Summer Whitford

Washington, DC New Menu Report: 7/6/16

Booze is again the theme of the day with cocktails from Turkey, centuries old Madeira, and summer sippers made with fresh fruit.

Mondays are never good for holiday celebrations; it’s just too hard to come down from the euphoria and get back into the daily grind. You can soften the fall—if you have a little liquid courage—and we think we know a few beverages you’ll like. You can head to a quiet corner in the dark recesses of a grand old hotel’s fine dining room and order ancient Madeira; look to the East and sip on tempting Turkish-inspired cocktails; or daydream about Paris while sipping tropical cocktails in a boutique hotel bar with a French vibe. That’s what’s going on in the District this week. Drink up!

Judging from the weather forecast for the rest of the summer, some cooling cocktails are in order, and we recommend you pay a visit to the charming lounge at Jardenea in the Melrose Georgetown Hotel. Thanks to, Millian Palma, the lounge/restaurant manager, and mixology guru, there are reviving drinks made with colorful tropical fruits, garnishes, and flavor infusions. Pops of fresh pineapple, grapefruit, and watermelon juice are beautifully blended with aromatic infusions like cashew fruit and orangecello. Go for watermelon agua fresca made with Stolichnaya vodka, lime juice, watermelon juice, and mint simple syrup, or try the cucumber & basil collins with Hendricks gin, cucumber juice, basil simple syrup, lemon juice, and soda water.

When you are the only Forbes-Five-Star restaurant in D.C., you can offer elevated dining and drinking experiences that are out of the ordinary. Such is the case at Plume, the fine dining restaurant at the Jefferson Hotel. They are currently offering tastings of rare, vintage Madeira, and appellation-style rums designed to tempt collectors and enthusiastic imbibers. Old is cool in Madeira and if have the money, you can taste one of the oldest wines in the world: 296-year old Madeira that dates from 1720. However, while the taste will cost you plenty; it’s $1,720 per 2 ounce pour, to be exact. If a higher ABV is what you crave, Plume also has flights of rum produced in countries that exported to the U.S. during Thomas Jefferson’s era, so look for different ages of rum from islands in the French Antilles such as Martinique, Barbados, and Guyana, to name a few.

Ottoman Taverna
Pack your bags and ready your palate for a spirited virtual visit to Turkey at Ottoman Taverna. This incredible new restaurant from Turkish native son, Hakan Ilhan, is a fantastic food destination that serves enticing cocktails and wines, thanks to a new beverage program. Guests can explore a drinks menu that includes domestic and international craft beer, Turkish influenced cocktails, undiscovered wines, and traditional spirits. Two of our favorite cocktails include Istanbul Nights, which is made with Smyrna black grape Raki, Dolin sweet vermouth, Aperol, and fresh lime juice, and Turquaz, a lovely pink drink made with mezcal, beet extract, and fresh lime juice. Try some of the unique spirits that hail from Turkey, Greece, and Lebanon, like Raki, Ouso, and Arak, and if you want to sample the wide world of wines you can try domestic wines and wines from Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, Israel, Macedonia, Serbia, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia.

For more Washington DC dining and travel news, click here. Summer Whitford is the D.C. Editor and a food, drink and travel writer at The Daily Meal. You can follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva and on Instagram at thefoodandwinediva. Read more of her stories here.