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This chocolate old fashioned recipe is perfect for chocolate and bourbon lovers. Made with a homemade chocolate syrup for the richest chocolate flavor.
Classic old fashioned recipes are made with bourbon, bitters, a twist of an orange peel, and sometimes sugar or soda. But you can even make an old fashioned without bitters.
There are so many different ways you can make an old fashioned cocktail by adding in other flavors.
Flavored old fashioned recipes are perfect for people who don’t want a strong drink and enjoy a bit of sweetness.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- This chocolate old fashioned is made with a homemade chocolate simple syrup that gives the cocktail the best chocolate flavor.
- You don't need any expensive ingredients or bitters for this recipe.
- This is a simple and easy cocktail to make and is perfect for beginners.
- You can easily adjust the sweetness of this drink to meet everyone's taste.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Bourbon: Use your favorite brand of bourbon whiskey. The taste of bourbon definitely comes through in this drink, so you want to use at least a medium quality bourbon that you enjoy the taste of.
- Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder is the ingredient that gives the chocolate simple syrup all its chocolate flavor. Use regular, unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Sugar & Water: Granulated sugar and water are dissolved together with the cocoa powder to make the chocolate simple syrup. Typically simple syrup is made with granulated sugar, but you can use brown sugar instead which will give a richer, slight caramel flavor.
- Angostura Orange Bitters: The orange bitters pair really well with the chocolate in this drink. You can substitute this with any type of orange bitters. If you want to experiment with other flavors, you can substitute these with coffee bitters, cherry bitters or toasted almond bitters.
Here is the equipment you will need to make the chocolate syrup and the old fashioned:
- A small saucepan to make the chocolate syrup in, as well as an airtight glass jar to store any leftover simple syrup in.
- A paring knife to slice off an orange peel, as well as cocktail picks if you want to add any garnishes.
- A rocks glass to serve the drink in.
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Whisk the cocoa powder, sugar and water together in a small bowl.
Step 2: Heat the mixture on a saucepan over medium to high heat, bringing to a very gentle simmer. Continue to simmer for 5 to 6 minutes until the granulated sugar has completely dissolved.
Step 3: In a whiskey glass, mix the chocolate syrup, bourbon and dashes of bitters together. Add in the ice. Twist an orange peel over the drink and add to the drink as garnish.
- Chocolate Cherry Old Fashioned: Replace half of the chocolate simple syrup with the cherry syrup in this bourbon cocktail recipe. Or, replace the orange bitters with a couple dashes of cherry bitters.
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Old Fashioned: Use Skrewball peanut butter whiskey instead of regular bourbon whiskey.
- Maple Chocolate Old Fashioned: Add in ½ tablespoon of real maple syrup.
- Mint Chocolate Old Fashioned: Either add in a few dashes of mint-flavored bitters, or use ½ oz chocolate syrup and ¼ oz of mint liqueur.
- Store leftover chocolate syrup in the fridge. This recipe will make extra chocolate simple syrup. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 to 2 weeks. For more ideas on how to use leftover chocolate syrup, see the full chocolate simple syrup recipe.
- Fully dissolve the sugar. When making the simple syrup, make sure the granulated sugar has fully dissolved in the water. Unlike with regular simple syrup, it is hard to see when the sugar has dissolved because of the chocolate color. If you use a rubber spatula and run it along the bottom of the pan as the syrup is cooking, you can “feel” any undissolved sugar granules.
- Serve in a small glass. Old fashioned drinks don’t contain a lot of liquid since they are so strong. Serve them in smaller glasses so it looks like the glass is fuller.
- Make it a double. Regular old fashioned drinks tend to have 2 oz of bourbon. For a drink of equivalent strength, double this recipe.
- Reduce the sweetness. If you prefer this drink to taste slightly stronger, use only a ½ oz of chocolate simple syrup instead.
Yes. You can use a few dashes of chocolate bitters instead of chocolate syrup to make a chocolate bitters old fashioned. Keep in mind that the chocolate flavor will be much more subtle, and the drink will taste overall much stronger.
Yes. Crème de cacao will give you a sweeter old fashioned drink, and still have a strong chocolate flavor. Use ½ to ¾ oz of crème de cacao chocolate liqueur.