WASH April 2015 : Page 118

[FOOD & DRINK] SPIRITS CASK MASTERS NEW BARREL-AGED COCKTAILS WARM UP THE MOST CREATIVE SPRING MENUS. By Kelly Magyarics | Photography by Greg Powers Perched atop many DC bars these days are petite wooden barrels dispensing small-batch and complex libations. Far from being a passing trend, barrel-aged cocktails showcase what happens when ingredients mix, mingle and make nice while in oak. “Barrel-aging allows the flavors to mellow and blend into something that you couldn’t get by bottle-aging alone,” says Chris McNeal, beverage director at 701. Bartenders adore the latest batch of cask-rested sips—and the mixes here will add a delicious kick to your spring nights. Matured Mix The Final Ward ($14) at 701 The Process Beverage Director Chris McNeal’s cocktail mixes Filibuster rye, Leopold Bros. maraschino liqueur, lemon and a blend of green and yellow Chartreuse. The mélange remains 45 days in a 5-liter, first-use charred American oak barrel, which imparts oak-forward flavor. The French monk-produced liqueur is one of McNeal’s favorite bottles, and this drink highlights its versatility when oak-aged. “Chartreuse VEP smoothes the harshness of the liquor and adds a unique texture.” 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202.393.0701, 701restaurant. com Matured Mix Il Conte ($18 full pour, $10 half pour) at Casa Luca The Process This fragrant Negroni homage (named for its creator, Count Camillo Negroni) stirs equal parts vermouth, Campari and Plymouth gin that’s infused for three weeks with grapefruit and sage. The scarlet potion rests between three and six weeks in 5-gallon charred-oak barrels, where it picks up baking spices from the wood, along with wisps of smoke from the char. “Barrel-aging adds complexity and mellows harsher flavors,” explains Bar Manager Robin Miller. “Instead of a barrage of flavors on your palate, they arrive slowly like ripples in a pond.” 1099 New York Ave. NW, 202.628.1099, casalucadc. com Matured Mix Alvarez 1.1 ($14) at Vinoteca The Process Bar Manager Horus Alvarez takes his housemade vermouth—a recipe that includes Sicilian trebbiano; California brandy; and more than 20 roots, herbs, spices and citrus—and ages it for several months in a 53-gallon barrel. The result is a pink vermouth that complements El Peloton de la Muerte mezcal, Luxardo maraschino liqueur and Fee Brothers Aztec chocolate bitters. “The vermouth adds an aromatic, gentle and slightly bitter complexity that has layers of sweet vanilla and citrus with [hints] of spicy notes like allspice,” he says. 1940 11th St. NW, 202.332.9463, vinotecadc. com Matured Mix Barrel-aged margarita ($14) at Fuego Cocina y Tequileria The Process Each of the three ingredients in Head Bartender Joe Sharkey’s cocktail represents one found in a traditional margarita. Hangar One kaffir-lime vodka replaces the citrus wheel; Tuaca adds a vanilla-orange flavor reminiscent of triple sec; Damiana liqueur gives a nod to the drink’s original recipe; and tamarind chile-lime bitters reinforce its lime and herbaceous flavors. The creation lazes in a cachaça barrel for 60 days—which just happens to be the time required for reposado tequila. “[This cocktail] was something we hadn’t seen anywhere else—especially one that really hones the flavors of a margarita,” says Sharkey. 2800 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, Va., 571.970.2180, fuegova.com AGING TASTEFULLY The Final Ward at 701 mixes rye, maraschino liqueur, lemon and a blend of green and yellow Chartreuse for a vibrant and smooth spring sip. 118 DC APRIL 2015

Food & Drink Spirits

Kelly Magyarics

CASK MASTERS

NEW BARREL-AGED COCKTAILS WARM UP THE MOST CREATIVE SPRING MENUS.

Perched atop many DC bars these days are petite wooden barrels dispensing small-batch and complex libations. Far from being a passing trend, barrel-aged cocktails showcase what happens when ingredients mix, mingle and make nice while in oak. "Barrel-aging allows the flavors to mellow and blend into something that you couldn't get by bottleaging alone," says Chris McNeal, beverage director at 701. Bartenders adore the latest batch of cask-rested sips—and the mixes here will add a delicious kick to your spring nights.

Matured Mix The Final Ward ($14) at 701 The Process Beverage Director Chris McNeal's cocktail mixes Filibuster rye, Leopold Bros. Maraschino liqueur, lemon and a blend of green and yellow Chartreuse. The melange remains 45 days in a 5-liter, first-use charred American oak barrel, which imparts oakforward flavor. The French monk-produced liqueur is one of McNeal's favorite bottles, and this drink highlights its versatility when oakaged. "Chartreuse VEP smoothes the harshness of the liquor and adds a unique texture." 701 Pennsylvania Ave.
NW, 202.393.0701, 701restaurant.Com

Matured Mix Il Conte ($18 full pour, $10 half pour) at Casa Luca The Process This fragrant Negroni homage (named for its creator, Count Camillo Negroni) stirs equal parts vermouth, Campari and Plymouth gin that's infused for three weeks with grapefruit and sage. The scarlet potion rests between three and six weeks in 5-gallon charred-oak barrels, where it picks up baking spices from the wood, along with wisps of smoke from the char. "Barrel-aging adds complexity and mellows harsher flavors," explains Bar Manager Robin Miller. "Instead of a barrage of flavors on your palate, they arrive slowly like ripples in a pond."1099 New York Ave. NW, 202.628.1099, casalucadc.Com

Matured Mix Alvarez 1.1 ($14) at Vinoteca The Process Bar Manager Horus Alvarez takes his housemade vermouth—a recipe that includes Sicilian trebbiano; California brandy; and more than 20 roots, herbs, spices and citrus—and ages it for several months in a 53-gallon barrel. The result is a pink vermouth that complements El Peloton de la Muerte mezcal, Luxardo maraschino liqueur and Fee Brothers Aztec chocolate bitters. "The vermouth adds an aromatic, gentle and slightly bitter complexity that has layers of sweet vanilla and citrus with [hints] of spicy notes like allspice," he says. 1940 11th St. NW, 202.332.9463, vinotecadc.com

Matured Mix Barrel-aged margarita ($14) at Fuego Cocina y Tequileria The Process Each of the three ingredients in Head Bartender Joe Sharkey's cocktail represents one found in a traditional margarita. Hangar One kaffir-lime vodka replaces the citrus wheel; Tuaca adds a vanilla-orange flavor reminiscent of triple sec; Damiana liqueur gives a nod to the drink's original recipe; and tamarind chile-lime bitters reinforce its lime and herbaceous flavors. The creation lazes in a cacha^a barrel for 60 days—which just happens to be the time required for reposado tequila. "[This cocktail] was something we hadn't seen anywhere else—especially one that really hones the flavors of a margarita," says Sharkey. 2800 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, Va, 571. 970.2180, fuegova.Com

Read the full article at http://digital.modernluxury.com/article/Food+%26+Drink+Spirits/1967963/251651/article.html.

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