A Drink for All Seasons

Photographs by Davies + Starr

The Ramble - Winner
Aviation Gin, lemon, raspberries
DEATH & CO.: “Better suited for not-so-sophisticated palates.”
NYM: Delicious! Like an upscale, refreshing slushie. You could drink seven of these and feel healthier for it. The female taster worried the raspberries would get stuck in her teeth, not a good look for a wedding.
SCORE: 18/20

The Ramos Gin Fizz
Gin, cream, lime, lemon, egg white, orange flower water
DEATH & CO.: “Perfect for an intimate afternoon reception.”
NYM: Alcoholic lemon meringue pie in a glass. Super creamy and best drunk immediately (gets impenetrably dense fast) and through a straw. Though a white-froth mustache could be a decent icebreaker.
SCORE: 13/20
See Also: David Waltuck of Chanterelle’s Spring Menu.

The Cabaret
Gin, Benedictine, dry vermouth, Angostura bitters
DEATH & CO.: “A real grown-up drink for an elegant wedding.”
NYM: Smelled delightful, but was harsh on the throat. From whence came its potency? The gin? The liquor distilled by monks? Consensus: This will mess you up in the morning.
SCORE: 5.5/20

The Lil’ Jig
Blanco tequila, Thai basil, Yellow Chartreuse, lime
DEATH & CO.: “This one’s herbaceous and dainty. Serious but not sinister.”
NYM: They ran out of Thai basil and the un-Thai variety was totally out of the question. Alas, we could not taste the drink with the cutest name.
SCORE: n/a
See Also: Joey Campanaro of Little Owl’s Summer Menu.

The Boulvevardier
Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, Campari
DEATH & CO.: “It’s essentially a bourbon-based Negroni.”
NYM: Sexy color, good for a moody black-tie setting, but rough around the edges. We couldn’t finish it. Plus, its name is tough to pronounce unless you’re a Francophone, or already slurring/trailing off.
SCORE: 1/20

The Vipera
D’Anjou-pear-and-apple-infused Herradura silver tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, Laird’s applejack
DEATH & CO.: “Deceptively strong; it sneaks up on you.”
NYM: A male favorite: Like a subtle apple tequila-tini, soft and smooth across the board. A nice hit of mint revealed itself at the end. Its name has a suave, James Bond ring to it.
SCORE: 12.5/20
See Also: Anne Burrell of Centro’s Fall Menu.

The Aku Aku Gold Cup
Appleton VX rum, Gosling’s dark rum, lemon juice, Velvet Falernum, simple syrup, Angostura bitters
DEATH & CO.: “Jump-start the honeymoon with this one.”
NYM: A cleverly named, tart rum drink that goes down easily (despite a low threshold for rum, the woman consumed without flinching). The flamed orange rind was a bonus.
SCORE: 10/20

The Conference - Runner-up
Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Rittenhouse Rye, Courvoisier cognac, Busnel Calvados, demerara syrup, Angostura and Bittermen’s bitters
DEATH & CO.: “Based on the classic old-fashioned.”
NYM: Swept the men off their feet: We’d drink this with effing tails on! The woman came around to the brown stuff and enjoyed its whiff of peat.
SCORE: 17/20
See Also: Marcus Samuelsson of Merkato 55’s Winter Menu.

A Drink for All Seasons