Shake Up, Drink Down: No Flowers Cocktail from Harlem’s Clay

Keep your hope in spring alive with this warming, refreshing cocktail recipe

Andrea Needell Matteliano’s No Flowers cocktail.

We’ve been awash in all types of precipitation for what feels like months on end now, and waiting out the last of the damp, grey days before spring successfully drowns out winter at times appears but an exercise in futility. That’s when we have to look for ways of brightening ourselves up from the inside, out.

Andrea Needell Matteliano, bar director of Clay in Harlem, is expert at this practice. Her No Flowers cocktail is a subtly spiced, yet refreshing drink; as she puts it, “The earthy flavors of tea and molasses evoke a feeling of coziness, while spicy notes in the rye are further accentuated by warming cardamom. Pear purée adds freshness, and keeps the cocktail from becoming too heavy or serious.”

The inspiration behind the drink only boosts its comforting affects, as Matteliano took hers from a childhood memory. “I created this cocktail right around my grandmother’s birthday, and molasses always recalls the smell of her kitchen, and signature gingerbread recipe that was always served with a cup of tea. The name comes from the fact she never cared for cut flowers, as she hated to watch them die, and believed that love and appreciation should not be just reserved for special occasions.”

No Flowers | Andrea Needell Matteliano, Clay
2 oz. rye
1 oz. pear purée
.5 oz. lemon juice
.5 oz. molasses
Short .25 oz. demerara
.5 oz. black tea
1 dash cardamom bitters


Shake and double strain over ice. Garnish with lemon twist.