Showtime’s Billions has returned for a second season, thrilling audiences with its magnetic characters and luxe settings. These one percenters live La Dolce Vita, driving fancy cars, living in outlandish mansions, and drinking exquisite cocktails. For the show’s premiere, it partnered with Stolichnaya’s high-end vodka, elit, to bring together five cocktails inspired by the show. elit Global Brand Ambassador, Brent Lamberti, created luxurious cocktails to match the lavish lifestyle of the rich characters on Billions, while local NY mixologist, Rael Petit, created a money ball sprinkled with gold leaf as an ode to the extravagance of the series. Lamberti explains how he used the characters to inspire the cocktails.
Wendy Rhoades has one of the most interesting jobs you’ve never heard about—therapist/performance coach for finance bros. Lamberti explains that, “On the show, Wendy loves Boulevardiers, typically a Whiskey Negroni. We reinvented this cocktail as a Vodka Negroni variation with the addition of a spray of Absinthe. Absinthe has historically been associated with hallucinations and creativity, which fits with her profession as a psychiatrist.”
1.5 parts elit Vodka
.75 parts Dolin Blanc
.50 part Cocchi Americano
Preparation: Stir all ingredients with ice until cold. Strain into a chilled coupe that has been seasoned with a spray of absinthe. Garnish with a Lemon twist.
Wendy’s husband, U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades, has a job you thought might be tedious, but his personal battles sure do make it interesting. “Chuck tends to drink Whiskey, but he can also be seen sipping a cocktail over a large ice cube. This drink combines both scotch and vodka for the ultimate power move cocktail.”
2 parts elit Vodka
1. part fresh Lemon Juice
.5 part Honey Syrup
.5 part Ginger Syrup
.25 part Smoky Scotch
Preparation: Shake all ingredients with ice except for the Scotch. Strain and pour into a rocks glass over 1 large ice cube and then slowly top with the Scotch over the back of a bar spoon. Garnish with a lemon wheel
Sleek on the outside, tough as nails on the inside, Lara Axelrod enjoys the finer things in life without losing her street smarts. “Lara enjoys wine and champagne therefore, this cocktail is light and refreshing and can easily be sipped on a beach in the Hamptons.”
1.5 parts elit Vodka
1.0 part dry white wine
.75 parts fresh lemon juice
1.0 part simple syrup
6 seedless red grapes
Preparation: Muddle the grapes with the simple syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add the other ingredients with ice. Shake and fine strain over ice into a wine glass and garnish with fresh grapes.
The show revolves around Bobby Axelrod, better known as simply “Axe,” which fits his cutthroat and rich boy personality. “Bobby is the alpha male. This white truffle martini demonstrates his power.”
3 parts white truffle infused elit
Dash of dry vermouth
1 truffle cheese stuffed olive for garnish
Preparation: Pour chilled elit into a martini glass. Add a dash of dry vermouth. Garnish with a truffle cheese stuffed olive.
Billions Ice Ball
This cocktail, created by Petit, is an ice ball sprinkled with gold flakes, because, why not?
1 part elit Vodka
1 part Dolin Blanc Vermouth
Gold Flake garnish
Preparation: Shake all ingredients with ice. Pour into a syringe.
Ice Ball Preparation: Freeze water in sphere mold for three hours on one side. Once frozen, puncture a hole with a cooking syringe on the frozen side, removing the excess water out of the middle. Put the mold back in the freezer on the opposite side for three hours. Once the sphere is completely frozen inject with the cocktail and garnish with gold flakes
Madina Papadopoulos is a New York-based freelance writer, author, and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.