Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | April 16, 2010

St. Columb’s Rill

Most of us cocktailians know very well the drinks that got us into craft cocktails. I’ve written a number of times about the main drink that did it for me — The Conference by Brian Miller of Death & Company.  I had it on my first visit to Death & Co and it knocked my socks off. But there’s another drink from that first night at Death & Co. that has always stuck with me as one of the finest modern creations I’ve encountered: St. Columb’s Rill by Philip Ward, also of D&C at that time.

While many D&C cocktail recipes have been published, no amount of searching ever produced the exact recipe of St. Columb’s Rill. All I knew was what was in it – Bushmills, vermouth bianco, Green Chartreuse, maraschino, and Bittermens Chocolate Mole Bitters. I tried to recreate it a number of times with Adam Bernbach and Tiffany Short at Bar Pilar and The Gibson, respectively. We got some good approximations to be sure, but not the exact recipe.

A couple months ago I reached out to Philip in my capacity as a member of the Institute for Cocktail Excellence. We’d recently created a Modern Classics category for recognition and I wanted to nominate St. Columb’s Rill. Philip gladly provided me with the recipe, at long last. Here it is:

St. Columb’s Rill

2 oz Bushmills
.75 oz bianco vermouth (Dolin or Martini Rossi)
.25 oz Luxardo Maraschino
.25 oz Green Chartreuse
Dash Bittermens Xocolatl Mole Bitters

Combine ingredients and stir over ice. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Do not garnish.

As most drinkers of Bushmills knows, St. Columb’s Rill is the stream on whose banks the Bushmill distillery was first built. This is probably my favorite cocktail that features Irish whiskey as a base. It is deep and complex, rich and smooth. It’s a boozy drink for sure, but one that I really like, and I’m guessing you will too.



  1. […] at Death & Company. The Conference by Brian Miller was the drink that got me hooked, but St. Columb’s Rill and the Oaxaca Old Fashioned by Philip Ward are also outstanding drinks that feature the Xocolatl […]

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