If you’re bored with your usual gin and tonic or rum and coke, try one of these delicious cocktail recipes from local mixologists. These are some of the most creative drinks they’ve devised, and they’re all ripe for the picking. If the recipes seem complicated, it is because these are some seriously fancy drinks. Luckily, all three mixologists work at local establishments, so if the drinks are too hard to make at home, you can always pop into one of the venues to sip one made just for you.
8081 Georgia Ave.
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Mixologist Carlo D Bruno
Sidebar’s mixologist Carlo D Bruno has been a bartender for 15 years. He honed his mixology skills while working in New York City under Sasha Petraske, the proprietor of Milk & Honey. Bruno is now the general manager of Sidebar in Silver Spring, where he has been working for the last year and a half. His talent for creating craft beverages shines through each and every unique cocktail Sidebar serves. Below are two of Bruno’s most creative drinks, which best showcase his expertise in developing drinks that have a profound depth of flavor and texture.
A Happy Ending
2 oz gin
.5 oz raspberry syrup
.25 oz simple syrup (dissolve one cup of sugar in 1 cup of boiling water)
.75 oz lime juice
1 slice of jalapeno
3-4 torn basil leaves
Shake all ingredients with ice and then double strain to remove any basil and jalapeno debris from drink into a large coupe glass. Garnish with one whole basil leaf. Fragrant, with a hint of sweet and spice, this cocktail is as lovely to look at as it is to drink.
The Tweed Jacket
1.5 oz raisin-infused rye (soak 3 cups of raisins in rye for about a week)
1oz lemon juice
.5 oz sweet vermouth
.5 oz caraway brown simple syrup (toast a cup of caraway seeds, then boil in
brown sugar simple syrup)
2-3 dashes of angostura bitters
Shake and strain all ingredients with ice, then strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. The combination of the caraway spice with herbal bitters, tart lemon juice and rye is an adventure for all of your senses.
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1177 15th St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
Mixologist Robert Yealu
A former football letterman at the University of Buffalo, Yealu started his career in mixology in New York City before bringing his talents to the D.C. area. Yealu uses local ingredients to create house-made juices, syrups and mixes that he uses in all of his cocktails. As the chief mixologist of downtown restaurant The Federalist, Yealu seeks to create a cocktail list that is modern, but also emphasizes the historic, mid-Atlantic theme of the restaurant. The drinks listed below highlight his talent for creating dramatic and flavorful concoctions.
Brew and Smoke
.5 oz allegash and black tea reductions (combine allegash, a spiced wheat beer, with ceylong black tea sugar and boil to reduce)
.25 oz lemon juice
2 oz mango mint juice (mango juice steeped with mint leaves overnight)
.5 oz porter (beer)
Fill a pilsner glass with crushed ice and set aside. Pour tequila, reduction, lemon juice and mango mint in a Boston glass. Fill the glass with ice and shake. Pour the cocktail into the pilsner glass. Top with porter. Undoubtedly, you have never tasted anything like this before.
The Brandied Cherry
.5 oz king family No. 7 (port)
3 dashes chocolate bitters
1 pinch black pepper
1 bean of espresso
2 bar spoons lemon juiceIn a Boston glass crack espresso bean with a muddler. Top with No. 7, cherry bounce, lemon juice and black pepper. Fill with ice and shake. Strain into a martini glass. Garnish with five skewered brandied cherries. Sweet and heady, this sexy cocktail will warm you from the inside out.
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401 7th St. NW
Washington, DC 20004
Mixologist Jasmine Chae
Gregarious and charming, Chae is Oyamel’s newest chief mixologist, as her predecessor has moved on to a different establishment. Chae is relatively young to be such an expert in preparing craft cocktails, but extensive guidance from her mentor at Oyamel, Joe Cleveland, has provided her with a strong background in mixology. Her creativity and depth of knowledge continue to impress even the pickiest drinkers who walk through Oyamel’s doors. Below are two of the best drinks she has helped develop at Oyamel. The first is an innovative, modern version of a margarita, while the second is a nod to the first lady, who encourages the promotion of healthy ingredients such as beet juice, which is used in the beverage. The drink is called a south side because it originates from Chicago, Michelle Obama’s stomping grounds.
Margarita v. 2.0
1.25 oz pueblo viejo blanco
0.75 oz bol’s triple sec
1.75 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
0.5 oz simple syrup
1 oz water
7 oz. liquid nitrogen
Combine all ingredients in double-insulated ss bowl. Whisk constantly. Add more liquid nitrogen until the desired consistency is achieved. Scoop into a glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.
First Lady’s South Side
1.5 oz siembra azul blanco
1.5 oz fresh beet juice
0.5 oz lime-lemon verbena syrup (simple syrup made with fresh lemon verbena leaves)
0.5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
15 mint leaves
Combine mint leaves, lime juice, lime-lemon verbena syrup and beet juice in mixing tin and muddle gently. Add siembra azul blanco and ice. Shake and double strain with fine mesh strainer into glass. Garnish with lemongrass and white mums.