Death in the Gulf Stream Recipe

Death in the Gulf Stream Recipe

[Photo: Jennifer Hess]

The Death in the Gulf Stream cocktail was a favorite drink of Ernest Hemingway's. The drink first appeared in Charles Baker's Gentleman's Companion. Baker's description of the drink is classic:

Take a tall thin water tumbler and fill it with finely cracked ice. Lace this broken debris with 4 good purple splashes of Angostura, add the juice and crushed peel of 1 green lime, and fill the glass almost full with Holland gin... No sugar, no fancying. It's strong, it's bitter—but so is English ale strong and bitter, in many cases. We don't add sugar to ale, and we don't need sugar in a Death In The Gulf Stream—or at least not more than 1 tsp. Its tartness and its bitterness are its chief charm. It is reviving and refreshing; cools the blood and inspires renewed interest in food, companions and life.

Note: Holland gin, of course, is genever, and the version from Bols works well here. I agree with Baker that too much sugar ruins this drink, but I like my cocktails drier than most drinkers do. If you can find key limes, use them here. If not, a typical supermarket lime will do.

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  • Yield:makes 1 cocktail
  • Active time: 5 minutes
  • Total time:5 minutes


  • Peeled zest and 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime
  • 4 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup (optional)
  • 3 ounces genever (see note)


  1. 1.

    Fill a tall chimney-style glass nearly full of crushed ice. Add the lime peel, lime juice, bitters, and simple syrup (if using). Top with Genever and stir. Serve immediately.