Cocktail Artistry With a Side of Tomfoolery

Po’ boys and jambalaya? Maybe, a little jerk chicken? Nope, neither. A year ago this month, 928 U Street was reborn as a craft cocktail oasis aptly named Service Bar. And, a Happy (non-belated) Birthday goes out to y’all! It’s quaint. Somewhere around 25 to 35 seats with another seven […]

If at first you don’t succeed

Over the past few months, my fiancé and I have found ourselves back at The Rogue Gentlemen for cocktails on several occasions and we’ve really enjoyed ourselves this go-around. In the past, we’ve been on the fence about this bar mainly for price reasons but lightning finally struck. We realized […]

You Asked, We Answered: Our Favorite Bars

One question that almost everyone has asked my fiancé and I since we moved to Richmond is, “What restaurants have you two been to.” Soon we’ll be able to respond with a witty, “too many to count”, but for now here’s our attempt to capture the restaurants, brew pubs, and […]

Homemade Three-Hour Chili

Dad and I rarely cook together but when we do, it’s to make our three-hour chili. Mom always heads to the grocery store to pick-up the dozens of ingredients we need for our masterpiece but it’s just dad and I in the kitchen. This all started with a chili recipe […]

Liquor Lady’s Decadent Holiday Eats & Drinks

From family gatherings to holiday parties, is there a better time of year for crafting creative eats and drinks than during the holiday season? A few weeks ago I shared the Liquor Lady’s Stress-Free Holiday Cocktails as a jump start to your holiday imbibing and entertaining. Today, I’m sharing Decadent Eats & Drinks that I’ve created […]

Great Places in Richmond to Grab a Cocktail or Beer

Even though I’ve been to Richmond dozens of times (and have considered buying a house there), I’m still super impressed by all that’s going on within the RVA drink scene. You might think that sounds odd coming from someone like me who is from a much larger city (in DC […]

#WeDrinkDC Cocktail Safari

There are few things better to do on a Saturday night than host a good ole cocktail safari. So, some friends and I decided to do just that — host a three stop safari along 14th Street in DC featuring Ciroc vodka. Below is the itinerary I crafted; complete with […]

Richmond’s Thirst-Quenching Experiences

For those of you that follow my blog, you’ll likely remember a post from last December entitled, ‘Virginia is for {cocktail} lovers’. It served as a recap of three craft cocktail bars in Richmond that stole my heart – Heritage, Saison, and The Roosevelt. Three different neighborhoods, three different bar […]

San Fran’s Thirst-Quenching Experiences

Located about an hour north of both San Francisco and Oakland, sits Napa Valley – one of the wine capitals of the world. So, if you’re planning a trip to the West Coast, here are some people, places, and things you should definitely try to enjoy before you head up […]

San Diego’s Cocktail Pharmacy

While I might only be a part-time cocktail blogger, I’m most certainly a full-time cocktail lover. Late last year I started hearing rumblings about a new cocktail bar, Polite Provisions, which had recently opened to much fanfare in San Diego. A few months later the bar and one of its […]

Floyd – $14

Distinctive, refreshing, and ‘good till the last drop’ are three words that come to mind to describe the Floyd cocktail at Rogue 24. Made with Aperol, Ford’s Gin, grapefruit, carrot ash (that’s carrot ash on the side of the glass), and some bubbly to top it all off; this is […]

Happy Birthday to me..

What says happy birthday to yourself better than a cocktail bar outing? Ok, ok, maybe a few other things come to mind but I do love having an excuse to try out new places. The mixologist at Rogue 24 created a beautiful springtime blend of Aylesbury Duck Vodka (Canada), Combier […]

Joji Joji – $15

Why I didn’t order this cocktail first, I’m still not sure. From Experimental Cocktail Club (Lower East Side), this concoction of green cardamom infused Del Maguey Mezcal Vida, Velvet Falernum, red bell pepper juice, black pepper syrup, lime and balsamic vinegar is a tremendously delicious creation. It’s creative, it’s unexpected, […]

Traitor Gomez – $16

From the bespoke cocktail experts at Ward III in Tribeca, the Traitor Gomez is definitely one of a kind. Ilegal Mezcal, honey, sriracha, cucumber and rosemary – garnished with a salted rim – is far from an everyday combination but delicious all the same. Fragrant with a hint of smoke […]

