Whizz-Doodle Cocktail

First, just a reminder that Sunday, Jan 30, 2010, is our monthly exercise in folly, Savoy Cocktail Book Night at Alembic Bar. If any of the cocktails on this blog have captured your fancy, stop by after 6 and allow the skilled bartenders (and me) to make them for you. It is always a fun time.

Whizz-Doodle Cocktail
1/4 Scotch Whisky.
1/4 Sweet Cream.
1/4 Crème de Cacao.
1/4 Dry Gin
Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

Uh, yeah, right. I’m not making that.

Especially since I’ve already made it once, under another name: Barbary Coast Cocktail

Casting about for a Re-make/Re-model for this cocktail, I recalled the strategy I used for the Parisian Blonde, using a sort of divide and conquer method I learned from Erik Adkins at Heaven’s Dog.

I was chatting the other day in the Mixo Bar, grousing about having to make this horror. Between the insults to my Mom’s honor and comments about my own extreme age, I managed to sneak in a question, asking my compatriots which Scotch would go best with chocolate. Paul Clarke suggested Speyside, with its flavors of honey and heather. Unfortunately, (or fortunately,) the only Speyside Single Malt in the house at the moment is The MacAllan Cask Strength.

Hm, honey and Scotch is always a winning combo. But, do I have to use Creme de Cacao at all to get the chocolate flavor in this cocktail? Maybe another strategy for the Chocolate. And speaking of other strategies, does the Dry Gin have any function at all here, beyond a lengthener? Why not just use Vodka, and a single grain vodka at that, for the other spirit in this drink?

Whizz-Doodle Re-Make/Re-Model

1 oz Macallan Cask Strength Scotch;
1 oz Vodka Which Shall Not Be Named;
1 Barspoon JC Snyder Wild Buckwheat Honey*;
dash Bittermens Mole Bitters;
1/2 oz Cream;
Bittersweet Chocolate.

Dissolve Honey in Scotch and Vodka, add a Dash (or two) Mole Bitters, and stir with ice to chill. Strain into a cocktail glass. Whip cream to soft foam and float on top. Garnish with grated bitter chocolate.

Holy Crap! That is pretty decent, a dessert cocktail for Scotch and chocolate loving friends. It is certainly an improvement over the Barbary Coast.

*As a certified honey enthusiast and student of Botany, I will note that this is NOT the type of honey most often sold in the rest of the US as “Buckwheat Honey”. Most Buckwheat Honey comes from the same Buckwheat used to make Buckwheat Flour (aka Fagopyrum esculentum). The honey which Bees make from this type of Buckwheat is extremely dark and pungent. Some say unpleasantly so. However, in California there are several native plants also called Buckwheats: California Buckwheat. The honey Bees make from these plants is fairly lightly flavored and quite pleasant. If you don’t have access to California Buckwhat honey, choose another light, not too fruity honey. Clover would probably be a good choice.


This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.

13 thoughts on “Whizz-Doodle Cocktail

  1. “I’m not making that.” Bartender balk? Love it.

    Another option for chocolate flavor without actual chocolate is Amaro Meletti, which has, at least to me, a distinct chocolate flavor. I’ve used it in lieu of Creme de Cacao in a 20th Century cocktail to good effect. I’ve also made Meletti ice cream, so the cream connection would be compatible. Just a thought.

    • Dan, that’s cool! I was only recently exposed to Meletti at some friends’ house and was exceptionally intrigued. Even Mrs. Flannestad enjoyed an after dinner digestiv. Need to figure out if it is available in CA or a mail order item.

      • Readily available @ Cask.

        However: to me the Meletti tastes more distinctly of saffron than chocolate.

        Another choco bitters to try is Scrappy’s, which is more of a chocolate flavoring than a bitters per say. Definitely has it’s place.


    • Interesting. Just tried Meletti again (even though it’s 6:20am here …). I get the gestalt of chocolate. I agree that when you try to dissect the flavor I do taste anise and something saffron-like, along with a complex blend of spices, but the overall effect still seems chocolate. Perhaps it’s a bit of excessive imagination on my part. By the way, it is fabulous on (or in) vanilla ice cream. One of my favorite amari.

      I have tried Scrappy Chocolate bitters. They are pretty literally chocolate. I would love to hear what different about the new Bittermen’s mole as I only have TBT. I like this bitters quite a lot.

      • To my palate, the TBT rendition of the Bittermen’s mole exhibits, more or less, the bittering profile of the other TBT products (celery and Creole excluded) to which cacao and other spices have been added. If you compare it to the orange, for example, I think you’ll see what I mean. Overall, it’s a pretty bitter product.

        When I tried the version of the bitters that Avery is now making and selling under his revived Bittermen’s label, I get a much more broad and nuanced set of flavors. More warming and more cacao in addition to the bitter. I might even says it’s got a hint of sweetness. This is also what I remember when I sampled some of the “original” production Bittermen’s when I was in NYC a couple of years ago.

        I am not completely sure why the two products turned out different, but they clearly are. I suppose in some ways we are the beneficiaries of that in as much as it gives us two distinct “expressions” to play with in our cocktails. (Oh, and I don’t exactly know how things were left business wise between Avery and Stephan. It’s possible that the bottles of TBT “Bittermen’s” product on the shelf now are the last we’ll see.)


        P.S. Sorry for the derail, Erik.

        • Cheerio Michael, have at it! I’ve only had the TBT Mole Bitters. Well, and the Mole Spice Bitter/Liqueur I made myself about a million years ago.

          Mole Amaro?

          OK, it was only all the way back in 2006.

        • So, here’s the reason there were differences between our initial Xocolatl Mole, what TBT was producing under license from us and the “real” Bittermens Xocolatl Mole that we relaunched with when we rebooted Bittermens in July 2010.

          The initial Xocolatl Mole and what we are producing ourselves now after the reboot is exactly the same formula: it’s what we submitted to the TTB before we partnered with TBT. Only three things changed. First, we went from making 2 liter batches to 20 gallon batches, which is helping ensure consistency from batch to batch. Second, we went from filtering using a gold coffee filter to using a real filtration system (and every batch the filtration gets better – we’re now using a 5 micron filter for the first time – before, we were filtering at 10 microns), which brightens the flavor a little and improves shelf stability. Finally, we’ve really taken a great amount of care to find the right cacao nibs. Initially we were using Scharffen-Berger nibs, now we’re using smaller-batch nibs from artisanal roasters and finding that it’s improving the chocolate profile without making the chocolate too overpowering.

          When we partnered with TBT, we had to make compromises so that our formulas would fit their processes. That meant changes in the maturation time and final alcohol content (and yes, we do think that the final ABV radically changes how the flavors disperse across the tongue). We also had to change a number of ingredients – we purchase 95% of our ingredients now from organic producers and really take the time to select the vendors to ensure that we’re getting the flavors we want. With TBT, they selected the vendors based on what they had access to. Some items changed (from peels to essential oils) based on what they could find and what they were willing to make (for example, certain ingredients were too much of a strain on their filtration equipment). At the end of the day, we did approve the final formulations before they went into production – and we accepted the compromises because at that time, it was the only way to get our products to market.

          Now that we’ve ended our partnership with TBT and are self producing, we’re staying true to the products and formulas that we want to make.

          Hope this is helpful :)

          • Oh – and you won’t have two expressions to play with regarding our Xocolatl Mole and the TBT produced version for much longer. TBT lost their right to produce any of our formulas in July 2010, so once their stock is sold out, there’s no more TBT produced Xocolatl Mole or Grapefruit bitters. They may come out with new chocolate or grapefruit flavors, but they won’t have anything to do with our recipes.

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