January 5th, 2010

As something of a chocoholic I’ve always been disappointed in the quality of both the spirits and the cocktails available. Drinks like the Chocolate Martini and the Chocolate-covered Candy Cane Martini practically have my teeth falling out at the thought of them, and spirits vary from sickly sweet liqueurs that taste completely artificial to fairly bland and uninspiring crème de cacaos that lack enough flavour to make a decent impact in cocktails.

Slowly though the tide is turning, with items like the chocolate bitters from Bittermens and Scrappy’s bringing nuanced chocolate flavours to the bartenders arsenal. Until now though a genuine chocolate liqueur worthy of in inclusion in quality cocktails has been lacking. However at Bar Convent Berlin last year I found nearly everyone I spoke to enthusing about a new spirit on show there – Mozart Dry chocolate spirit.

Mozart Dry bottle

Mozart Dry

40% ABV

Mozart have been producing a number of low alcohol (15-17%) chocolate liqueurs at their distillery in Salzburg, Austria for a number of years now, which have been well received in the GSA countries. Mozart Dry is made using a maceration of two different cocoa beans that are macerated in high-proof alcohol. This is then stored in barrels for two months and redistilled to produce the clear “chocolate distillate”.

As a final step prior to bottling the spirit is stored in a room playing Mozart for 24 hours – a process they call “sound-milling“. This seems like an innocent if silly gimmick, though the references to research by M. Emoto sound a lot like the nonsense espoused by homeopathy “researchers”. Regardless, what matters is the result in the glass and Mozart Dry doesn’t disappoint.

Update: In actual fact Mozart Dry is not sound-milled. This process is only performed on the liqueurs Mozart produce

The spirit provides an aroma of rich cocoa and vanilla, reminiscent of entering a quality chocolatier, which is quite unlike any chocolate liqueur I’ve tried. Similarly in the mouth a wonderful chocolate flavour coats the mouth with a little vanilla in the background, but what’s really special is the finish. After the nuanced chocolate notes you expect to be hit with a hefty dose of sugar, but instead the cocoa slowly fades with hints of bitterness in to a slight alcoholic heat. Not a hint of sweetness anywhere to be found.

This complete lack of sweetness means Mozart Dry is going to be very versatile in the creation of cocktails, and this is perfectly demonstrated in a cocktail by Klaus St. Rainer from Schumann’s in Munich, Germany.

Tabula Rasa cocktail

Tabula Rasa

View in: oz | ml | shots

An interesting take on the Negroni, the cocoa notes of the Mozart combine perfectly with the Campari and vermouth to create an aromatic cocktail with a lovely bitter chocolate undertone. It’s a great combination of flavours and one that simply wouldn’t be possible with any other product. With this spirit Mozart have taken chocolate cocktails in an interesting and exciting direction, and I look forward to exploring more drinks that use it. Highly recommended.

Note: In the interests of full disclosure, a sample bottle of Mozart Dry was supplied to me for review.

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Posted in Campari, Crème de Cacao, Recipes, Reviews, Vermouth

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10 responses to “Chocolat”

  1. Tiare Tiare says:

    Tabula Rasa is really something else isn`t it! and Mozart Dry too. Very nice review Jay!



  2. Adam Adam says:

    Excellent review, Jay. Keep up the good work. Do you know where to pick up Mozart Dry in London?

  3. Barworkz Barworkz says:


    The Mozart liqueur range is distributed by HT Drinks ( in the UK.

    Mozart Dry chocolate spirit is currently only distributed in Australia, Switzerland and Germany. If you’re interested in a sample kit though, please write to:

    @Jay Thanks for the great and honest review.

    Disclosure: we’re the on-trade agency for Mozart in Germany.

    Cheers, Barworkz.

  4. Florian F. Iro Florian F. Iro says:

    Thanks for the review, Jay! It is always good to get feedback to get better.

    By the way, Mozart Dry is NOT a liqueur. Thus you can’t feel any sweetness (simply because there is not sugar inside)!
    It is as you write; Mozart Dry is a pure distillate. With other terms it would be better described as a liquor or base spirit. All the others (Mozart Gold, Mozart White, Mozart Black and Mozart Amade) do contain sugar and, tehrefore, are liqueurs.

    Mozart Dry is not sound-milled, only our liqueurs are. Sound-milling is a process that can be described best by comparing it to the process of destroying kidney-stones with ultra-sound (in the hospital). Chocolate is mechanically milled or ‘conched’ to create very fine particles. This process creates the fine ‘melting’ on the toungue in your mouth. As we are working with liquids we cannot do it with mechanical cylinder rolls, thus we do it with ultra-sound. You can take any music as long as the recording contains ultra-sound. Thus special speakers are attached to the steel tanks to create very small and fine sugar crystals and cocoa particles.

    All the best and Happy New Year from Salzburg, Austria!
    Mozart Distillerie

  5. Jay Jay says:

    Adam – As Barworkz says, unfortunately this currently isn’t available over here. Hopefully that will chance soon.

    Florian – Thanks for the clarification about sound-milling, I will correct the post. I remain sceptical of the supposed benefits but regardless the liqueurs are very good and it’s the end product that really counts!

  6. Dr. Bamboo Dr. Bamboo says:

    Assuming I *can* get this, I will. It will score mucho points with the Lady of the House. ;-)

  7. Calgary Jeff Calgary Jeff says:

    Combier makes an eaux-de-vie de Cacao which may be easier to acquire; I managed to snag a bottle from the SAQ in Montreal a couple years ago so it’s out there.

  8. Important cocktails of the past decade + eighteen other links - The Jolly Inebriate says:

    [...] you’re tired of creamy chocolate liqueurs, this Austrian spirit looks like just the thing to reverse that [...]

  9. The Old Town Alchemy Co. » 2010 with a blast (from the past, of course) says:

    [...] Oh Gosh! on Mozart Dry – unsweetened chocolate spirit. [...]

  10. Florian F. Iro Florian F. Iro says:


    United Kingdom
    Mozart Dry is now managed by Mangrove UK!

    Mozart Dry will be imported by Kindred Spirits of NA. Their HQ is in Miami.

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