About Dry January Guide
This article is part of our guide to Dry January around DC. Today’s bartenders are catering to the sober—and the sober-curious—with more sophisticated options than ever. Dry January doesn’t have to mean bland January. Here’s how to (not) drink your way through Washington in style.
The flavors of a Long Island iced tea might best be described as wow, there’s a lot of alcohol in here. But Paul Taylor, beverage manager at Shaw’s Columbia Room, set out to create a booze-free take on the drink—which typically includes vodka, gin, tequila, rum, Triple Sec, sour mix, and Coke. (Yes, a Long Island Iced Tea you’ll actually remember drinking!) Here’s how he did it:
- In lieu of Coke, the bar makes its own cola syrup infused with baking spices, coriander, and orange.
- Taylor homed in on the dominant flavors of each spirit, then incorporated them into a tea. Coconut water gives the drink some body and the sweetness of rum. Pine oil adds the woodsiness of gin. Green bell pepper mimics tequila’s vegetal flavor. And a little salt brings a “rounder mouthfeel.”
- Instead of a bottled sour mix, Taylor uses a blend of fresh lemon and lime juices and sugar.
- The drink is carbonated, so it’s a lot fizzier than your usual Long Island iced tea.
- The lemon wedge, thankfully, hasn’t been sitting in a garnish tray for 12 hours.
This article appears in the January 2020 issue of Washingtonian.