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Tip Your Bartender: Black Emperor, New York

June 22, 2020

Story: Punch Staff

art: Nick Hensley

Ben Rojo’s subtly spicy highball reads like the lovechild of a Scotch & Soda and a Penicillin.

Welcome to a special two-week encore of “Tip Your Bartender,” a social media initiative from PUNCH connecting our readers with bar teams across the country via Instagram. Back by popular demand, we’re bringing a new group of drink-makers from across the country to revisit the classics—from the Tequila Sunrise to the Piña Colada.

Between June 15th and June 26th, for every dollar tipped to bar teams, the Bacardi family of brands has generously committed to matching it with an equal gift to our charitable partner, Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation.

Send a tip to the Black Emperor bar staff via Venmo by searching @benrojo.

Phoenix Down Fizz

Ben Rojo, Black Emperor | New York, New York

The Phoenix Down Fizz takes its name from the feathers of the mythical bird. Rojo’s spice-forward tonic is meant to refresh weary spirits and invigorate us for the fights ahead in this time of rebirth and upheaval. A riff on the Mamie Taylor, his take calls on pepper and herb to augment a backbone of ginger spice, and honey to reinforce the clean floral notes of the Dewar's malt. Roasted rosemary adds aromatic intrigue, with a nod to the visual motif of feathers upturned.

1 ½ ounces Dewar’s 12 Year Old
¾ ounce spiced honey syrup (see Editors’ Note)
½ ounce lemon juice
3 dashes Angostura
Top with soda water

Garnish: sprig of torched rosemary and crushed pink peppercorn

Combine all ingredients except soda water in a shaker with ice, shake vigorously. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice. Top with soda, garnish with a sprig of torched rosemary and crushed pink peppercorn.

Editors’ Note

Spiced Honey Syrup
3 cups honey
1 cup water
3 ounces peeled and sliced ginger
1 tsp black peppercorn
1 tsp pink peppercorn
1 tsp coriander seed 

Lightly toast peppercorns and coriander seed in a dry saucepan over medium-low heat.  Once fragrant, add ginger, honey, and water, and bring mixture to a simmer.  Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Strain and store in an airtight vessel. 

Order ingredients for this cocktail for delivery via Drizly.

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