Be Your Own Bartender
Now that every big chef seems to have his or her own cookware line and branded food product, top mixologists are getting in on the retail game, too. Local booze aficionados are bringing their own bitters, mixers, and garnishes to the masses, while D.C.-made spirits are popping up on liquor-store shelves. While we can’t vouch for Mario Batali’s signature orange Crocs, here are some local liquors and ingredients for keeping your cocktail parties District-minded:
Don Ciccio & Figli Liqueurs
Former Bibiana wine director and Amalfi Coast native Francesco Amodeo launched a limoncello and liqueur line last month featuring spirits made from prickly pear, Italian hibiscus, mandarin oranges, and more. Prices range from $29.99 to $37.99.
Where to find it: More than 20 liquor and wine stores in D.C. and Maryland carry the liqueurs. Find a full list of retailers at donciccioefigli.com/buy.php.
Todd Thrasher’s Artisan Cocktail Mixes
Eat Good Food partner and PX mixologist Todd Thrasher bottles several cocktail ingredients, ranging from tonic ($12) to ginger beer syrup ($9.50) to pickled martini onions ($3.75).
Where to find it: Visit Society Fair at 277 S. Washington St. in Alexandria or online at societyfair.net.
Pork Barrel Bitters
Range beverage director Owen Thomson and P.O.V. Lounge bartender Joseph Ambrose teamed up to bottle their own bitters. Right now, they offer “Hellfire” and pineapple bitters for $12 each. Aromatic is coming soon.
Where to find it: Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bartender Nicole Hassoun of Gin Joint, located inside Woodley Park’s New Heights Restaurant, concocts a rotating selection of offbeat tonic flavors like ginger cumin, salted caramel, and basil fennel. A 16-ounce bottle goes for $15, and two six-ounce bottles are $10.
Where to find it: Gin Joint at New Heights, 2137 Calvert St. NW. Call (202) 234-4110 or email email@example.com 24 hours in advance to order.
Green Hat Gin
New Columbia Distillers is the first (and only) legal D.C. distillery in more than a century. A bottle goes for $36 (before tax) at the distillery.
Where to find it: Pick up a bottle at the distillery at 1832 Fenwick St. NE or visit greenhatgin.com for a list of retailers.
HomeMade Gin Kit
Turn vodka into gin using botanicals and equipment from locals Joe Maiellano and Jack Hubbard. The kit costs $39.95, excluding the booze.
Where to find it: Buy it online at homemadegin.com.
Photo of Don Ciccio & Figli liqueurs by Under a Bushel Photography