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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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!

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. […]

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.