September may be rapidly drawing to a close, but I still have a few more summery cocktail recipes to get out of my system! And most are from the Death & Co cocktail book, since I've been basically obsessed with it for the last few weeks. If you've already got a copy, bear with me while I share some of these delicious concoctions with the rest of the world.
If you're not familiar with Death & Co, it's a small bar that opened in Manhattan's East Village almost ten years ago, focusing on impeccably made craft cocktails in a welcoming, speakeasy-style environment. It was something of a revolutionary philosophy at the time, and the bar quickly soared in popularity. When I was in New York back in January, I managed to get in and get a seat at the bar right away because I was by myself. The cocktails were indeed superb, and the menu was so long and interesting that I could have spent the whole night reading it. (Unfortunately they were pretty strict about taking it back after I'd ordered, because apparently they have a big problem with people stealing them.)
Like the Flor de Jerez, the Strange Brew is one of the first recipes featured at the beginning of the book, which is how it caught my eye early-on. This beer cocktail is indeed a strange brew. The gin blends surprisingly with the pineapple and IPA, resulting in a flavor that was wholly unexpected for me - herbal, tangy, and a tiny bit bitter. It's very refreshing and summery, but quite unique.
History: This cocktail was invented by Thomas Waugh when he was at Death & Co. in 2008. He's currently behind the bar at ZZ's Clam Bar, which looks like a truly unique establishment. The tiny, 12-seat restaurant serves gorgeous tiki cocktails with impeccable presentation, enhanced by the fact that the bartenders wear white tuxedo jackets, gold bowties, and no pants. Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be headed there any time soon, since GQ called it "the most expensive 58 minutes in New York dining."
Anyway, Waugh says in the Death & Co. cocktail book that he and his friends used to drink beer mixed with fresh fruit from the farmer's market in San Francisco, and that pineapple with IPA was always his favorite combination. He named this cocktail after a song by EMF, the B side to their extremely popular "Unbelievable."
Strange Brew2 oz. gin (Tanqueray No. 10 recommended)
3/4 oz. Velvet Falernum
1 oz. pineapple juice
1/2 oz. lemon juice
Splash of IPA (Green Flash recommended)
Combine all ingredients except IPA in a shaker with three ice cubes (oddly specific, but then this is Death & Co) and give them a short shake. Strain into a Pilsner glass filled with crushed ice. Top with IPA and garnish with a mint sprig (as they recommend) or a slice of pineapple and a couple of pineapple leaves (as I did).
Recipe from Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails.