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Brian Miller

the genius: Brian Miller
Head Bartender
Death & Co
New York

the inspiration: I'm inspired by many people, places and things. One of my big passions is infusing tea into spirits. Recently I was inspired to play with coconut and scotch. A friend of mine was visiting some family from Puerto Rico and told me that the locals down there will cut the top off of a coconut and add scotch to it. So when I went to my local tea purveyor and he gave me some green tea with coconut, I was off and running. After several attempts I found a nice blend of tea and scotch — you're looking for the balance between spirit and tea that doesn't let the tannins to take over. I found the creamy, vanilla notes in the scotch were a good match with the coconut in the tea. Then I started working on a new cocktail. Usually I try not to hide the infusion because that is the star of the show, after all. Daydreaming about how I'd rather be on a beach than be behind a bar right now, I based my drink on the classic Ti Punch. I used a bit of Strega to give it a slight kick and honey syrup as the sweetener. Stir it together with a lemon disc and you have my latest, "Tea In The Sahara."