Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Shaken and stirred: The FCI visits Death & Company

One had to be determined or very thirsty to brave the snow on February 25 in order to attend the student club outing to Death & Company in the East Village! Twenty-four of us were one or the other, and I can assure you that it was well worth fighting the elements. We were fortunate to have master mixologists Thomas Waugh and Alex Day welcome us and talk about the evolution of the cocktail, as well as the importance of using great ingredients and paying attention to the details in order to get the best results.

Alex Day (left) and Thomas Waugh (right) behind the bar

Nothing was lost on the students. They listened attentively as the duo showed their shaking techniques and explained how a drink is mixed can dramatically affect the texture and taste. They told us that choosing your blending style is important, and the shape of your ice is also important (details!). You want to choose each element carefully so that you achieve the perfect mouthfeel and balance in your drink. And something we know well at the school, they emphasized the difference it makes to start with quality ingredients—from the base alcohols to the mixes and bitters (they make all of their mixes and bitters in-house). We tasted a traditional punch, a stirred drink, a shaken drink, and a blended drink throughout the night. Thomas and Alex’s passion and dedication to their craft shines through in their concoctions. And by the end of the night, we had all raised a glass to that.


Rhonda Lynn is the assistant dean of student affairs and organizes the clubs and activities that enrich students' education at the school. Her favorite drink of the evening? Mother's Ruin Punch—"surprisingly elegant and, with all the spices, the perfect welcome in from the snow."

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