Underground Cocktails at Death & Co.

Underground Cocktails at Death & Co.

Death & Co., a speakeasy-style cocktail bar in the East Village, may be a little hard to find, but its drinks are worth the search. The bar's entrance could easily be missed as the outside has only a wooden frame with absolutely no windows. If you take a closer look, you’ll notice the wooden columns that introduce its majestic door handle, and if you happen to actually enter, you’ll be surprised at the interior’s elegance. While the idea of a speakeasy alludes to a secretive gathering, the bar often has long lines of people waiting to make their way in. The hype over D&C is not surprising, as the drinks are tasty and strong, as all cocktails should be. 

David Kaplan and Ravi De Rossi take inspiration from the Prohibition era of the early 1900s. While the alcohol ban severely affected nightlife during that era, Death & Co. takes a nostalgic approach to the society of drinkers that made up that underground scene. The duo has successfully created one of the only bars in town where one could realistically start to feel a buzz after only one drink. Their concoctions, while quick to relax you, have amazing flavors and are served with a conscious effort to retain the essence of their high quality ingredients. Take for example their signature cocktail Bikini Kill, made up of pineapple infused Tanqueray Gin, Dollin Dry Vermouth, El Dorado three year old Rum, Combier Pamplemousse, and St. Germaine. Yes, the Bikini Kill is a beautiful type of Frankenstein completely made up of pure alcohol. And somehow, D&C’s bartenders master the ability to blend the perfect combination of bitters and sweets to create a drink that tastes phenomenal, but sneaks up on you quickly.  

While the place is not easy to find, once inside the only thing left to do is pick your poison. The menu is divided by base alcohol (Rum, Gin, Whiskey, etc.), making it quite simple to choose what kind of booze you’ll be filling up on for the night. Each category has exciting variety and keeps the format of the Bikini Kill, taking creative approaches with each individual type of liquor. These bartenders are certainly worthy of that fancy Mixologist title. 

While I highly recommend it, I would only suggest planning for D&C as a classy stop during an eventful night or for a special occasion of intimacy, as their drinks are on the pricier side, averaging about $15 per cocktail. That could be considered a pretty penny to pay for many, but its frequenters argue that the drinks are rather worthy of the price as you’ll likely have to drink less and will achieve a classier buzz. 

Like any speakeasy, the bar is forced to retain some level of exclusivity and is likely to be more difficult to get into than your average bar. Make sure to arrive early for a better chance at getting in quickly. I would also recommend grubbing before coming by, as the bar only serves small plates and the money is better spent on their drinks.

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