Soul Clench

A rare combination of ingredients yields balanced results

NO 166
NO 166
Soul Clench cocktail photo



  1. Combine all ingredients over ice and stir
  2. Strain into a rocks glass over one big cube, and garnish
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Adapted From

Death & Co, Alex Day, David Kaplan, and Nick Fauchald, 2014

This intriguingly named drink is borrowed from the pages of the always inspiring Death & Co. Book. Creator Jillian Vose, the current bar manager at Dead Rabbit, employs a combination of pisco, vermouth, elderflower, falernum, and pamplemousse, to create a blush tinged tipple that is not only visually stunning, but complex and surprising in flavor. It’s an excellent choice for folks who are looking for something surprising, or perhaps for those drinkers that have been around the block a few times.

The Soul Clench is unusual in its feminine yet spirit forward nature, a quality rarely found but shared with the excellent Claridge. It is also a rare example of an elderflower liqueur drink that isn’t dominated by the ingredient’s intense floral notes. In this drink, elderflower concentrates its power on the nose, which when combined with pisco yields a pleasingly sweet and floral aroma. Pisco is first to hit the tongue, providing a bit of heat and funk, followed by elderflower, and finally by undertones of grapefruity pamplemousse liqueur. Surprisingly, they all combine for an almost butterscotchy flavor. In general the pamplemousse is understated, but brings much needed bitterness and brightness to the finish; without it the combination is very grape-y, dominated by pisco and dry vermouth.

We like this recipe with Giffard creme de pamplemousse rose, though Combier also makes a fine pamplemousse. Death and Co. calls for the Chilean Waqar Pisco, however we used the Peruvian Capurro Pisco to great effect. Don’t skip the garnish on this one; what might otherwise be a fairly saccharine drink is brightened by the much needed addition of fresh grapefruit’s bitterness, which expertly balances the triple-dose of viscous liqueurs.

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