DC’s Top Bartenders Are Hosting Virtual Cocktail Classes

Pom Pom's Carlie Steiner is teaming up with Republic Restoratives for a tutorial tonight

Carlie Steiner mixes up non-alcoholic negronis. Photograph by Scott Suchman
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By day, Pom Pom owner and cocktail pro Carlie Steiner is running a grocery store out of her 24-seat Petworth restaurant, selling everything from penne to pineapples to whole chickens. Tonight (Friday), she’ll get back to focusing on what she loves: drinks. Steiner is hosting the first in a series of free virtual cocktail classes hosted by DC distiller Republic Restoratives. It will stream live at 6 PM on Republic Restorative’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

“I’m going super-classic, back to my roots,” says Steiner, who also owns bar Dos Mamis. She’ll start with the basics: how to make a Manhattan and an old-fashioned, then segue into a primer on batch cocktails, which can keep for a while in the fridge. Expect a deep-dive into topics like ice, and also the chance to ask her questions. “The sillier, funnier, and weirder, the better,” she says.

Republic Restoratives is planning to stream virtual cocktail classes every week with a rotating cast of local bartenders. (Stay tuned for the schedule.) The goal is not just to provide tutorials for everyone quarantined at home, but also to get a little extra cash to out-of-work bartenders. Tonight, collections from a virtual tip jar (@pompomstaff on Venmo) will be distributed to Steiner’s staff at Pom Pom and Dos Mamis.

“I’m doing this for two reasons,” Steiner says. “To feed my staff and to maybe bring people something they’ve been missing: joy.”

Separately, Columbia Room owner Derek Brown says he’s also looking to move some of his cocktail classes online using Zoom. His plan is to host half-hour classes with a limited group of people who buy gift cards, place cocktail to-go orders, or donate to a charity. “They can ask me questions about what they have at home, we can talk about techniques, and stuff like that,” he says. Stay tuned for details.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.