After ordering the gin, hibiscus, and pineapple cocktail Blood of My Enemies at Midtown haunt Two Headed Dog, you may feel inclined to steal the tiny skull poking out from a halved lemon garnish. Don’t worry—you’re allowed to take it.
“We know somebody who saved the skulls from all the Blood of My Enemies they’ve had since the beginning,” says co-owner Lindsay Rae, who opened the laid-back bar with her Grand Prize co-worker Billy Boyd last August. Another skull collector has made a bracelet out of hers.
It’s details like this that have made Two Headed Dog an instant hit. That and the Texas-country and punk playlist, tables crafted from shiplap salvaged from the legendary, dearly departed club Fitzgerald’s, the vintage photo booth, taxidermy on the walls, and rustic-without-trying- too-hard front patio. The drinks don’t hurt, either.
Don’t let the brutal name fool you: Blood of My Enemies, one of five draft cocktails offered at the bar, is seriously drinkable— especially on a warm spring day. Starting with a tart, tropical wallop up front and lovely bitterness on the back end, it’s the ultimate people pleaser.
But behind this particular tiki-esque cocktail’s playfulness is some wicked chemistry. Rae and her team devised the recipe in collaboration with Fords Gin ambassador Máté Hartai; drink preparation starts by boiling hibiscus tea and turning it into simple syrup. That’s added to a mix of diluted pineapple and three kinds of acid—called “citrus wizard stuff” on the menu—plus the gin. All of it is batched into a keg and poured, a refreshing ruby red, from a tap, then garnished with mint, lemon, and the little skull.
According to Rae, literally everyone likes it.
“You see a punk rock guy drinking it, or a downtown lawyer drinking it, or the girl going out with her friends partying, she’s drinking it,” says Rae. “It has no boundaries.”