Sunday, May 23, 2010
Just in time for summer Jason Wilson of the Washington Post has written a piece about beer cocktails. It's a great article that highlights some of the area establishments that offer beer cocktails such PS7's "The Cure" which I recently tasted. Beer can be a dynamic addition to a cocktail adding both complexity and lightness. As I've mentioned before, while living in Germany I worked as a bartender in a beer garden. The Germans couldn't get enough of what they call a Radler in the summer months. Also called a Shandy in the UK, it is comprised of about one part beer and one part Sprite. For people hearing of this for the first time it might sound a bit odd but it is incredibly refreshing with the soothing beer flavor complimented by the sweet lemon-lime soda. Give it a try the next time you're baking in the sun!
Posted by Elefaentchen at 9:32 AM
Monday, May 10, 2010
After reading the Washington Post's article on bars in the city that serve cocktails paired with food, my wife and I headed over to PS7's to give it a try. PS7's is great for someone who wants an atmosphere that is a bit fancier and chicer with a modern design. The bar area is separated from the main restaurant which gives it a more relaxed, loungey atmosphere. It also wasn't too full for a Friday evening.
I wasn't too thrilled about the accompanying condescending feel we had talking with our bartender. After asking to see their cocktail-food pairing menu we got the are-you-kidding-me stink eye and were told that in order to experience that we had to book at least a month in advance. Really? Is it something so special that you can't have a couple pairings on a daily menu? Or is it one of these things you offer so the Washington suits can feel special? So there we were with our thunder fizzled so we decided to drink our tears away with some of their specialty cocktails.
We started off with their "Cross Pollenation" which comes with Evan Williams Honey, a honey-infused bourbon, Blue Coat Gin, citrus dust and a bitter spritz. I was happy to see Blue Coat Gin which is from Philadelphia and uses organic juniper berries, organic American citrus which makes it a great American gin. I asked about the citrus dust which PS7's makes in house in which they thinly slice a variety of citrus (orange, lemon, lime), dehydrate and then finely grind it into a dust. The spritz is made with old-fashioned bitters. One thing they leave off of the menu is that "Cross Pollenation" is also shaken with an egg white for body and froth.
"Cross Pollenation" smelled of orange and cinnamon. My wife said it smelled like Christmas, like a hot cider. It was good but definitely something that should be reserved for a seasonal menu. The egg white gave it a nice frothiness and some body. It was smooth and sweet.
We moved on to their "Ginger Mojito" which didn't taste much of ginger. It did containe Domaine de Canton, a ginger infused liqueur which I explain below, but it seemed to get lost in the rest of the mix which consisted of standard mojita ingredients: white rum, lime juice and mint leaves. It was nothing to write home about.
We then had PS7's "Sun and Sand" which has Rootbeer crusta, fresh orange, Brugal rum and vanilla. The Rootbeer crusta is a root beer flavored sugar put around the rim. It tasted amazingly like root beer. Brugal is the Dominican Republic's number one selling rum. The orange was prominent in the aroma with the rum playing the central role in the flavor but not overpowering. The Rootbeer crusta went well with the flavors, binding the earthy root beer flavor with the bold rum, but made the cocktail tip over the sweet meter, coming off a bit candy-sweet.
The star of the evening though was one of their cocktails that I wasn't expecting at all. It was their "Recession Blues 'The Cure'" for $5. Made with Miller High Life, Domaine de Canton and ginger. Domaine de Canton Liqueur is French comprised of eau-de-vie and VSOP and XO Grand Champagne cognacs along with Vietnamese ginger. What I loved about this drink is what it is based on. I lived in Germany for four years and for two of them worked as a bartender and in the summertime the Germans love what they call a Radler, a mixture of about one part beer with one part Sprite (you heard me, Sprite). The British call it a Shandy. It's refreshing, not too heavy. You get a bit of a sugar buzz along with the soothing flavor and effects of beer. PS7's "The Cure" was an amped up, more sophisticated version of a Radler. It smelled of beer but once it hit my lips there was a huge ginger pop of flavor. It wasn't too sweet and complimented the beer well. It was terrific and is PS7's great little secret especially during the summer months.
Posted by Elefaentchen at 9:04 PM