Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Thyme Gimlet at Bar Dupont

The aptly named Bar Dupont, located in the Hotel Dupont on (you guessed it) Dupont Circle, is about as opposite an establishment as you can get from its Irish pub predecessor Biddy Mulligans. I was a bit hesitant to go to, yet again, another one of these cliched "lounges" that have unfortunately become a dime-a-dozen in this town. You know, those lounges that look really chic, with sexy bartenders and sells top-shelf spirits, but when you order a drink it's more generic tonic than gin. Don't get me wrong, I love a good time out and there are some places that are a lot of fun and do well offering a vibe that is truly distinctive and unique. But in the end they're drinking establishments and if they can't get a simple drink right, there's something fundamentally wrong.

Bar Dupont surprised me. The interior design is contemporary yet simple. It's not trying to be anything it isn't. The bartenders seem well trained and appreciate their work. And the clientele is a good mixture of people.

While perusing the cocktail menu, Bar Dupont's Thyme Gimlet intrigued me. I love the idea of fusing sweet ingredients with items that are normally associated as savory. The match could not be more perfect. They've taken the gimlet, a mixture of gin or vodka, lime juice and sugar and paired it with grassy/lemony thyme. You immediately taste the bright flavor of thyme which actually acts as a sweetener without increasing the sugar content. The acidity of the lime juice combined with Tanqueray gin allows for clean, sharp flavor and finish. It also looks pretty cool served in a martini glass with a big sprig of thyme in it. A well-executed drink. I'll be coming back for more.

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