The Black Door Cocktail Recipe

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The Black Door Nutrition Facts





Alcohol by volume:25%

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 Black Door cocktail is a mysterious and alluring concoction that has become a staple in the world of mixology. Its origins are shrouded in secrecy, much like the speakeasies of the Prohibition era where such drinks might have been whispered over. It's a favorite among those who appreciate a cocktail with depth and complexity.

  • Origins
    • The exact origins are unknown, but it's believed to have been created in the early 21st century.
    • It gained popularity for its unique color and rich flavor profile.
  • Popularity
    • Loved by those who enjoy a bold, sophisticated drink.
    • Often ordered by patrons looking for something out of the ordinary.

How The Black Door Tastes?

The Black Door cocktail offers a velvety, rich taste with a hint of sweetness balanced by a touch of bitterness. The herbal notes from the vermouth are complemented by the smoky undertones of the Scotch, creating a complex and intriguing flavor profile.

Interesting facts about The Black Door

  • The cocktail's name, 'The Black Door', evokes a sense of mystery and exclusivity.
  • It's often served in a chilled glass to enhance the smoky and herbal notes.
  • The Black Door is sometimes used as a signature drink at high-end cocktail parties.



Used for its robust flavor and smoky undertones, Scotch is the backbone of 'The Black Door'. Without it, you'd have a charmless glass missing that heady kick. A bourbon could step in, but expect a sweeter, less smoky drink.

Mary Mitkina

Sweet Vermouth

This adds a touch of sweetness and herbal notes. It balances the Scotch's intensity. Swapping for a dry vermouth would tip the scales to a more astringent profile.

Emma Rose

Activated Charcoal Powder

Here for the drama! It's a non-flavor aesthetic that turns the drink an inky black. Skipping it keeps the flavor, but loses the 'black' in 'The Black Door'.

Alex Green

Orange Bitters

A couple of dashes add a citrus zing and depth. No bitters? The drink falls flat, like a joke without a punchline.

Mary Mitkina


A garnish that's pleasing to the eye and adds a fruity nose. Omitting it isn't a sin, but it's the final flourish missing from your masterpiece!

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make The Black Door Drink

  1. Chill the glass
    • Place the glass in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before preparation.
  2. Mix the ingredients
    • In a mixing glass, combine 2 oz of Scotch, 1 oz of sweet vermouth, 1/4 tsp of activated charcoal powder, and 2 dashes of orange bitters.
  3. Stir well
    • Add ice and stir the mixture until well chilled.
  4. Strain
    • Strain into the chilled glass.
  5. Garnish
    • Garnish with a single blackberry on the rim.

Pro Tips

  • Activated Charcoal
    • Ensure the activated charcoal is food-grade and use sparingly to avoid overpowering the drink.
  • Stirring
    • Stir for at least 30 seconds to properly chill and dilute the cocktail.
  • Garnish
    • Use a fresh blackberry for the garnish to add a hint of fruitiness and enhance the visual appeal.

Perfect Pairings

Cheese Plate

Bold flavors like Gouda and Aged Cheddar can complement the smokey nature of the Scotch.

Dark Chocolate

A piece of dark chocolate can bring out the sweetness of the vermouth and the dark, complex flavor of the cocktail.

Grilled Meat

Grilled steak or lamb chops with a char on them will echo the charcoal's smokiness in the drink.

Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon on toast or blinis with a touch of crème fraîche for a decadent pairing.

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What you could change in The Black Door

  • Scotch
    • For a less smoky profile, use a milder blended Scotch or even a bourbon.
  • Sweet Vermouth
    • A dry vermouth can be used for a less sweet, more herbal taste.
  • Activated Charcoal Powder
    • If unavailable, it can be omitted, but the signature black color will be lost.

Explore all drinks starting with T here

And of course - twists🍹

Smokey Cherry Door

  • Replace the blackberry with a cherry for a darker fruit note.
  • Add a 1/2 oz of cherry liqueur to bring a hint of sweetness and enhance the fruitiness.
  • This twist gives a more succulent depth, trading the blackberry's tang for cherry's rich backdrop.

Spiced Black Door

  • Instead of orange bitters, use aromatic bitters for a spicier kick.
  • A cinnamon stick as garnish injects a warm spice aroma.
  • This version has more warmth, tingling your senses like a whisky-spiced festive evening.

The Green Door

  • Use a clear, unaged whisky or moonshine for a lighter body.
  • Drop the charcoal, replace the garnish with a twist of lime for a vibrant hue and a zesty twist.
  • Without the dark color, the cocktail becomes 'The Green Door', a lighter, more summer-friendly affair but with a kick!

In case you forgot basics how to make The Black Door

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 The Black Door

Can The Black Door cocktail be made in larger batches for parties?

Yes, you can scale up the recipe ingredients to make a larger batch. Just be sure to maintain the proportions and stir the mixture well in a large container before serving.

Is it safe to consume activated charcoal in a cocktail?

Food-grade activated charcoal is considered safe in small amounts for occasional consumption in cocktails, but it is not recommended for frequent use or in high quantities.

How do you properly store sweet vermouth after opening?

Sweet vermouth should be stored in the refrigerator after opening to maintain its freshness. It typically lasts for about a month when refrigerated.

What is the best way to chill glasses quickly if I don't have 20 minutes to freeze them?

Fill the glass with ice and cold water, let it sit for a couple of minutes, then discard the ice water. This method chills the glass rapidly.

Can I use regular cherries instead of a blackberry for garnish?

Yes, you can use regular cherries as a substitute, but the unique visual appeal of the blackberry garnish will be altered.

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