Chaplin Cocktail

I am always on the lookout for cocktails which use slightly offbeat, if not downright obscure ingredients. Ramazzotti as an Italian Amaro Bitters, which has a fairly robust and complex flavor. It can present a delightful play of flavors when balanced against the right ingredients. I ran across this drink at the Zig Zag Café in Seattle, where it is regularly one of their go-to drinks when a customer wants something just a bit different.


3/4 oz bourbon

3/4 oz dry sherry

3/4 oz Ramazzotti Amaro

1/8 oz Cointreau

dash Angostura Orange Bitters


Stir with ice.

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Garnish with a lemon twist.


Lawrence Spies 8 Sep 2009
6:24 am

A quick heads up Robert! The video says 3/4 Jim Beam but the recipe calls for 2oz…

SiMcGoram 8 Sep 2009
2:01 pm

Nice one Robert. We certainly need more sherry poping into drinks. Have you ever thought of doing the Charlie Chaplin? Sloe gin, apricot brandy and lime (I like a slug of standard Plymouth in there too)... Sloe gin and apricot brandy seem to be all the rage amongst the cocktail kids down this way.

Robert Hess 8 Sep 2009
2:14 pm

And now that we have “real” sloe gin available again, it might just be the right time to dust the Charlie Chaplin off and let it strut its stuff.

Better Cocktails at Home 8 Sep 2009
8:55 pm

You mentioned that Angostura just started shipping the orange bitters to Seattle. Have you seen it in regular grocery stores, high-end grocery stores, or liquor stores? I still need to pick up a bottle and have not wanted to pay to have it shipped.

Robert Hess 9 Sep 2009
3:57 am

Brian, DeLaurenties down in the Pike Place Market is carrying Angostura Orange Bitters, although the last time I was down there, about a week ago, they were out. They do however carry a very (very) broad selection of bitters from Fee’s (including Orange Bitters), and “The Bitter Truth” (A german company making excellent bitters, including a very good Orange Bitters).

stefanos 9 Sep 2009
4:19 am

i would like to know in which link or links could buy some of theese stuff that i see when theese cocktails been made.
Notice: am from Greece

Robert Hess 9 Sep 2009
5:02 am

Stefanos, are you wanting to buy bar tools, glassware, or liquor? At a certain level it doesn’t really matter, since even with the internet opening up a broad world for everybody, it can still be hard to find these products equally available to all. Here in the US, many of the fine barware we see being used in Europe and Japan is outside of our reach (although is working hard to bring some of these products to our shores). Our glassware is often limited to the ordinary offerings of “Libbey” and other run-of-the-mill providers, and the patchwork of liquor laws can make it difficult, if not impossible, to access some of the wonderful, but obscure, ingredients needed for some of the cocktails of old.

I might recommend that you check out my discussion forum at where we have a world-wide membership of cocktail enthusiasts who might be able to provide some specific details for getting better access to product in your area.


Christian 9 Sep 2009
11:10 am

Fantastic cocktail.  This is one of the few sherry cocktails that I can really get into.  Plus it helps that I have a steady supply of Ramazzotti on hand for my Amer Picon substitutes.

stefanos 11 Sep 2009
4:49 am

Thank you for your respond,
I am interesting to buy bartenders tools and books,also some bitters.

Michael "Michaelogist" Kelley 16 Sep 2009
4:25 am


Coincidentally, I just bought my first bottle of Amaro last night before watching this episode this morning.  I purchased a bottle of Amaro Nonino. In your opinion, to what degree are all the different Amaros substitutable in cocktails? Thanks!

Robert Hess 16 Sep 2009
5:03 am

Michael, Amaro Nonino is a wonderful product, I love to use it in many cocktails that might otherwise use sweet vermouth. It makes a wonderful Manhattan.

oliver 3 Nov 2009
2:24 pm

is it a creation of the zig zag cafe or a classic recipe?

For europe and especially germany I have to contradict you that this drink is only possible with Ramazotti. We have hundreds of different bitterliquors (forget J

Robert Hess 4 Nov 2009
1:24 pm

Yes Oliver, the Chaplin as shown here is a Zig Zag original, one that Ben Dougherty (one of the owners) came up with a few years back.

And as for the substitution issue… I totally agree, this is a drink that needs Ramazotti. The substitution issue discussed above was about Amaro Nonino, and I commented that it is great for cocktails which normally call for sweet vermouth… which the Chaplin is not one of :->

Stacia Sasso 28 Feb 2011
10:38 am

Why didn’t I ever think of substituting marsala for sherry in recipes before now?  I usually have more of it around since I cook with it a lot.  Thanks for that.  Also, I have noticed with the oxo measurer, since they include ml. on the side, that can be used to accurately pour 3/4 oz..  The equivalent is 23 ml..  For 2/3 oz. (also not marked) it is 20 ml.  A bar spoon, I have been told, is 1/8 oz., so a good tool for that measurement. :)

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