Washington Shines As Cocktail Capital

WASHINGTON – Wall Street Journal Spirits columnist Eric Felten and local D.C. Cocktail King Todd Thrasher (Restaurant Eve, PX) will design and present libations as celebrity mixologists for the May 6th James Beard Media Awards–the Oscars of the culinary world– sponsored by the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS).

Eric Felten, whose “How’s Your Drink” column appears every Saturday in the Pursuits section of the Wall Street Journal, will present three classic cocktails, including a Sidecar, Rum Shrub, and Savoy Hotel Special. In addition to showcasing his cocktail creations at the Awards, Felten has a special reason to celebrate this year-he is nominated for a James Beard Media Award in the category of Newspaper Writing on Spirits, Wine or Beer. A collection of Eric’s “How’s Your Drink?” columns will be published by Surrey Books in November.

Rising star and “liquid savant” Todd Thrasher, of Alexandria’s Restaurant Eve, the popular PX, a speakeasy in Old Town, and Eamonn’s Dublin Chipper, has generated a buzz among DC’s elite with his use of farm fresh ingredients and innovative recipes. He will showcase four signature cocktails for the event: Eve’s Temptation, Eamonn’s Cocktail, Pear of Desire, and Hawaiian Hot. Behind the bar, he will be joined by business partners Cathal and Meshelle Armstrong. The three also have a special reason to celebrate this year–Chef Cathal Armstrong is nominated for a James Beard Best Chefs in America Award for the Mid-Atlantic region.

“We are thrilled to spotlight two of D.C.’s pre-eminent cocktail experts,” said DISCUS Senior Vice President Frank Coleman, “and showcase their cocktail creations for prominent food and drink writers from around the country.” The Council has sponsored the James Beard Media Awards, which are given annually to America’s best food and drink writers, since 2003.

A Toast To Culinary Excellence

Eric Felten’s Cocktails

Rum Shrub
“There never was any liquor so good as rum-shrub.” — William Makepeace Thackeray
Dark rum, shrub syrup (raspberry vinegar and sugar), and ginger ale.

“Bring me a very light lunch: black coffee and a sidecar.” — Auntie Mame.
Cognac, Cointreau, and lemon juice.

Savoy Hotel Special
Elegantly conceived by Harry Craddock in the 1920s in London. Just don’t call it a Martini.
Gin, dry vermouth, and Dubonnet.

Todd Thrasher’s Cocktails

Eve’s Temptation
A cocktail that represents all things garden of Eden–the simplicity of an apple. Our team at Eve used apples throughout the decor to pay homage to my love of apple flavor.
Washington State Granny Smith apples, vodka, Sour Apple Altoids.

Pear of Desire
Inspired by tapas, I wanted to give guests a small taste of desire through a torchon of foie gras. True simple divine beauty.
Vermont pears, Hudson Valley foie gras, fermented ginger, Liquor 43.

Eamonn’s Cocktail
Inspired by a playful ingredient called yuzu and a little man named Eamonn, Chef and Meshelle Armstrong’s son, whom the chipper is named for. It is a playful Irish cocktail.
California lemon air, lemonade, bourbon.

Hawaiian Hot
My grandmother’s ham dinners inspired this new cocktail. She would prepare ham with grilled pineapple. Ham and the sweetness of the fruit inspires tropical flavors.
Seared Hawaiian pineapple, habaneros, cilantro oil, rum.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States is a national trade association representing the leading brands of distilled spirits. Council member products include the full spectrum of quality distilled spirits such as Bourbon, Scotch and other whiskeys, vodka, gin, tequila, rum, brandy, cordials and liqueurs. The distillers take special pride in their products as well as in their commitment to encourage responsible beverage alcohol consumption by adults who choose to drink. If you choose to drink, be sure to consume sensibly and responsibly.