Hell: Don’t go there 

This drink appears in one of the most esteemed cocktail books of the last century. It’s terrible. Please don’t make it

Sometimes the most valuable public service we can render here at A Measured Spirit Global Headquarters is harm reduction.

And so:

Do. Not. Make. This. Drink.

Craig Stoltz cocktail recipes blog
The Hell cocktail appears in Harry Craddock’s esteemed 1930 classic, The Savoy Cocktail Book. I have no idea why.

Hell cocktail recipe

Into a mixing glass, do not add:

  • 1 oz cognac
  • 1 oz creme de menthe

Do not shake or stir with ice. Do not strain into a small snifter or shot glass. Do not garnish with red pepper flakes.

Like I said, don’t make it.

Hell cocktail tasting notes

This drink is just fu*king horrible.

The creme de menthe swamps the cognac. The mouthfeel is gummy.

The pepper flakes transmit no heat. They merely get caught in your teeth.

Using equal parts brandy and creme de menthe is like serving coq au vin with Hershey’s chocolate syrup gravy.

Welcome to Hell

People who are fans of John Cheever, the novelist who pulled back the curtain on life among the affluent suburbanites of mid-century Connecticut, may recognize this as a nitwit cousin of the Stinger.

That drink mixes the same two liquors, but it favors the base spirit in 2:1 or 3:1 ratios. The effect is of a brandy tamped down with mint candy — a favored nightcap for the coupon-clipper too timid for a martini.

But if forced, a reasonable person can drink one without harm or lasting loss of self-respect.

But this fresh Hell thing — not so much. Do. Not. Make. It.