Pelee’s letdown

I had high hopes for this one (who doesn’t love a drink named after a volcano?), but unfortunately this was just way too sweet. I would switch up the rhum agricole:Donn’s spices so there’s a lot less of the spice mixture.  (FYI, the Donn’s spices are vanilla simple and St. Elizabeth’s Dram.) 

Pelee’s Blood, Death & Co.

Making it to the mainland

Death & Co. indicates this is a riff on the Alaska cocktail, just subbing in Galliano for yellow chartreuse. It’s amazing how such a small change makes such a big difference in my enjoyment of the drink. The Alaska was entirely too dry for me, but this is so light and sophisticated, but also approachable with subtle vanilla notes balancing the floral. My only regret is that I’m not sipping it at some chic cocktail lounge dressed to the nines rather than hanging on the couch in my pajamas.  

Mainland, Death & Co.

Maggie Smith is the cat’s meow

I don’t see any real correlation between Dame Maggie Smith and this drink, but both are lovely in their own right. (As an aside, when I grow up I want to be Maggie Smith circa Clash of the Titans.). In the drink, the rum and the pisco make a lovely duo that is sweet and tart in perfect measures. The lime, orange liqueur (I used the local Calisaya, from Elixir distilling), orgeat, and honey combine into something great than just the sum of the parts. All in all, I’m happy to sip this drink and admire Dame Smith as I let the workday slip away.  

Maggie Smith, Death & Co.

Raspberry zinger

I just keep finding new ways to enjoy ginger. I bought a good ginger syrup (because I don’t have the time or patience to grate that much ginger root), and it mixed beautifully with the raspberry in this bright, summery cocktail. My only complaint is that the bourbon gets lost just a little.  

Monongahela Mule, Death & Co.

Kentucky tiki

This drink proves that a little bit of a lot of components can make something delicious. We start with some common tiki flavors (lime, orgeat, cinnamon syrup), but the addition of the bourbon and a single muddled strawberry resulted in a well-rounded, bright, summery beverage.  

Warehouse C, Death & Co.

Blowing stuff up

In honor of the explode-a-palooza about to get started out here on the west coast, I tried this Sazerac variation and it’s another winner. The Lillet and the cane syrup do a great job of tempering the burn of the bourbon without canceling it out. So simple, but so pleasant. This is also a great example of when the garnish is a critical part of the drink — the grapefruit twist really bridges the string and the sweet.  

Have a safe and pleasant 4th, everyone. And don’t forget to take care of your pets when all the crazy gets started.  

Guns and Rosé, Death & Co.


Roll with it

Pulled this one from the “Sazerac Variations” section of the Death & Co. book, and it’s definitely a winner. The Compass Asyla scotch is lovely all on its own, and the Averna and simple enhance the scotch without overwhelming it.  Really enjoyable.  

Bay City Roller, Death & Co.

After sunset

After last night’s misses, I was looking for a win and I think this is a fair approximation. A hair too sweet for my taste, but that seemed to settle as I made my way through the drink. What a lovely daiquiri variant.    

Sunset at Gowanus, Death & Co.


Two strikes

Today was not a good day to drink. I started with the original Savoy Cocktail Book recipe for an Aviation, and it was absolutely not my bag — the Creme de Violette was just too floral to carry the rum and maraschino. I prefer Creme Yvette for a little more depth of flavor. Next up was Howl on the Hill, but I admit that my bitter-sensitive palate found the Fernet completely overwhelming, which is a shame, because these are a couple of lovely rums. I may need to revert to the comfort and safety of a Manhattan just to call the night a draw.  

Howl on the Hill, Death & Co.