of dashes of chocolate bitters are sprinkled into the mix.

Cheers to Carter G. Woodson and Black History Month. Cheers to Black history!

"A truly delicious take on the Manhattan. Uncle Nearest pairs perfectly with the amaro and chocolate bitters. I loved toasting the bay leaf—it added a herbaceous aroma to the drink as well as my kitchen!" —Laurel Randolph

Woodson's Confidence Cocktale/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 bay leaf

  • 2 ounces Uncle Nearest 1856 Tennessee Whiskey

  • 1 ounce Foro Amaro (or Averna)

  • 2 dashes chocolate bitters

  • 1/2 to 1 ounce club soda

  • Orange twist, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients, kitchen torch, mixing glass, bar spoon, and a coupe glass.

    Ingredients for Woodson’s Confidence Cocktale

     The Spruce / Heather Wibbels

  2. Lightly toast and slightly char the bay leaf with a kitchen torch.

    Toasting a bay leaf with a kitchen torch

     The Spruce / Heather Wibbels

  3. Drop bay leaf into a chilled coupe glass and cover.

    Bay leaf in glass covered with a coaster

     The Spruce / Heather Wibbels

  4. In a mixing glass, add ice, whiskey, and amaro.

    Ice, whiskey, and amaro in a mixing glass

     The Spruce / Heather Wibbels

  5. Add in two drops of chocolate bitters.

    Adding chocolate bitters

     The Spruce / Heather Wibbels

  6. Stir for 30 seconds until well-chilled, then strain over the charred bay leaf into the prepared coupe glass.

    Stirring Woodson’s Confidence Cocktale

     The Spruce / Heather Wibbels

  7. Top with a splash of soda.

    Adding club soda

     The Spruce / Heather Wibbels

  8. Garnish with an orange twist and serve.

    Woodson’s Confidence Cocktale with an orange twist

     The Spruce / Heather Wibbels

How Strong Is a Woodson’s Confidence “Cocktale”?

The exact strength of a Woodson's Confidence will depend on how much club soda is used and how much your ice melts while stirring. Uncle Nearest is a 100-proof whiskey and Foro Amaro is 60 proof. If 1/2 ounce of club soda is used and 1/2 ounce of ice melts into the cocktail, you'll have a drink that is almost 33% ABV, or 66 proof. It's a relatively strong cocktail, so sip it for the best experience.