Midnight Dash Cocktail Recipe

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Midnight Dash 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 Dash is a cocktail that seems to have emerged from the speakeasy tradition, where mystery and allure were as important as the drinks themselves. It's a drink that captures the essence of the night - dark, complex, and a little bit mysterious.

  • Origins
    • The exact origins are unknown, but it's believed to have been created in the early 20th century.
    • It's said to be a favorite among night owls and those who enjoy a sophisticated, yet bold drink.
  • Popularity
    • Gained a following in underground bars and has been passed down through generations of bartenders.
  • Characteristics
    • Known for its deep color and rich flavor profile.

How Midnight Dash Tastes?

The Midnight Dash has a robust and complex taste. It's a harmonious blend of sweet, bitter, and smoky flavors with a velvety texture. The herbal notes from the vermouth complement the smokiness of the whiskey, while the bitters add depth.

Interesting facts about Midnight Dash

  • The Midnight Dash often features in film noir-themed parties due to its dark aesthetic.
  • It's a cocktail that's said to be enjoyed best after dark, enhancing its nocturnal namesake.
  • The drink's popularity has grown with the resurgence of classic cocktails and speakeasy-style bars.


Rye Whiskey

The 2oz of Rye Whiskey is the backbone of the Midnight Dash, providing a robust, spicy base. Less whiskey would make the drink too mild, while more could overpower the other flavors. Without it, you'd just have a sweetened vermouth with a hint of bitters—no kick or complexity.

Alex Green

Sweet Vermouth

1oz of Sweet Vermouth adds the sweet, herbal notes which marry well with the whiskey's heat. It's vital for balance. Less vermouth, and the drink becomes a rye-heavy slugger; more, and it's a syrupy mess. If substituted with dry vermouth, expect a sharper, less sweet cocktail.

Mary Mitkina

Black Walnut Bitters

2 dashes of Black Walnut Bitters provide a unique, nutty depth. Bitters are like the salt of cocktails; they enhance other flavors. Too many dashes can lead to a bitter overload, too few and you'll miss the richness they bring. If unavailable, regular walnut bitters could work, providing a slightly different nutty profile.

Emma Rose

Orange Peel

The Orange Peel garnish offers a citrus zing that brightens the cocktail's edges and adds a fresh aroma. Without the peel, you lose that aromatic invitation to sip. If you're out of oranges, a lemon peel can provide a more tangy zest, changing the drink's fragrance and finish.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Midnight Dash Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Pour in the rye whiskey and sweet vermouth.
  3. Add the black walnut bitters.
  4. Stir the mixture until well-chilled.
  5. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  6. Express the orange peel over the drink and drop it in as garnish.

Pro Tips

  • Always use fresh ice when stirring to avoid over-dilution.
  • Chilling the glass beforehand will keep the cocktail cold and enhance the flavor.
  • When expressing the orange peel, make sure to do it over the glass to capture the essential oils.

Perfect Pairings

Cheese & Meat Platter

Pair the Midnight Dash with a platter of aged cheeses, like Gouda or Cheddar, and cured meats like prosciutto or smoked sausage. The bold flavors of the rye whiskey and the rich, nutty bitters complement the savory bites perfectly.

Chocolate Desserts

The dark, complex flavors of the Midnight Dash go well with the richness of chocolate desserts. Try it alongside a chocolate torte or brownies to bring out a delightful contrast.

Spicy Appetizers

With its warm spiciness, the Midnight Dash can stand up to spicy appetizers like stuffed jalapeños or chili-glazed chicken wings. The drink's sweetness will help balance the heat.


A simple pairing that works wonders with this cocktail are roasted nuts—almonds, pecans, or walnuts—which will complement the black walnut bitters in the drink.

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What you could change in Midnight Dash

  • Rye Whiskey can be substituted with Bourbon for a sweeter taste.
  • If Black Walnut Bitters are unavailable, Angostura or Aromatic Bitters can be used, though the flavor profile will change slightly.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Dash

Kick it up with a 1/4oz of smoky Scotch. Pour in with the rye whiskey, following the original recipe.

  • The Scotch brings a smoky layer, creating a cocktail for those who like a hint of campfire in their glass.

Maple Dash

Swap the sweet vermouth for 1oz of maple syrup and 1/2oz of dry vermouth. Stir well with rye and bitters.

  • It'll offer a Canadian twist, with a smoother, sweeter profile perfect for autumn evenings.

Spiced Dash

Add 1 pinch of cinnamon and 1 star anise into the mixing glass with the other ingredients.

  • Spices mingle with the black walnut bitters for a wintry, warm flavor, ideal for sipping by the fire.

In case you forgot basics how to make Midnight Dash

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

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

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 Dash

What kind of glassware is best suited for a Midnight Dash?

A chilled coupe or a cocktail glass is traditionally used for serving the Midnight Dash, to complement its classic style.

What is the role of bitters in a Midnight Dash?

Bitters act as a flavor enhancer, adding complexity and depth to the cocktail, balancing out the sweetness of the vermouth and the strength of the whiskey.

Can I make a Midnight Dash without alcohol?

While the Midnight Dash is an alcoholic beverage, you can create a mocktail version by substituting non-alcoholic whiskey and vermouth alternatives.

Is the Midnight Dash suitable for large gatherings?

The Midnight Dash is typically served individually, but the recipe can be scaled up for batch preparation when entertaining larger groups.

How can I preserve the freshness of my orange peel garnish?

Keep the orange peel in a sealed container or wrapped in plastic to maintain its freshness until ready to use it as a garnish.

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