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Watch bartender Josh Berner make the B Cup here. Try it out for yourself at Church & State’s Feature Night March 17, when it’s 25 percent off. By Melissa Romero

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Posted at 03:21 PM/ET, 03/14/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
We’re showcasing some of the cocktails in competition for Artini 2010. By Alejandro Salinas

Artini is a monthlong competition among 12 of the area’s top mixologists to create the most artistic martini. This year, the source of inspiration for the cocktails is the Corcoran’s current exhibit “A Love of Europe: Highlights From the William A. Clark Collection.” Every Tuesday through Thursday through March 31, one competing cocktail will be featured for tasting at different venues from 6:30 to 8:30. Here at After Hours, we’ll showcase some of the cocktails. For more information about Artini, the featured nights, or to vote for your favorite bartender, go to washingtonian.com/artini.

“There’s nothing better than a drink that sneaks up on you,” says Tiffany Short of her cocktail, Forbidden Kiss. The drink is based on French sculpture Auguste Rodin’s rendering of Eve, and is quite deceptive—going down as smoothly as apple juice but packing as much alcohol as a martini. The cocktail’s layers of taste are meant to emulate the nature of Rodin’s “Eve,” which Short characterizes as being “innocent and a little mischievous at the same time.”

The Forbidden Kiss, as its name suggests, derives its name from the forbidden fruit, apples, which Short integrated into the drink in the form of a shrub—a drink concentrate made with fruit, vinegars, and sugar. Also in the drink: gin, an egg white, and a touch of Champagne to, says Short, add that note of naughtiness. Watch a demonstration of how to make the cocktail in the video above, and remember—the Forbidden Kiss ($12) will be served Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Gibson as part of Artini’s weekly feature nights.

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Posted at 10:49 AM/ET, 03/22/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()
We’re showcasing some of the cocktails in competition for Artini 2010. By Alejandro Salinas

Artini is a monthlong competition among 12 of the area’s top mixologists to create the most artistic martini. This year, the source of inspiration for the cocktails is the Corcoran’s current exhibit “A Love of Europe: Highlights From the William A. Clark Collection.” Every Tuesday through Thursday through March 31, one competing cocktail will be featured for tasting at different venues from 6:30 to 8:30. Here at After Hours, we’ll showcase some of the cocktails. For more information about Artini, the featured nights, or to vote for your favorite bartender, go to washingtonian.com/artini.

Jon Arroyo, chief mixologist for Farmers & Fishers and Founding Farmers, used artist Jean-Louis Forain’s painting “The Proof” as inspiration for his Artini cocktail: He picked two high-proof spirits—Cognac and absinthe—as the main ingredients. Cognac is the base spirit, and absinthe is integrated as a foam. To see how Arroyo puts together his drink, called Case and Point, check out the demonstration in the video above. Don’t forget: The cocktail will be served today from 6:30 to 8:30 at Farmers & Fishers as part of Artini’s weekly feature nights.

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Posted at 05:52 AM/ET, 03/19/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()
We’re showcasing some of the cocktails in competition for Artini 2010. By Alejandro Salinas

Artini is a monthlong competition among 12 of the area’s top mixologists to create the most artistic martini. This year, the source of inspiration for the cocktails is the Corcoran’s current exhibit “A Love of Europe: Highlights From the William A. Clark Collection.” Every Tuesday through Thursday through March 31, one competing cocktail will be featured for tasting at different venues from 6:30 to 8:30. Here at After Hours, we’ll be showcasing some of the cocktails. For more information about Artini, the featured nights, or to vote for your favorite bartender, go to washingtonian.com/artini.

The New York Times has called French painter Edgar Degas an artist “constantly pulled between aesthetic extremes” whose internal struggle is most apparent when studying the images of women he often depicted. Fittingly, when creating her competing cocktail, Chantal Tseng of the Tabard Inn looked at Degas’s Two Women as something more than a straightforward portrait—she saw it as a study of contrasts.

“I see the two women as being part of the same individual,” she says. “In love one moment and then forlorn in the next.”

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Posted at 11:58 AM/ET, 03/18/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()
We’re showcasing some of the cocktails in competition for Artini 2010. By Alejandro Salinas

Artini is a monthlong competition among 12 of the area’s top mixologists to create the most artistic martini. This year, the source of inspiration for the cocktails is the Corcoran’s current exhibit “A Love of Europe: Highlights From the William A. Clark Collection.” Every Tuesday through Thursday through March 31, one competing cocktail will be featured for tasting at different venues from 6:30 to 8:30. Here at After Hours, we’ll be showcasing some of the cocktails. For more information about Artini, the featured nights, or to vote for your favorite bartender, go to washingtonian.com/artini.

