My first night back in New York after TotC was an interesting night. After finally getting to the hotel, no thanks to the worlds most inept taxi driver (am I wrong to expect the driver to know Manhattan better than I?), the heavens promptly opened and lightening like I’ve never seen before lit up the sky. The roads flooded, cars crawled through deep water, and for a short while I wondered if I’d stumbled on to the set of The Day After Tomorrow II. However, let it not be said mere bad weather keeps me away from a good drink though.
A cab ride later I found myself on 6th Street outside Death & Co. Knowing how popular this bar can be I wasn’t sure if I’d even get in, but after a short wait outside the anonymous, wooden-fronted building I was shown inside by the doorman and was seated in front of a bar overflowing with rare spirits, custom ingredients and bitters of all descriptions. With oil burners dimly lighting the room, classic jazz playing in the background, and a lively but not hectic crowd, the atmosphere was that perfect mix of ambiance and excitement.
I was pleased to find Alex Day and Phil Ward working behind the bar, whom I ran in to down in New Orleans just a week earlier. Alex even vaguely remembered me, which was an impressive task given that we met at the Old Absinthe House late in to the night. My first drink was The Latest Word, a play on the Last Word that uses Genever (the original Dutch-style gin) in place of London dry. The Last Word is a delicious cocktail anyway, with a great interplay between the maraschino and Chartreuse, but the Genever brought an extra maltiness to the drink which worked very nicely.
My next drink was the Dodo, a rum-based drink that also featured sweet vermouth and an orange zest garnish, though unfortunately I failed to note what else was in it. The aged-rum (Phil kindly upgraded me to Zapaca 23 without saying a word, but I noticed!) and vermouth worked together really nicely, with the orange zest twist helping to pull everything together. Clearly it was very enjoyable, as I was too busy drinking it to make any more notes about it, but I do remember enjoying it a lot.
At this point I was ready to see what the guys could make me off-menu, but unfortunately thanks to certain neighbours of the bar Death & Co. have had to reduce their opening hours so they now close at midnight and I had to move on. I was really disappointed I didn’t get a chance to try anything else here, but comforted myself with the knowledge that whenever I visit New York again, I will be back on Sixth Street in a flash. Fantastic drinks, fantastic bartenders, fantastic bar, fantastic… well, just fantastic!
Death & Co. is located at 433 East 6th Street, between 1st and A. Open 6pm to 12am everyday.
Tel: +1 212 388 0882
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