Going 10 Rounds with Top Bartender Jillian Vose
The beverage director of New York’s famed Dead Rabbit bar tackles our speed round of questions.
What do you like to drink after a shift? “A dry cider and a neat pour of Irish pot still whiskey. I’m currently drinking Redbreast 15-Year-Old or the Green Spot Irish Whiskey Finished in Château Léoville Barton Bordeaux casks. Yum, yum.”
What is the all-time best dive bar jukebox song? “Hmmm. Maybe “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Joan Jet? That’s always a fun one.”
What drink should be banished and why? “Anything with sour mix and that sticks ‘tini’ to the end of its name [if it’s not an actual Martini]. That really annoys me.”
Name the first good drink you ever drank and where you had it. “The first time I made myself a proper Sazerac changed my world. I was working at Jade Bar in the Sanctuary Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. I must have been about 23 or 24 years old. A game changer.”
What book on cocktails, spirits or food is your go-to resource? “The Vegetarian Flavor Bible by Karen Page is great for flavor pairings.”
What’s your favorite bottle of booze that costs less than $25? “Christian Drouin Selection Calvados Non-Vintage.”
What’s your favorite cocktail and food pairing? “A cocktail with smoke, peat or brine (or all three) with oysters.”
What drink are you most proud of creating? “For this menu, I’m pretty excited about the ‘Indian Rope Trick.’ It’s actually a riff on the very first drink I created for Death & Co. about seven years ago.”
What’s your favorite shot-and-a-beer combination? “I don’t drink beer, so dry cider and mezcal or calvados.”
What is the one tool that you always make sure to pack when you’re traveling for business? “A nutmeg grater. You really need to make sure you have a fine grate for that nutmeg!”
Jillian Vose is beverage director of the award-winning and world-famous Dead Rabbit in New York.
Interview has been condensed and edited.