Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Little Birdy (Death & Co. Recipe)

This is a wonderfully approachable cocktail. This is one case where I am not lamenting my purchase of Chileanl pisco, because I was glad that its relative tastelessness took on the infusion flavors so well. 

It starts with strawberry and pineapple pieces soaking in pisco for about a week. This is a perfect flavor combination that is a little bit tropical and a little familiar. Interestingly, the pineapple in the pisco still has a slight foaming effect that pineapple juice tends to provide--like a vegetarian foam. 

Then St-Germain and citrus juices balance out to make for a candy-like cocktail that is really a different taste experience. A little sweet, but so many changes in the waves of flavors you detect as they wash over your tongue. I would do this one again with a different spirit, maybe with a fruitier Peruvian pisco.

  • 2 oz. strawberry and pineapple infused pisco
  • 1/2 oz. St-Germain
  • 3/4 oz. Grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. simple syrup

Shake all ingredients with ice, then strain into a coupe. 


Peachy Pachacuti (Death & Co. Recipe)


Yogurt is a great addition in mixed drinks, whether or not they are alcoholic. Consider the Mango Lassi, for example. This is similar to the Mango Lassi, but with peaches and pisco. The Death & Co. bartender who invented it said he came up with it in a cocktail competition in Peru and used the name of one of the Inca emperors to sway the judges. 

You be the judge of this one: I loved the proportions--not a milkshake or a sour bomb. Ripe peaches are all natural and there is no fake flavor there. Pisco is a strange choice of spirit and if one is not in Peru, I could see almost any spirit except for absinthe (and that's still a maybe in my book) as a good choice for this very cosmopolitan cocktail.

  • 3 ripe peach slices
  • 2 oz. pisco (Capel used)
  • 1/2 oz. lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. lemon juice
  • 3/4 oz. honey syrup
  • 1 tsp Greek yogurt

Muddle peach slices in a shaker tin. Add the remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain into a snifter with one large ice cube. 

Friday, July 16, 2021

Manhattan Transfer (Death & Co. Recipe)


I'm still in a Manhattan mood and trying new variations of that classic, this time with rye, Ramazzotti and dry vermouth. It turns out that Ramazzotti is one of the ingredients in my homemade Amer Picon, which is mostly an infusion of oranges in MurLarkey Justice white whiskey. So I used Amer Picon to carry off the Ramazzotti flavor needed for the drink and inadvertently made a variation of the Brooklyn cocktail. 

I'm sure the Brooklyn was the inspiration for the Manhattan Transfer, but having no Amer Picon, they used Ramazzotti and the rest is history. 

  • 1 1/2 oz. Catoctin Creek Distiller's Edition rye
  • 1 oz. dry vermouth (Dolin used)
  • 1 oz. Ramazzotti (homemade Amer Picon used)
  • 1 dash orange bitters (Hella used)
 Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. 

Eagle Eye Cherry (Death & Co. Recipe)

I loved the taste of this cocktail. I was worried it would be too sweet, like a cordial, or too fruity as its name suggests. I was wrong. The flavor was more bitter and Manhattan-like than rum and sherry cocktail. This is because of many small touches in the recipe that keep the drinker's interest with their bitter notes holding down the sweetness of rum and cherry liqueur. 

These bitter elements were my homemade cherry blossom bitters--still going strong--and Suze gentian spirit (in addition to a hearty sweet vermouth like Cocchi Dopo Teatro). 

One note about the chocolate flavors in this cocktail: I was unsure what substitute to use for Alchemia chocolate vodka (1/4 oz. in the original recipe). I don't have it and I wasn't sure that coco whiskey or chocolate mole bitters would be the right substitute. I almost used Godiva dark chocolate liqueur, but reasoned that it would make the cocktail cloudy. I opted for creme de cacao, which in such small proportions was unlikely to add too much sugar.

