Top Chefs, Top Drinks: Week 1

Star bartender Derek Brown mixes the drinks that pair perfectly with Top Chef’s winning dishes

Man cannot live by bread alone—or, in the world of Top Chef, you can’t live only on sashimi of Arctic char, even if it comes complete with chili tapioca and bacon froth. Flavors like that demand a liquid complement, so every week, The Washingtonian will sit down with Derek Brown, the cocktail expert behind the Gibson and the Columbia Room, to talk about the most recent episode of the series and to taste a drink he’s designed to enhance the winning dish. This week, Derek decided that Angelo’s acidic creation demanded strong flavors to match.

Silkeborg Cocktail
• ¾ oz. Tarragon Vodka
• ¾ oz. Aquavit
• ½ oz. Elderflower Liquor
• ¾ oz. Lemon Juice
• ½ oz. Simple Syrup
Combine spirits with ice and shake vigorously until properly diluted (to about one and a quarter ounces). Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a floating mint leaf. 

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