New York’s Thirst-Quenching Experiences

Welcome to New  York… New York City is a mecca for good eats and great drinks, with a tremendous helping of sightseeing and people-watching on the side. From over-the-top diners and celebrity chef owned bakeries to budget conscious hotels and free tickets to live tapings; there’s something for everyone no […]

Take Is Going Back To Japan – $14

From Experimental Cocktail Club (Lower East Side), the Take Is Going Back To Japan cocktail is a flavorful blend of shitake mushroom infused Great King Street Scotch, cocoa nibs infused maple syrup, El Maestro Pedro Ximenez Sherry, and black walnut bitters. An unusual cocktail to say the least, these rich […]

Limonada Sucia – $5

Rarely do you see craft cocktails utilizing vodka as a base; however, the Limonada Sucia from Del Campo does vodka proud. A combination of vodka, grilled lemon juice, lavender bitters, and apple wood smoked simple syrup – garnished with a burnt lemon wheel; this is a polarizing yet delicious cocktail. […]

Travel to Paris

Ever wanted to visit a city that is steeped in history, beauty, romance, and great food & drink? If so, Paris should be your next travel destination! With countless chocolate shops, authentic restaurants, and even the occasional cocktail bar; Paris has so much to offer the traveling foodie and/or cocktail […]

Smoked Pisco Negroni – $12

First bottled, then smoked; The Smoked Pisco Negroni from Del Campo is special in so many ways. Pisco Portón, Gran Classico, Carpano Antica, and orange bitters create a great twist on the classic cocktail. Not to mention the showmanship of it all delighted every guest at the bar, including me. […]

Meet the Menu … Bandolero

Menu development is part art, part science. And, as I continue to collect menus from the cocktail bars I visit, I’m always on this roller coaster — somewhere between impressed, surprised, and shocked by what I see (or don’t see) on the menu. Here’s the margarita/cocktail menu and tequila list […]

Papa Porteño – $5

A well-balanced, tropical, inviting cocktail from Del Campo (Washington, DC); the Papa Porteño combines rum, grilled grapefruit juice, lime juice, maraschino liqueur, pineapple syrup, and grapefruit bitters — garnished with a grilled pineapple wedge. Happy hour pricing is in effect from 4pm to 7pm during which signature cocktails are only […]

Cucurrucucu’ – $16

Hailing from BarMini (Washington, DC), the Cucurrucucu’ is an unbelievably delicious combination of reposado tequila, mezcal, lemon, cinnamon syrup, grapefruit bitters — garnished with a cinnamon stick. This is a treat that you can order by the glass or by the punch bowl. As one of my favorite cocktail bars of all-time, […]

Travel to New Orleans

As it is officially Fat Tuesday, it’s only appropriate to focus today’s post on New Orleans. A city influenced by an eclectic mix of French, Spanish, Caribbean, and African cultures; this is a place famous for its cuisine, music (known as the birthplace of jazz), and for festivals such as […]

Mambo Taxi® – $8

The signature concoction from Mi Cocina restaurants; the Mambo Taxi® is a legendary blend of classic frozen margarita made with Sauza tequila combined with house-made sangria. At the core, it’s a boozy, frozen slushie that is absolutely perfect for refreshment on a hot summer day. Cheers! Note, last year a […]

The Sportster – $12

From Black’s Bar & Kitchen (Bethesda, MD); The Sportster is a combination of Bulleit Rye Whiskey, apricot liqueur, St. Germaine, and lemon juice. Despite being a lover of all things citrus (and lemon is one of my favorite things), this cocktail was out of balance and too lemony even for […]

Casa-En-Fuego – $12

Some like it hot! The Casa-En-Fuego margarita at Bandolero is a delicious blend of habanero infused tequila, Patrón Citrónge, strawberry and lime. Even though it’s pink, it’s not to girlie for a guy to drink. Cheers!

