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Drink DuJour: Clay Pigeons Cocktail

Here’s how to make this nutty, velvety Irish Coffee variation from Death & Co. Denver at home

“In a climate like Denver, hot drinks are a must,” says Death & Co. Denver’s Beverage Director Tyson Buhler. What he’s done with coffee, rye, liqueur, and cream, though, is something we’d be tempted to drink anywhere at any time. Buhler’s Clay Pigeons cocktail is deep, rich, nutty, and spiced all at once, bringing banana to the forefront under a layer of hand-whipped toasted oat cream, making for the perfect riff on the classic Irish Coffee.

Death & Co. has long been a staple in the American cocktail community; its original New York City outpost, an East Village staple, welcomed its 21-seat sister location in Denver in 2018, and the brand is becoming increasingly synonymous with the modern craft cocktail community. That year also saw the release of a second bar book, Cocktail Codex (preceded by a legendary book of 500 recipes), though you’ll need to look no further than here for a page from the team’s own personal recipe book. Check out Buhler’s Clay Pigeons build below.

3 oz. hot coffee (Death & Co. uses Middlestate Coffee)
1 oz. Leopold Bros. Maryland-Style Rye
.25 oz. Giffard Banane du Brésil
.5 oz. Bénédictine
Toasted oat cream float*

Preparation: Add all ingredients besides cream in tempered tin. Stir and transfer to a glass toddy or Irish coffee mug. To whip the cream, add 1oz to a shaker with a whisking ball or small ice chip and shake vigorously. Pour slowly over the back of a spoon to layer onto the top of the drink. Garnish with grated nutmeg and serve.

*Toasted Oat Cream
4 o.z steel cut oats
32 oz. heavy cream

Preparation: Toast oats until fragrant (do not burn); combine with heavy cream. Let sit for 24 hours in refrigerator; strain into storage container.