Anyone who’s seen Jillian Vose whip up a cocktail can attest she lives by her motto, “move with purpose.”
As beverage director of the Dead Rabbit in New York City, she’s shaped the bar’s award-winning menus, helping the establishment earn World’s Best Bar 2016, and Tales of the Cocktails’ World’s Best Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu 2015.
She’s also always on the go — since starting at Dead Rabbit in 2014, she’s been a guest bartender at establishments in Tokyo, Paris, London, Shanghai, and a dozen other cities. She co-authored a book, “The Dead Rabbit Mixology and Mayhem,” released in October 2018.
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The Cape Cod-born bartender was also an ambassador for Campari America, co-managed Campari’s Women & Whiskies program, and was awarded Star Chef’s Rising Star Mixologist — all in 2013.
Basically, Vose knows, and loves, her booze. The busy icon took a few minutes to chat with VinePair about her desert-island dram, the best stuff on her home bar, and how great it felt to sip her first legal pint.
1. What’s your desert-island drink?
Dolin Blanc and soda with a lemon twist. If that’s the only way I’m getting water, I’ll take it. If there was no hope of escaping maybe something stronger to dull the pain — we’ll just go straight Redbreast 15 year at that point.
2. What’s the first drink you bought when you turned 21?
The first legal drink I had was a pint of Hop Knot [IPA] from the brewery I used to work at … I remember it feeling so great to actually drink one and not feel bad about it!
3. FMK (F*ck, Marry, Kill) three cocktails: Negroni, Margarita, Manhattan?
F*ck: Negroni. Usually after one, I’m over it. Marry: Manhattan. Strong, elegant, and reliable, I can drink one anytime. Kill: Margarita. When done right and for the right occasion this drink can be amazing, but out of the three drinks, it’s my least favorite and I can live without it.
4. You’re on death row. What’s your final drink?
Something along the lines of Boulard X.O. Calvados would do just fine.
5. You can only drink at one bar for the rest of your life. What is it?
Ba’sik in Brooklyn. I know I wouldn’t be lonely as it’s where my friends are, a bar like home.
6. What’s the best and worst bottle on your shelf?
In my house? The best is a tough one, probably the Teeling Single Malt Pineau des Charentes cask is the best-tasting in my mind. Ardbeg Kelpie is close as well, and discontinued. The worst is definitely the bottle of raspberry vodka my friend Jason brought over for Christmas years ago. I plan to make him drink it one day as punishment.
7. What cocktail will you never order again?
Anything with Jagermeister is off limits to me. Just can’t stomach the stuff.