Artini is a monthlong competition among 12 of the area’s top mixologists to create the most artistic martini. This year, various pieces in the Corcoran Gallery of Art inspired the bartenders’ cocktail creations. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday through March 31, one competing drink will be featured for tasting at different venues from 6:30 to 8:30. Twenty percent of each venue’s sales benefit the Corcoran’s exhibition programming.
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.
Church & State (1236 H St, NE; 202-399-2323) bartender Josh Berner’s B Cup martini is “slightly sweet,” but the sculpture that inspired him to create the drink is a bit more naughty. Of Kiki Smith’s “Breast Cup,” Berner says, “The breast is just really provocative and very different.”
The B Cup ($12) draws its simple presentation from Smith’s sculpture. “The sculpture itself is a nice, clean, beautiful piece,” Berner says. “So I wanted a nice, clean, and beautiful cocktail.”
But don’t be fooled—the drink itself is not all sweet and innocent. There’s “a whole lot of complexity,” Berner says of the bison-grass vodka, vermouth, cointreau, and Bar Keep Swedish Herb Bitters mixture. The round ice ball adds a creative comparison to the Breast Cup, and a touch of bison grass adds to the overall flavor.
Watch 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.
Josh Berner, Church & State
1 ounce Zubrowka bison-grass flavored vodka
1 ounce Church & State’s house-made vermouth (Berner suggests Lillet Blanc if you’re trying this at home.)
½ ounce cointreau
½ ounce apple juice
Dash of Bar Keep organic Swedish herb bitters
1 round ice ball
Bison grass, which is available for purchase online
Combine vodka, vermouth, cointreau, apple juice, and bitters into a glass with ice. Stir. Strain into a high-ball glass. Garnish with the ice ball and a strand of bison grass. Use a single ice cube if you don’t have a mold for a round ice ball.