Travel to Tequila

If tequila is your thing, you have to make time to visit Guadalajara (specifically Tequila), Mexico. Full transparency, I was pretty nervous about my most recent trip to Mexico. Between the State Department alerts and news reports of drug activity, robberies, and kidnappings; I was a little unsettled. Looking back, […]

La Flaquita – $11

Hailing from Bandolero, a modern Mexican restaurant located in the heart of Georgetown; La Flaquita is a specialty margarita made with Espolón Reposado tequila, Fidencio mezcal, Patron Citrónge, lime, and tamarindo. While Bandolero still has work to do on the cocktail menu (there were at least eight mentions of Espolón […]

Ancient Mariner

Wow; that’s about all I can say about the presentation of the Ancient Mariner at The Passenger (Washington, DC). This is a cocktail that one of their mixologists, Claire, recommended and the beautiful Hawaiian flower was the perfect garnish for this classic Tiki drink. Traditionally made with two rums (different […]

Travel back in time with Teddy & The Bully Bar

President’s Day is a big deal in Washington, DC (and a holiday for many workers too); so, it’s only appropriate to celebrate Teddy & The Bully Bar in honor of the occasion. Located steps from the DuPont Circle metro station and open for less than a year, Teddy & The […]

AH-PEAR-TIF – $12

By now (hopefully) most of you have recognized and appreciate that I try to keep my cocktail reviews positive and focused on the drinks and bars that I think you’d most enjoy. However, upon further reflection, I do think it’s important to also talk about cocktails that I haven’t been […]

Manhattan – $22

Known for having the most expensive Manhattan in DC, the Rye Bar (at the Capella Hotel) delivers a $22 cocktail (minus tax & tip) that’s worth every penny. It’s made with Dad’s Hat, a small-batch rye whiskey from Pennsylvania, Dolin sweet vermouth and Byrrh quinquina, a sweet French aperitif. The concoction is then […]

White Whiskey & Smoked Cola (draft) – $7

White Whiskey & Smoked Cola: Corsair Wry Moon mixed with hickory smoked cola and some of the clearest ice I’ve ever seen. While this might sound like your basic Whiskey and Coke, there’s nothing basic about this gem. The crew from Southern Efficiency creates their own homemade hickory smoked cola […]

Blackstrap & Switchel – $7

From Southern Efficiency (DC); Blackstrap & Switchel is a great combo of blackstrap rum, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, and ginger. Served in a jar! Exceptionally good cocktail, especially for the price. And, the apple cider vinegar gave me a ‘perceived wellness’ feel since it’s known to balance the body’s […]

Smoke Stack – $12

Meet the Smoke Stack cocktail from Bourbon in Adams Morgan (DC). Made with your choice of Old Bardstown Bourbon or Old Overholt Rye, this twist on the Old Fashioned combines your bourbon/rye choice with their homemade syrup, plus walnut and orange bitters. For the finale, the bartender lightly infuses your […]

Ginny Hendricks – $15

The Ginny Hendricks is a delightful mash-up of Hendrick’s Gin, ginger honey syrup, basil, cucumber, and lemon ~ cute name too. However, this cocktail hails from BLT Steak and is definitely priced on the high side for DC, especially since BLT Steak is not a dedicated craft cocktail bar. All the same, the […]

Thai Down – $12

While a little disappointed that The Chandelier cocktail menu has not changed in nearly a year, Thai Down is still a delicious cocktail and was my top cocktail for 2013. Thai Down: Milagro Blanco Tequila, Domaine de Canton, Strawberry Puree, Thai Chilli Syrup, and Thai Basil Leaves. Cheers!

The Gardner – $19

Combination of Hendrick’s Gin, fresh lemon juice, and basil. Garnished with a cucumber. While it may be extremely basic in construction, it’s perfectly well-balanced and refreshing in execution. And, that’s ultimately what counts when it comes to cocktails. Cheers!

Serefe – $13

If you’re not fond of scotch cocktails, don’t worry; the Serefe cocktail from Zaytinya will absolutely change your mind. It’s a to-die-for combination of Monkey Shoulder scotch, Averna, dry vermouth, old fashion bitters, and Baklava soda. And, the secret is in the Baklava soda (it’s divine), which tastes like a […]

What is … Mezcal?

