When Latin marketplace La Cosecha opens in September near Union Market there will be plenty to discover—whether it’s modern Mexican food (beyond the usual tacos and guacamole) at Amparo Fondita, vegan Bolivian fare at Ali Pacha, or native Pipeño wines from Chile at Grand Cata wine bar. Colada Shop founders Daniella Senior and Juan Coronado are embracing the same spirit at Serenata/Zumo, their pan-Latin cocktail and juice bar, exposing drinkers to lesser-known fruits and spirits.
“We want to tell a story of the whole 360 of what’s in your glass, and use it as a platform to educate people on the bounty of Latin America and how each country is different,” Senior says. “A lot of people don’t know. You speak Spanish, you’re Mexican—I get that all the time. Each country is very different and each country has its beauty.”
In the mornings, Zumo will serve a menu of cold pressed-to-order fruit juices, smoothies, and toasts. Senior is working with farmers and vendors to procure hard-to-find produce from Latin American and the Caribbean. Many juices will have curative properties, like a tonic of celery, pineapple, and cilantro that Coronado grew up drinking. As for the toasts, think beyond avocado (though they’ll have a version of that too). We have our eye on a combination of peanut butter, guava jelly, and banana bruleé.
The team tapped Andra Johnson (A.J.) to lead the cocktail program at Seranata (she’s currently behind the bar at Bresca). In addition to mixing cocktails, Johnson also spearheaded DC’s first Black Restaurant Week. “A.J., like myself, really expresses advocacy towards beverage and food,” says Senor. Along with Coronado, a Barmini alum, Johnson will design about a dozen rotating cocktails using lesser-known spirits like aguardiente from Colombia, Uruguay’s grappamiel (similar to Italian grappa with honey) and singani, a Bolivian grape-based spirit. Drinks will also explore the diversity of Mexican distillations, such as agave-based spirits like sotol (a tequila-like spirit from to Chihuahua) and mezcal-esque bacanora from Sonora.
“It’s not just tequila and mezcal,” says Johnson. “I want to highlight the different agave spirits by doing a half-carafe. From a drinking standpoint it’s very communal—little orange slices, spiced salt, you drink with friends.”
The drinks will be matched with light bites like jicama salad or beet tahini with trout roe and plantain chips.
Look for the duel concept to open with La Cosecha in September. In the meantime, a new Colada Shop is also in the works for the Wharf this fall.