I picked up a bottle of the ever-so exotically named Xocolatl Mole Bitters today, a cacao and cinnamon based cocktail bitter which is a staple of a number of Central American influenced cocktails.
Xocolatl Mole is named for the Aztec word xocolātl (meaning “bitter water”) which became known in the English-speaking world as chocolate; and mole (or mōlli), a traditional form of Mexican sauce. As you would expect, therefore, the bitters have a strong flavour of spiced chocolate with prominent cinnamon and chili notes.
A sploosh or two of Xocolatl Mole is a key ingredient in a number of recipes; the most famous of which is the Right Hand, a rum-based Negroni or Boulevardier variant, which is given distinctive chocolate notes by the bitters.
The Right Hand appears to be a recent invention and is credited to Michael McIlroy, bartender at New York’s twin bars Milk and Honey and Little Branch, as recently as 2007.
- Add 50ml aged rum to a mixing glass of ice.
- Add 25ml sweet vermouth, 25ml Campari and two splooshes of Xocolatl Mole bitters.
- Stir well and strain into a cocktail glass.
The most popular variant of the Right Hand is the Left Hand, which is made with bourbon in place of rum, and a lemon or orange variant of either can be made by including a sploosh or two of the respective bitters and a twist of peel.