Tequila, and its fellow countryman, mezcal, are both made by distilling the fermented juice of agave plants. However, by Mexican law, tequila is only made with a single type of agave, ‘blue agave’, and can only be produced in specifically designated geographies (primarily the Mexican state of Jalisco). On the […]

Found: a luxurious ‘estiatorio’ in the heart of Las Vegas

Estiatorio (noun): a Greek restaurant, especially one that is more up-market and elaborate than a taverna Greece is not somewhere I’ve ever had a real desire to travel to. I’m not really sure why, but it has never been on my ‘around the world’ bucket list. Until now. My friends […]

The Clean Sweep – $19

Located on the ‘secret menu’ at Estiatorio Milos in Las Vegas, this delicious (and beautiful) cocktail called The Clean Sweep is a blend of Mastiha Liqueur, St. George Absinthe, cucumber, mint, and rose water. Cheers!

Unusual Negroni – $16

If you’re looking for a Negroni with a twist, this cocktail from The Chandelier (Las Vegas) is exactly what you’re looking for. While a traditional Negroni is made with equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth; its kissing cousin, the Unusual Negroni is made with: ~ One part Gran Centenario Tequila […]

Off-Beat & Off-Strip: The Velveteen Rabbit

When you first type ‘Velveteen Rabbit’ in your search engine of choice, you will probably notice a plethora of kid’s clothing stores and children’s novels appear. However, don’t be discouraged if you’re looking for the relatively new cocktail bar in Las Vegas with the same name. Opened in 2013 by […]

Best of 2013: Craft Cocktails

Six of the very best cocktails I had the privilege of experiencing during 2013…. Top Row (left to right): Thai Down from The Chandelier Bar (Las Vegas, NV); Gin Grin from Bar Mini (Washington, DC) Middle Row (left to right): Punch du Jour from 2 Birds 1 Stone (Washington, DC); […]

Mary Pickford – $12

One of the first cocktail bars I’ve run across that doesn’t list prices on their menu, Article 14 delivers a more traditional range of cocktails. The Mary Pickford is made with Bacardi Light Rum, Luxardo Maraschino, pineapple, and a float of homemade grenadine.

City Solution – $10

‘Last on the List’ at Empire State South (Atlanta, GA); made with Bulleit Rye, Martini & Rossi Gran Lusso, Pur Likor Blood Orange, helichrysum tincture. Tip: By definition, helichrysum is an annual or perennial plant of the daisy family with flowers that retain their color when dried; the plant can […]

Autumn in Oaxaca – $14

‘Last on the List’ at One Flew South (Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, terminal E). Smoky blend of Del Maguey Mezcal, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and whiskey bitters that doesn’t break the bank.

Crimson Eagle – $11

Meet the Crimson Eagle at Seven Lamps; made with sarsaparilla smoked Evan Williams Bourbon, fig infused red wine honey, lemon, and carbonated while shaking with their Perlini system.

Hot Buttered Rum – $10

‘Last on the List’ at Seven Lamps (Atlanta, GA). Hot Buttered Rum, made with Pyrat XO, butter, coffee ice cream, brown sugar, and cinnamon is perfect for the Holiday season.

Peachtree Street Cocktail Crawl

Whether you love homegrown peaches and sweet Vidalia onions, reminisce about the views of Stone Mountain in the distance, or are simply seeking refined cocktail bars with a healthy dose of Southern hospitality; Atlanta is a city you must discover. From Downtown, to Midtown, to Buckhead (a.k.a. Uptown), the quality […]

Cocktail Demo: Snow Crunch

Holeman & Finch Public House: Mixologist demonstration on how to make the Snow Crunch cocktail. Snow Crunch: Ford’s Gin, Grapefruit Juice, Cynar, Portal Moscatel, Sea Salt

Sweater Weather -$12

A refreshing beer tail at heart, Sweater Weather is a mix of Kraken Black Rum, Calvados, Fall-Spiced Syrup, lemon, and Crispin Hard Cider. 8407 Kitchen Bar has obviously put a lot of thought into their seasonal cocktail menu. Normally I’d wish for more than six cocktails on a menu but […]

