Having gotten her start in hospitality at age 17, working as a bartender at Arizona’s Four Peaks Brewery, Jillian Vose has put in time at some of New York’s most notable bars—from Clover Club to Maison Premiere, and finally Death & Co., where she worked for more than three years, adding more than 40 new cocktails to the menu.
It was then that Vose, whose mother is from Dublin, was offered a position at The Dead Rabbit, the famed bar from Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon, located in Manhattan’s Financial District. Since taking the helm, Vose has taken the lead on developing a number of drink menus, in addition to revamping the bar’s widely lauded Irish Coffee recipe, with an assist from legendary barman Dale DeGroff.
So what does Vose do when she’s not developing recipes or tending bar? Here, she tackles our Lookbook Questionnaire to share her favorite bar, the best thing she ever drank and the strangest drink request she’s ever gotten.
Beverage director of The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog.
What do want to be when you grow up?
I’ll let you know when I figure that out.
Best thing you ever drank:
Pineau des Charentes in Cognac while playing pétanque with my closest friends.
Worst thing you ever drank:
Grabbed the wrong cup at a party and got a mouthful of cigarette-flavored beer. That was gross. As far as cocktails go, we thought it would be funny to mix Buckfast and Irn-Bru together while in Scotland. Would not recommend it, but it was a good laugh.
First time you ever got drunk:
House party on a half day of school… Mom wasn’t too pleased about that one.
If you had to listen to one album on loop for the rest of your life, what would it be?
That’s really hard! NAS It Was Written for hip hop; Fleetwood Mac The Dance for light rock.
What’s the weirdest hobby you currently have or have had?
When I was in middle school and junior high, I rode a unicycle and could juggle.
What do you know now that you wish you’d known five years ago?
I wish I delegated more. I still have trouble with it, but man, it makes life a lot easier.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not eating, drinking or drink-making?
Weirdest drink request you’ve ever gotten:
Someone once asked me for a Hypnotini when I was working at a brewery.
Your favorite bar:
I always see a friend behind or sitting at the bar at Ba’sik [in Brooklyn]. Always a good time, and a super chill, no-bullshit kind of bar. Death & Co. for cocktails, as it has a special part of my heart and they’re still making some of the best drinks in the city.
Best meal you’ve ever had:
Christmas Eve dinner my mum cooks every year for my friends and me here in New York. Turkey, roast vegetables, lots of potatoes—she does the works. Lots of wine of course and even more laughs.
If I’m drinking white, I’ll go for a white Burgundy. For red, a full-bodied Bordeaux.
Dry cider with a whiskey back.
Your preferred hangover recovery regime:
A gallon of water, protein shake and to just get my ass out of bed and get moving.
The one thing you wish would disappear from drink lists forever:
Anything with ‘tini on the end of the name that isn’t actually a Martini. I also think smoked cocktails need to go bye-bye.
The last text message you sent:
“You’re mean,” replying to our PR director for sending me an ugly picture of an Irish coffee to mess with me.