Young and Hungry

Tales Behind the Cocktails at TNT Bar

Rock 'n' roll-themed bar TNT soft-opens tonight at 5 p.m. inside Eamonn's on Columbia Pike. Mixology master Todd Thrasher of PX and Restaurant Eve has created a cocktail menu featuring half of his own creations and half from bartender friends across the country. Thrasher plans to rotate the borrowed cocktails every three months and his own creations weekly (or whenever he feels like it). Y&H asked him to explain the inspiration behind some of the drinks.

ORIGINALS:

Metal Surrenders When Oak Trees Meet Fenders

Smooth Ambler Old Scout Bourbon Whiskey, Massenez Creme de Peche, sorghum pine cone syrup water, dash of peach, and Angostura bitters

Based on a lyrics from the Avett Brothers song "In the Curve," this is one of the cocktails Thrasher is most excited about. "I don't know if it's illegal, but I took pine cones from my front yard and made a syrup with them," Thrasher says. The syrup has a sweet eucalyptus flavor. The West Virginia bourbon also ties back to the song, which is about drunk driving, with the lyrics "Well, my bottle of bourbon is gone..."

Thymes Like These

Citadelle gin, Cocchi Americano, thyme lime mixture, kaffir bitters

Thrasher named this drink after a song that always gets stuck in his head: Foo Fighters' "Times Like These." At PX, Thrasher has a cocktail called Sweet Basil, which he always recommends to first time guests because it exemplifies what the bar is all about. Thymes Like These is meant to be the equivalent of that at TNT. And just as Sweet Basil has been on PX's menu since day 1, Thrasher hopes this one to still be on TNT's 10 years from now.

BORROWED COCKTAILS:

Naked & Famous

From Joaquín Simó at Death and Company in New York City

Del Maguey Chichicapa mezcal, Yellow Chartreuse, Aperol, fresh lime juice

This is the most intense and expensive drink on the menu ($17). "It tastes like a margarita on crack," Thrasher says. When he received the recipe from Simó, Thrasher thought, "Man, that doesn't sound so good." But when he finally made the recipe, all the liquors blended perfectly together. As for the name? "After you have two or three of them, you're going to get naked, and you're going to be famous for it."

Love Makes You Feel Ten Feet Tall

From Evan Zimmerman at The Woodsman Tavern in Portland

Citadelle gin, Aperol, Macchu Pisco, Pune e Mes, salt water, grapefruit twist

This drink comes from Evan Zimmerman, who used to bartend at PX and Restaurant Eve. He moved out to Portland four or five years ago and has made a big name for himself in the city's bar scene. Despite the fact that it has three spirits in it, the drink doesn't taste too boozy, Thrasher says.

The Jolly Rogers

From Charles Joly at The Aviary in Chicago

Angostura 1919 rum, Punt e Mes, Fernet, lemon juice, simple syrup

The Aviary is a very untraditional cocktail bar (think liquid nitrogen, 20 types of ice, rotary evaporators), but Thrasher says this drink is fairly simple. Joly created it specifically for TNT. He and Thrasher met at a cocktail competition eight years ago in New York. Knowing that Thrasher is a big rum drinker, Joly wanted to create a rum-based cocktail.

TNT, 2431 Columbia Pike, Arlington, Va.

Photo courtesy TNT.

The post originally said that TNT opens tonight. A spokesperson for the restaurant clarifies that tonight is a soft opening, with an official opening to follow later in the week.

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