Menu Vol. 3 lands at Death & Taxes

Death & Taxes Vol. 3

Brisbane old-world cocktail bar Death & Taxes has launched its third cocktail list, Menu Vol. 3, sourcing fresh ingredients and focusing on classic techniques and cocktails.

Death & Taxes Creative Director Edward Quartermass spoke to Bars and Clubs about the narrative behind the new menu, and he says the individual cocktails were generally inspired by flavour.

“The point of each drink is to taste good to as wide a demographic as possible,” he says. “Obviously everyone’s taste differs greatly so across 25 drinks we try to have all bases well and truly covered.

To ensure that each cocktail menu brings a different take to the last, Edward pays a lot of attention to new ingredients, or ingredients that were previously hard to come by and are now available more consistently. A few of his highlights from the current menu are yuzu juice and pistachio paste, which he says are often underwhelming in most commercial formats, but having the potential to be epic.

“Each drink also shares a relation or reference point to one or two classic cocktails to aid in someone’s choice too. Hopefully between the ingredients and this people generally order a drink they’re stoked with,” Edward continued.

“While you hope people generally order based on ingredient and style rather than having overwhelming spirits bias in what they assume they do and don’t like, we are very aware that this is going to factor in heavily so we follow a lot of conventional spirit to cocktail style traditions. The ordering of the menu also follows this, roughly running from lightest to heaviest.

“We are very excited about this latest cocktail menu and hope most drinks are well received with a pretty good split of cocktails ordered evenly, but the most popular ones are always peach, raspberry and lychee flavours.”

The new cocktail list pays attention to a diverse range of tastes, but it’s the trends in Brisbane’s bar scene that have also influenced this approach.

“The majority of Brisbane drinkers still rotate through the main classics such as the Old Fashioned, Margarita, and Dry, Dirty and Espresso Martinis,” added Edward.

“The benefit of having a larger 20+ cocktail list is you can still include a good number of interesting or smaller demographic-focused drinks to break things up and target those with an adventurous palate.”

Speaking about the creative process behind the new cocktail menu, Edward explains a few of the key considerations of the Death & Taxes team when crafting new drinks.

“Once you get past the flavour breakdown it comes to making things efficient for service, also trying to create an even split of shaken, stirred, built and blazed drinks in a wide array of glassware to try and avoid as many potential service bottlenecks as possible.

“Otherwise it’s just using good classic technique to get the best flavour you can out of classic dry ingredients like nuts, seeds and coconuts. Straight up infusion in a pot or vacuum environment and time generally still work the best.”

And once the recipe is tried and tested, creating an immersive journey for consumers doesn’t end there.

“When it came to naming the drinks we decided to name them after a movie or TV character or a famous person, allowing the customer to connect with the cocktail and talk about why it would be named after them.

“Our cocktail menu books are also decorated with Micah Ulrich artwork as well as a hand drawn sketch of each drink by Martin Lange,” he added.

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