Midnight Cocktail Recipe

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Midnight Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Midnight cocktail is a mysterious and enchanting drink, often enjoyed by those who love to explore the night. It was first created in the 1920s during the Prohibition era, as a way to mask the taste of homemade alcohol. Since then, it has become a popular choice for those who enjoy a sophisticated and complex drink.

  • Originated during the Prohibition era
  • Popular among night owls and sophisticated drinkers
  • Evokes a sense of mystery and enchantment

How Midnight Tastes?

The Midnight cocktail offers a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and slightly bitter flavors. It has a rich and velvety texture, with a warming sensation from the alcohol. The taste is complex, yet well-balanced, making it a delightful and intriguing drink.

Interesting facts about Midnight

  • The Midnight cocktail was named after the time of day when it was most commonly enjoyed.
  • The original recipe called for homemade alcohol, but modern versions use high-quality spirits for a more refined taste.
  • The Midnight cocktail is sometimes referred to as the 'nightcap of the gods' due to its rich and complex flavor profile.



Rum is the soul of this cocktail. At 2oz, it provides a robust base without overpowering other ingredients. Rum adds warmth and sweetness; without it, the cocktail loses its backbone. Opt for a dark rum for a deeper flavor, or light rum for a lighter cocktail.

Emma Rose

Sweet Vermouth

Sweet Vermouth, at 1oz, contributes a herbal and slightly bitter complexity. Less would make the cocktail flat, more would overpower the balance. A lighter vermouth could be used for a less intense taste.

Alex Green

Cherry Liqueur

Cherry Liqueur (0.5oz) gives a fruity depth and sweetness. Less would diminish the cherry profile, more could be too sweet. A raspberry liqueur could be an alternative, offering a different berry twist.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice, also 0.5oz, provides necessary acidity to balance the sweetness. Without lemon juice, the drink would be too cloying. Lime juice could be swapped for a tangier profile.

Emma Rose

Simple Syrup

Simple Syrup (0.5oz) is the sweetener. It's carefully measured to blend, not dominate. Without it, the drink might be too tart. Agave syrup could work as a substitute, imparting a richer sweetness.

Alex Green

Orange Bitters

Orange Bitters are the seasoning here, two dashes enhance the citrus notes and contrast the sweet components. Without them, the cocktail could taste too sweet. Lemon or aromatic bitters could provide different accent notes.

Mary Mitkina

Maraschino Cherry

The Maraschino Cherry is more than just garnish; it's an edible finale that nods to the cherry liqueur within. No cherry might make the presentation lackluster, but a twist of orange peel could offer a different aroma.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Midnight Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the rum, sweet vermouth, cherry liqueur, lemon juice, simple syrup, and orange bitters.
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined.
  4. Strain into a chilled coupe glass.
  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Pro Tips

  • Use high-quality spirits for a more refined taste.
  • Chill the glass before pouring the cocktail to enhance the taste.
  • Shake well to ensure all ingredients are well combined.

Perfect Pairings

Cheese & Charcuterie

Robust cheeses like aged cheddar or gouda and salty cured meats such as prosciutto or salami complement the rich, sweet flavors of the Midnight cocktail.


Try pairing with dark chocolate desserts, or a classic cherry pie which enhance the cherry and citrus notes in the drink.

Spicy & Savory Dishes

Spicy Asian dishes or savory tapas with bold flavors can stand up to the complexity of the Midnight cocktail.

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What you could change in Midnight

  • Rum: Can be replaced with bourbon or whiskey.
  • Sweet Vermouth: Can be replaced with dry vermouth, but this will alter the taste.
  • Cherry Liqueur: Can be replaced with raspberry liqueur or grenadine.
  • Orange Bitters: Can be replaced with Angostura bitters.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Midnight

For a smoky twist, replace rum with mezcal. Use 1.5oz of mezcal to avoid overpowering the drink. The smokiness of the mezcal will play against the sweetness of the vermouth and cherry liqueur, creating a cocktail with a mysterious edge, perfect for sipping on a starless night.

Midnight Spritz

Transform the Midnight into a sparkling affair by topping the strained mixture with prosecco in a highball glass. Reduce simple syrup to 0.25oz. The effervescent prosecco will lift the cocktail, creating a delightful fizz that dances on the palate like a celebration under a moonlit sky.

Berry Midnight

Substitute cherry liqueur with crème de mûre (blackberry liqueur), and garnish with fresh blackberries. The rich blackberry flavor will bring a juicy, tart element to the cocktail, like a sweet secret whispered at the stroke of midnight.

In case you forgot basics how to make Midnight

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Midnight

What is the best type of rum to use in a Midnight cocktail?

A dark rum is usually used in a Midnight cocktail to add complexity and depth to the drink. However, the choice of rum can vary based on personal preference.

Does the type of glass used affect the taste of the cocktail?

The shape of a glass can affect the aroma and temperature of a cocktail, thereby influencing its overall flavor. A coupe glass is typically used for the Midnight cocktail.

Can I prepare a non-alcoholic (mocktail) version of the Midnight cocktail?

Yes, you can prepare a non-alcoholic version of the Midnight cocktail by replacing the alcoholic ingredients with non-alcoholic substitutes. However, please note that the taste will differ from the original version.

What other garnishes can I use for this cocktail?

While a maraschino cherry is traditionally used to garnish the Midnight cocktail, feel free to mix it up with other complimentary fruits such as a ruby red grapefruit wedge or a twist of orange.

How do I know when a cocktail is well mixed?

A well-mixed cocktail will have a consistent flavor with every sip. The ingredients are thoroughly combined, without any particular ingredient overpowering the other.

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