I’m trying out my new, high tech random blog topic generator this week. It’s called, “flip a coin”. Except I can’t seem to make heads or tails of it – it’s not very specific. What the heck, I’ll just use the whole coin instead. The past few years have seen Karakuri Creation Group artist Fumio Tsuburai create a series of coin bank puzzle boxes handcrafted in beautiful hardwoods and with no apparent way to retrieve your money!

Let’s flip a coin for a cocktail to pair with these clever banks. The Coin Toss was created by famed mixologist Phil Ward from the landmark New York bar Death and Company. The idea was to create a cocktail template which would work for various base spirits as a multiple choice option, depending on your mood. The basic recipe employs vermouth and “something interesting” which in this case means a little yellow Chartreuse and a little Benedictine for sweetness. The base spirit works well with rye, apple brandy, aged rum, cognac or scotch. Roll the die, flip a coin, pick out of a hat, or find some other means of selection. There’s more than enough possibilities for all of these coin banks, at any rate. I chose apple brandy, since it’s so comforting during the winter months, but all of the options work well. Keep this recipe in your change purse for a versatile winner that works no matter what you’ve got handy. Cheers!


Coin Toss by Phil Ward

2 oz base spirit (Death & Co. suggestions: either Rittenhouse 100 Rye, Lairds Bonded Apple Brandy, Santa Teresa 1796 Rum, Hine H Cognac, or Famous Grouse Scotch)

¾ oz sweet vermouth (e.g. Carpano Antica Formula)

¼ Yellow Chartreuse

¼ oz Benedictine

2 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Stir ingredients over ice and strain into a favorite glass. No garnish needed but a penny lemon wheel is a good tip.


To crack the safe on these delightful coin banks see:

Boxes and booze: Flip a Coin