3rd Times the Charm – $12

One of the best cocktails I’ve had in a long time, 8407 Kitchen Bar delivers a winner with 3rd Times The Charm. Don’t let it fool you, this amazing concoction of Bulleit Rye Bourbon, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, sour cherries, and lemon is delicious but packs a serious punch. Consider […]

Vegan Sacrifice – $12

From Range (Washington, DC) ~ Vegan Sacrifice: Scotch, ginger, cayenne, and meat ice. How can you not try something with meat ice in the descriptor? Yes, you guessed it. Meat ice is essentially a consommé in ice ball form. So, if you don’t like meat this cocktail isn’t for you. […]

Virginia is for {cocktail} lovers

100 miles south of the nation’s capital you will find Richmond, VA; home to the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood, the tree-lined avenues and architectural noteworthiness of The Fan, and the rapidly gentrifying Church Hill district. Having visited the Richmond area on numerous occasions, I finally decided to check out the […]

The Seersucker – $9

A staple on The Roosevelt (Richmond, VA) menu, this combination of Maker’s Mark Bourbon, house- made sweet tea syrup, angostura bitters, and a charred lemon cube is nothing less than divine! To make charred lemon cubes: first grill your lemon halves, then freeze them. Sounds pretty easy to me — […]

Ancient Mariner – $11

‘Last on the List’ at Saison (Richmond, VA). The Ancient Mariner (in the tall glass) is a refreshing Tiki classic with a touch of island spice: Jamaican Rum, Rhum Agricole, lime, grapefruit, allspice and a ton of crushed ice. Think of it as a great tropical cocktail with a hint […]

Lion’s Tail ($9) & Gin Wiccan ($10)

From the Heritage Fall 2013 cocktail menu: Lion’s Tail – Fighting Cock Bourbon, allspice, lime, and bitters Gin Wiccan – Citadelle Gin, Strega, citrus, and egg white Note: Strega is an Italian herbal liqueur that contains flavors such as mint and fennel

The Back Porch – $13

A delicious (and spicy) combo of bourbon, passion-peach puree, ghost pepper tincture, sugar, soda ~ garnished with a lemon twist. Tincture = a slight infusion; tinctures & bitters are both created by steeping culinary components in alcohol to extract flavor.

Honey Badger – $12

Prefer to drink your veggies?? The Honey Badger is a blend of jalapeno infused tequila, lime juice, honey, ginger ale, and beet syrup. It’s garnished with a pickled beet. Sweet with a touch of spice!

Django Juice – $8

‘Last on the List’ at Quench (Rockville, MD). I was initially hesitant to try Django Juice simply because of its name; as an African-American it conjured up thoughts about Django Unchained, slavery, etc. However, I put my feelings aside and was pleasantly surprised by the cocktail. Django Juice is a […]

Founding Farmers Cocktail Menu (Potomac, MD)

The Liquor Lady’s ‘to die for’ craft cocktail recommendations for Founding Farmers: 1) The Clementine: clementine and seasonal chili-infused reposado Tequila, Benedictine, lime and pineapple juices, and agave nectar. 2) Trader Vic’s Mai Tai: Aged rum, Martinique rum, lime juice, orange juice, house-made orgeat syrup, curacao, and bitters. 3) Dealer’s […]

El Presidente – $9

Simple and elegant, this Founding Farmers craft cocktail is a combination of Appleton White Rum, lime, pineapple, and house-made grenadine served in a coup glass. Hint: shaking pineapple juice delivers a delicious foam that definitely enhances cocktail presentation.

Bar 2 Birds Eat Hill; a DC cocktail crawl

If you’re looking for a creative way to experience DC cocktail life, I recently took a group on a ‘green line’ cocktail crawl that you just might want to try. 2 Birds 1 Stone (1800 14th St. NW; www.2birds1stonedc.com/) A quintessential cocktail bar hidden in the basement of what looks […]

Old School Diner + New School Drinks = Ted’s Bulletin

George Menold, the talented mixologist from Ted’s Bulletin, spends his time perfecting cocktails for this 1930’s & 40’s inspired diner. Only two blocks from the Eastern Market metro stop, you might be surprised to find George experimenting with homemade bitters and syrups; barrel aged cocktails; and, an ice ball maker […]