When you've found a great bartender, you've hit gold. Now, I've expounded on many a mixologist's gifts on this site, but I have never been shy about my high regard for the spirited talents of one Philip Ward.
I guess I'm a bit of a groupie. A cocktail groupie. I followed him from Flatiron Lounge to Pegu Club - and now Death & Company, a cozy, candlelit East Village speakeasy that's been packing them in since it opened back in January.
Pictured above, shaking things up, Phil can happily claim the majority of the lounge's libations as his own - with nary a Vodka drink in the bunch. He's come up with some real winners too - from the Company Buck, a bubbly Dark Rum concoction brightened by the flavors of pineapple, orange and ginger, to the Mig Royale, a Gin cocktail graced with Maraschino, Cointreau, fresh lemon juice and a Champagne float.
One of my new all-time faves is a sweet spicy number that Phil christened the Fresa Brava (pictured below). How that man came up with a drink the features Tequila, Jalapeno Peppers, Strawberries and Yellow Chartreuse, I'll never know.
Different - yes. Delicious - an emphatic yes.
Can't imagine trying to make one at home though. What can I say? Actually taking the time to infuse the Tequila with the spicy peppers, when I can just visit Death & Company, seems too ambitious - if not downright silly.
But in case you want to give it a go, here's Phil's recipe:
1.) Muddle a few Strawberries in a 1/2 ounce of Simple Syrup
2.) Add ice.
3.) Pour in 3/4 ounce of Yellow Chartreuse, 3/4 ounce of fresh Lemon Juice and 2 ounces of Herradura Silver Tequila infused with Jalapeno Peppers.
5.) Strain into a chilled Champagne coupe glass