Diabolo Cocktail

From what I can figure out, a Diabolo is an odd-looking juggling device that almost looks like a yo-yo. Not quite sure what that has to do with this cocktail, but who am I to argue. This recipe appears in a few different locations starting around 1930, sometimes it also includes a dash or two of orange bitters, so feel free to add some if you wish.


2 oz light rum

1/2 oz dry vermouth

1/2 oz Cointreau

2 dashes Angostura Aromatic Bitters


Stir with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.


mdoudoroff 14 Jul 2009
3:55 am


mdoudoroff 14 Jul 2009
4:07 am

While there is indeed a tricky toy called the “diabolo”, I suspect both the name of the toy and the name of this cocktail derive from a corruption of the Italian “diavolo” (the “v” can easily be mis-heard as a “b”) and/or the Spanish “diablo”, both of which mean “devil”. Both toy and drink might be considered “bedeviling”.

blair frodelius 14 Jul 2009
8:58 am


I use the same stirring spoon.  I agree, it doesn’t fight the ice nearly as much.  Plus, as you showed in the video, it makes for a super tight spiraled twist. 

One other observation.  Your hand was covered with orange oil after creating the twist.  Do you ever find that your hands smelling like citrus after making cocktails with twists interferes with the olfactory sensations of enjoying a cocktail?

Lastly, I had a thought whilst entranced watching you stir the ice.  I’m assuming that cocktails made before the advent of easily available ice (early to mid 1800’s) would have been at least partially diluted with water to make them more palatable; or is this not so?


Blair Frodelius

blair frodelius 14 Jul 2009
9:00 am


Actually, a diavolo somewhat resembles two cocktail glasses joined together at the base.  Maybe the original drink was served in something like this?



Robert Hess 14 Jul 2009
10:53 am

Martin… you know that English is my second language… don’t be so mean to me… :->

Of course like you, I’m clueless as to what my first language is, if it isn’t English!

Wild Bill Turkey 14 Jul 2009
11:51 am

Boy, the cameraman really got a great shot of the orange oil exploding off the fruit as you cut the twist. Anybody that doubts how much effect cutting your twist over the glass might have on the flavor of the drink really needs to see this video!

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