The Passenger, which recently opened in our neighborhood, is exactly what I've been waiting for: an unpretentious, come-as-you-are locale with a staff that knows what they are making, takes pride in their products and sets their own standards for cocktail creativity and sophistication. At the time we were in the mist of the biggest snow storm in DC's documented history so I went online to see if they are open and found out they have a Facebook page stating "we're open" so we headed over. After hiking about two blocks through knee-high snow we made it in and the atmosphere was warm, welcoming and neighborhoody.
Given the weather, something warm sounded nice so we went with a hot toddy. The Passenger's version was a nice and simple twist on the original. Instead of bourbon they used scotch: The Famous Grouse. Also in the mix was a splash of simple syrup and a large sliver of orange zest. That was it. The scotch was definitely the central flavor but it's intensity was rounded out by the sweetness of the simple syrup and the slightly acidic tone added by the orange zest which also gave a nice brightness to the drink. My only complaint is that it could have some a tad hotter.
I look forward to more of what The Passenger has to offer.