4 Essential Fall Cocktails from Death & Co.’s David Kaplan

Mother's Ruin Punch © William Hereford
By Justine Sterling Posted October 06, 2014

Death & Co. founder Dave Kaplan shares his four favorite fall cocktails. 

Dark and mysterious, behind a thick wooden door deep in NYC’s East Village, Death & Co. is one of the city’s finest speakeasy–style cocktail lounges. Getting in isn’t easy. The bar fills up fast and the waiting list can go on for pages.

But starting tomorrow, cocktail enthusiasts everywhere will be able to drink Death & Co.’s legendarily good cocktails at home thanks to Death & Co.: Modern Classic Cocktails, the bar’s inaugural book filled with nearly 500 cocktail recipes written by founders David Kaplan and Alex Day, with former F&W-er Nick Fauchald. The book hits the shelves tomorrow, October 7, and in celebration, Kaplan, Day and Fauchald are taking their cocktails on tour across the country (get tickets here).

Between the book and the tour, the three men are doing their best to bring the bar’s incredible drinks to everyone. But if you just can’t wait until tomorrow, you can get a taste right now. Here, Kaplan shares four of his favorite fall cocktails from Death & Co.

Autumn Daiquiri
“I equate tiki drinks with fall because they use a lot of fall spices like cinnamon and allspice,” Kaplan says.

2 ounces Mount Gay Eclipse rum
1½ ounces lime juice
½ ounce pineapple juice
¼ ounce demerara syrup
¼ ounce cinnamon bark syrup (1:1 simple syrup infused with smashed cinnamon sticks)
1 dash Angostura bitters

Shake the ingredients with ice then strain into a coupe and serve.

Patois Punch
“This is fall in a glass,” Kaplan says. “Potable pumpkin pie.”

1 ounce Ron del Barrilito rum
1 ounce Bousnel VSOP Calvados
½ teaspoon Don’s Spices #2 (equal parts vanilla-infused 1:1 simple syrup and allspice or pimento dram)
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce maple syrup
1 teaspoon pumpkin puree

Shake all of the ingredients with ice then strain into a coupe.

Mother’s Ruin
“Punch classically always has some spice in it,” Kaplan says. “Mother’s Ruin gets its spice from a black market spiced tea—it’s almost like a chai tea.”

8 white sugar cubes
2 ounces club soda
4 ounces Plymouth gin
2 ounces cinnamon-orange tea–infused sweet vermouth (mix 3 tablespoons of cinnamon-orange tea with one bottle of sweet vermouth, let stand for 1½ hours, then strain)
4 ounces grapefruit juice
2 ounces lemon juice
3 ounces dry Champagne
6 grapefruit wheels, for garnish

In a pitcher, muddle the sugar cubes with the club soda until the sugar is fully broken up. Add the remaining ingredients (except the Champagne and the garnish) and fill the pitcher three-quarters full with ice cubes. Stir until cold, then strain into a punch bowl over one large block of ice. Top with Champagne, garnish with the grapefruit wheels and ladle into glasses.

Doc’s Dram
“This is a mix of rye and gin with lemon juice, maple syrup, sherry, apple butter and bitters,” he says. “The sherry gives it that warm nuttiness. The apple butter gives it a heavier flavor.”

1½ ounces Old Overholt rye
½ ounce Ransom Old Tom gin
½ ounce Lustau East India Solera sherry
½ ounce lemon juice
½ ounce maple syrup
1 teaspoon apple butter
1 dash Angostura bitters
1 apple fan for garnish

Shake all of the ingredients with ice then strain into a double rocks glass over one large ice cube. Garnish with the apple fan.

Related: 20 More Fall Cocktails
23 Party Punches
8 Great Apple Cocktails

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