Food

No Shakers, Sodas, Syrups, or Citrus at This New Cocktail Bar

The studio bar, being converted into Addendum, at Eighteenth Street Lounge. Photo via Eighteenth Street Lounge.

A new cocktail spot inside the studio bar at Eighteenth Street Lounge is forgoing several drink-making staples. Addendum, opening Thursday, February 9, will have no shakers, sodas, syrups, or citrus.

Inspired by New York “bitters tasting room” Amor y Amargo, the bar will focus primarily on cocktails made with amaro, bitters, and fortified/aromatized wines. Leading the charge are bartenders Lukas Smith (Cotton & Reed), Michael Barton (formerly of Dram & Grain), and J.D. Quioco (Eighteenth Street Lounge). 

“I want it to be calm. I want it to be lower volume,” Smith says of the absence of shakers.

Leaving out sodas, syrups, and citrus serves two purposes. First, it means nothing perishable is left behind the bar, which will only be open Thursdays through Saturdays at 7 pm. More than that, Smith wants to force people to try something different and actually interact with bartenders. “Because I’m not offering almost all of the staples that people normally order in the Lounge, you’re going to have to talk to whoever’s making the drinks.”

In the place of citrus, Smith is experimenting with what he calls “limón de Jerez”—sherry that’s soured with citric, malic, and tartaric acid. The ingredient makes its way into a drink called the “Stirred Word” with gin, green chartreuse, and maraschino liqueur. 

Another drink called Derby Hat aims to bring out the flavor of grapefruit without actually using any grapefruit juice. Instead, it combines face-contorting Jeppson’s Malört, two types of bitter orange liqueurs (Peychaud’s Aperitivo and Gran Classico), Drambuie 15 whisky liqueur, and grapefruit bitters.

“It’s fun to interact with these limitations,” Smith says. “We have to learn the qualities and properties of all of the ingredients behind the bar so that we can combine them effectively.”

For those who don’t want to try one of the menu’s 10 or so bitter concoctions ($11 to $17), the 18-seat Addendum will also serve Champagne.

 

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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.