By Jake Powell, (Death & Co Denver, 2022)

Wizard in Black

“This is by far my favorite cocktail I’ve ever written, and it was very selfishly made for my personal taste. I moved to Colorado from South Florida, and I wanted to write an old-fashioned variation that reminded me of home. The cold brew and banana liqueur were inspired by Cuban coffee and sweet plantains, and they both pair really well with Ron Zacapa.This drink is perfect to make at home, because it’s actually written as a Freezer Bar pour.

"Normally when you stir a cocktail, the dilution from the melted ice is part of what balances the drink. For the Wizard, we measured out how much water we were getting from ice, then used cold brew instead of water for the dilution—almost like you’re stirring the drink over frozen coffee ice cubes. The best way to make this drink is to batch a whole bottle to keep in your freezer, then just pour some over ice whenever you want a drink.” —JP

Single Drink
1½ ounces Ron Zacapa 23 Solera rum
½ ounce cold brew concentrate
¼ ounce Punt e Mes
1 teaspoon Tempus Fugit Crème de Banane
½ teaspoon Demerara Syrup (see Notes)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 dashes (or 20 drops) Salt Solution (see Notes)
Garnish: 1 orange twist

Stir all the ingredients over ice, then strain into a double old-fashioned glass over 1 large ice cube. Express the orange twist over the drink, then add it to the glass.

Freezer Batch
15 ounces Ron Zacapa 23 Solera rum
5 ounces strong cold brew*
2½ ounces Punt e Mes
1½ ounces Tempus Fugit Crème de Banane
¾ ounce Demerara Syrup (see Notes)
1 teaspoon Angostura Bitters
1 pinch of salt

*Adjust for your taste, but I use 2:1 cold brew concentrate to water, or sometimes straight cold brew concentrate at home.


To make demerara syrup, combine 2 parts demerara sugar and 1 part water in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar has dissolved. Transfer to a storage container and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 months.

To make salt solution, combine 10 parts water with 1 part kosher salt in a bowl and whisk until the salt has dissolved. Transfer to a dropper or dasher bottle.