José Andrés opened his latest cocktail bar, barmini, in D.C.’s Penn Quarter on Feb. 15. Barmini’s philosophy is to create inventive drinks while paying tribute to classic cocktails and ingredients.
"We want to honor and celebrate cocktail classics," says Andrés, in a recent release, "while still pushing the boundaries of what we think is possible."
Barmini will serve a seasonally rotating cocktail list, which includes 100 cocktails that range in price from $14 to $20. The staff at barmini will use contemporary approaches to craft libations, including "airs," which capture aromas and flavors in their bubbles and provide patrons with a burst of flavor when they sip cocktails; emulsifiers, such as whey, that add texture and bring a new dimension to the cocktail; barrel aging; and carbonation.
In addition they will also use espumas (foams like whipped cream), as well as extractions and infusions to be applied to modern and vintage classic libations, including the Rusty Nail, Mai Tai, whiskey sour, and margarita.
Barmini's classic cocktails include the rum swizzle drink that utilizes an authentic swizzle stick from Eastern Europe, a technique for aerating and cooling drinks made popular in the 1700s at a rum plantation in the Caribbean. The Knickerbocker, a cocktail conceived at the Waldorf-Astoria back in the 1930s with rum, lemon or lime juice, raspberry syrup, and curacao, will make an appearance, as will the Jersey Lightning with apple-jack, peach brandy, egg, lime, sugar, and a squirt of seltzer.
Hot cocktails, shandys, and non-alcoholic options will also be available, and all ice will be cut the old-fashioned way — with a handsaw, of course.
Reservations for the 23-seat space at barmini are required and can be booked here.