  • 2 oz. Flor de Cana 7-year rum (George Bowman used)
  • 1/2 oz. Cherry Heering
  • 1/2 oz. Alvear Festival Pale Cream Sherry (Alexandro Amontillado used)
  • 1/2 oz. Lustau East India Solera Sherry
  • 1/4 oz. Alchemia chocolate vodka (creme de cacao used)
  • 1/2 tsp. Suze
  • 1 tsp. Antica Formula vermouth (Cocchi Dopo Teatro used)
  • dash cherry blossom bitters
  • orange twist
  • brandied cherry (Luxardo used)

Combine liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a port glass and twist the orange zest over it. Garnish with the cherry on a cocktail pick. 


Black Market Manhattan (Death & Co. Recipe)


I was in the mood for a Manhattan, or at least something like one. That is where the Black Market Manhattan (or my version of it) was born. The concept by Death & Co. seems to be an attempt to make a Manhattan without rye and changing a few other ingredients and still pull off something nearly like a Manhattan--hence the black market moniker. It's as if the normal ingredients are unavailable, either because of legislation or by pure happenstance, but a crafty bartender still comes through with a satisfactory knock off.

So Death & Co. use a wheat whiskey called Bernheim. I actually don't have that, so my rationale is the latter necessity. I chose corn whiskey as my base--three of them in fact. A big part of the original recipe is orange tea infused sweet vermouth. I, instead, went with orange and tea infused whiskies. It was a good call and one that mimicked rich barrel aging of whiskey by using only unaged spirits. I supplied the fruit and vanilla of MurLarkey orange whiskey and the bitter tannin of their three tea whiskey and only a hint of their cinnamon whiskey to round out a cocktail that is almost like the real thing. 

  • 2 oz. MurLarkey orange whiskey
  • 1/2 oz. MurLarkey three tea whiskey
  • 1/2 oz. Cocchi Dopo Teatro sweet vermouth
  • 1 tsp. MurLarkey cinnamon whiskey
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • lemon twist garnish

Combine liquid ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon zest over the glass and drop it in. 

Monday, July 5, 2021

Soul Clench (Death & Co. Recipe)


This grape and grapefruit spirit cocktail has everything but juice. There's pisco and vermouth for the main notes, but accents of elderflower and spice from St-Germain and falernum. 

There is also an unusual ingredient known as Combier Pamplemousse Rose Liqueur. This is made from the juice and peel of grapefruit steeped in cognac--and it's lovely. I knocked it off with the peel of one grapefruit and one ounce of its juice infused into 2 oz. of vodka and one oz. of cognac for about twelve hours. A lovely taste and very brilliant, but I only made enough for two drinks. 

  • 2 oz. pisco (Capel used)
  • 3/4 oz. Dolin dry vermouth
  • 1/2 oz. Combier Pamplemousse Rose Liqueur (homemade used: see above)
  • 1/2 oz. oz. St-Germain
  • 1/4 oz. falernum (homemade used)
  • 1 grapefruit twist garnish

Combine liquid ingredients in a mixing glass full of ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist the grapefruit peel over the glass and drop it in. 

Poire Man's Cobbler (Death & Co. Recipe)

This little bon mot of a drink is a Pear Cobbler (a type of sweetened brandy cocktail on crushed ice). The joke comes from Poire (French for pear), which is used in the garnish and muddled into the spirits. It is one of the better Cobblers out there (keeping in mind that there are some sub-par Port and Sherry Cobblers fit only for consumption on winter holidays and even then in the privacy of your own home.

Peychaud's and Benedictine take this drink in a fun, spicy direction. But apple brandy is the main ingredient that thrusts the pear juice into relief. I don't have Calvados, but Laird's Applejack 86 is more than up to the task.

  • 2 oz. Busnel VSOP Calvados (Laird's Applejack 86 used)
  • 1/4 ripe Bartlett pear, cubed
  • 1/4 oz. Benedictine, 
  • 2 dashes Peychaud's bitters
  • 1 pear slice

Muddle the cubed pear in the shaker, then add the remining liquid ingredients and ice and shake. Strain over crushed ice in an Old Fashioned glass and garnish with the pear slice.