Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by David Michael

Death and Taxes Cocktail

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Created by the talented Michael Madrusan during his time at New York City’s famed Milk and Honey. The death and taxes is unusual in the use of both gin and scotch as the base. The sweet vermouth and Bénédictine bring it all together though for a complex modern cocktail. Is this destined to become a classic? I say it’s as inevitable as its namesake.

I like this best with a floral, herbal forward gin such as Hendrick’s or The Botanist.

Death and Taxes Cocktail Recipe

1 ounce blended scotch
1 ounce gin
¾ ounce sweet vermouth (red)
¼ ounce Bénédictine
2 dashes orange bitters
Garnish: lemon twist

In a mixing glass half filled with ice, combine the scotch, gin, vermouth, Bénédictine, and bitters .
Stir well.
Strain into a chilled coupe or Nick and Nora glass.
Garnish with a lemon twist.

For more modern cocktails check out our recipes for the Cosmopolitan and Chocolate Martini.

Browse all of our cocktail recipes in our Cocktail Recipe Index.

Recommended Products for the Death and Taxes

Riedel Nick and Nora Glasses

The petite Nick and Nora glass is a perfect fit for this Death and Taxes recipe. I was pleasantly surprised at how sturdy these glasses are. The bell shaped glass is perfectly shaped for sipping.

Riedel Nick and Nora Glasses

Riedel Veritas Coupe Glasses

These coupe glasses are a little large, but they’re perfect for the Death and Taxes cocktail recipe doubled. I use these coupes for any cocktail that is chilled and strained into a glass for an elegant presentation. And of course these are perfect for Champagne and any other sparkling wines.

Riedel Veritas Moscato/Coupe/Martini Glass, Pack of 2

Mixing Glass

My Riedel mixing glass is my favorite right now. Its generous 22 ounce size lends itself to mixing up more than a single drink at a time (or several doubles at a time). Really sturdy and the lines cut into the sides give a great grip, even when the glass is wet.

Riedel Mixing Glass

Bar Spoon by Barfly

Barfly makes fantastic barware. I prefer the stainless steel but they make a range of colors and finishes. This bar spoon is the right size for the Riedel mixing glass, and also is great at getting olives and other garnishes out of their container.

Bar Spoon by Barfly

Stainless Julep Strainer by Barfly

I prefer the clean lines of a julep strainer instead of a Hawthorne strainer. My Barfly julep strainer fits the Riedel mixing glass perfectly.

Stainless Julep Strainer by Barfly

Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters

Orange bitters adds the perfect clear orange seasoning to the Death and Taxes cocktail. I prefer the Fee Brothers very clean orange flavor over other brands that have added layers of flavors.

Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters

Kyocera Ceramic Peeler

To get perfect lemon peels for cocktails I use this ceramic peeler. It cuts just the surface without getting the bitter white pith.

 Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Horizontal Y Peeler, Black -

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