Last year, Erik Holzherr was Artini’s surprise winner—a veritable dark horse with little buzz and a small bar in Southeast DC no one had heard of. Nevertheless, he bested 11 better-known bartenders with his cocktail the Tortoise and the Bare, which impressed voters with the smokiness of its main ingredient, Qi, a brandy-based black-tea liqueur. (Get the recipe for the cocktail here.)

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Posted at 06:11 AM/ET, 03/02/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()

If, much like our government, you’ve instituted a spending freeze in your budget to cope with the times, you’ll be pleased to learn about Elephant & Castle’s weekly drink special. Every Wednesday night starting at 8, the 19th Street, Northwest, location of the British-inspired pub chain offers a happy-hour menu with 11 takes on a martini—each for only $5. While the cocktails aren’t particularly inventive, their price should be enough of a wow factor to lure many. Below, see a demonstration of one the more popular martini spinoffs on the menu, the Castle-tini, and make sure to get the recipe after the jump.

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Posted at 05:19 AM/ET, 02/05/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()

With more than 150 wine varietals and 130 types of Scotch, there’s plenty to drink at the new British gastropub Againn. Luckily, Elli Benchimol, who was previously at Potenza, Zola, and Zola Wine & Kitchen as beverage director, is there to guide you. In addition, Benchimol crafted a cocktail menu with ten specialty drinks. Included on the menu is, of course, a version of the Pimm’s Cup, a staple British drink. Benchimol’s version, named Pimm’s Cup No. 13, has Hendrick’s gin, but you can substitute your choice of liquor. Check out Benchimol’s demonstration below and make sure to get the recipe as well as browse Againn’s full cocktail menu after the jump.

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Posted at 08:35 AM/ET, 01/22/2010 | Permalink | Comments ()

A staple drink of the holiday season, eggnog often gets a bad rap—the result, we surmise, not of people’s fear of eating raw eggs but of those awful premade eggnog mixes sold in cartons at most grocery stores. At Poste Moderne Brasserie, bartender Rico Wisner makes a mix-free version of the drink, called the Egg ’n’ Grog ($13). Wisner also skips the heavy cream, opting instead for milk to keep the cocktail from becoming overwhelmingly thick and heavy. Take a look at his demonstration in the video below, and be sure to get the recipe after the jump so you can make your own nog at home.

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Posted at 09:20 AM/ET, 12/16/2009 | Permalink | Comments ()
The Penn Quarter chocolate lounge has the perfect liquid antidote to cold weather. By Alejandro Salinas

Co Co. Sala has dubbed its lineup of winter cocktails “heavenly hot elixirs,” but “sinful” is perhaps a more apt way to describe the sensory pleasures elicited by the drinks at this Penn Quarter chocolate lounge. In coming up with the cocktails—which combine artisanal chocolates with liqueurs, cognacs, and rums—co-owner Nisha Sidhu drew from her knowledge of flavor profiles. The Apollo, for example, plays on the chocolate-and-orange pairing by mixing Valrhona dark chocolate with Grand Marnier, a liqueur distilled from bitter orange. Before combining the liquids, however, the dark chocolate is first made into a ganache then steamed into hot chocolate.

Check out Sidhu’s demonstration below, and make sure to get the recipe—as well as browse the restaurant’s full winter-cocktail menu—after the jump.

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Posted at 07:57 AM/ET, 12/02/2009 | Permalink | Comments ()
Just in time for Halloween, PS 7’s mixtress Gina Chersevani demonstrates how to make a killer apple-cider punch. By Alejandro Salinas

When hosting a Halloween party, there are three elements critical for success: (1) a great costume, (2) a good music selection (bonus points if you have a DJ), and (3) killer drinks. The last is perhaps the most critical element—the tastier the drinks, the more your guests will consume, and the drunker they get, the less likely they are to care about (1) or (2).

For advice on the perfect drink to serve at a party, we enlisted PS 7’s Gina Chersevani, who recommended putting together a punch: “Punches are great when you’re entertaining, especially during the upcoming holidays.” Her Toasted-Spice Apple-Cider Punch recipe is made with fresh apple cider, pressed at the restaurant. If you don’t have a cider press, an electric juicer will do the trick—just make sure you remove the apple cores before. To make three cups, you’ll need about 12 pounds of apples. If you’re pinching pennies, here’s some good news: Chersevani recommends making the cider using bruised or slightly damaged apples, which sell for much less than regular apples. Of course, if you’d rather skip the hard work, you can buy premade cider.

Below, Chersevani demonstrates how to make the punch and how to properly toast the spices used in the drink. Check out the videos, and make sure to get the recipe after the jump.

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Posted at 09:25 AM/ET, 10/20/2009 | Permalink | Comments ()