Sweet and vicious

Next week will be the official release of New York City bar Death & Co‘s long awaited cocktail book. Bar founder David Kaplan managed to get an impressive $250,000 advance  for the book, part of which he redistributed to his employees.

The bar opened in 2007 with Phil Ward of Pegu Club as head bartender, joined behind the bar by Brian Miller and Joaquin Simó. Phil Ward has a special connection to San Diego; he trained the bartending staff at Craft & Commerce and helped design its cocktail menu which includes several punch options, including his phenomenal Mother’s Ruin Punch.


For the occasion, I tried a fall-inspired cocktail from the book, Alex Day’s Sweet and Vicious. It’s a dry Manhattan variation with rye and muddled apple. There is also some amaro Nonino which imparts bitterness and orange notes, and a touch of maple syrup.

It reminded me of all the Manhattan variations with Calvados I had been playing with last year (more on that in an upcoming post), a difference being that the muddled fresh apple gives a slight acidity to the drink. It’s on the sweet side as the name implies, so I reduced the maple syrup from a barspoon to half a barspoon. As a side note, the muddled apple seemed to soak up the drink a bit, so the yield was a bit smaller than expected.


Sweet and Vicious (Alex Day)

In a mixing glass –

2 Fuji apple slices, gently muddled (Granny Smith)

2 oz Old Overholt rye (Bulleit)

0.5 oz Dolin dry vermouth

0.5 oz amaro Nonino

1 barspoon maple syrup (1/2)

add ice, stir, double strain into chilled coupe

apple fan garnish


Press coverage for the book

Further reading

  • Interview with David Kaplan and Alex Day on what it takes to create a great bar
  • Food GPS interview with Alex Day



2 thoughts on “Sweet and vicious

  1. Pingback: The Monroe | Tartines to Tikis

  2. Pingback: Apple of my eye | Tartines to Tikis

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