All photos by the author
If you follow me on Twitter, you might be aware that this has been an eventful week. Literally. Friday the Social Chair and I hosted her birthday party, Sunday we hit our usual brunch, Monday I had a tasting, and Tuesday saw the launch party for Dan Searing’s new book, The Punch Bowl. Plus Tuesday was, as always, Tiki Tuesday at the Passenger. So I was busy.
Instead of picking just one of those, I thought this week would be a perfect opportunity for a photo feature. So here goes.
At Friday night’s party everything we served had a DC connection. There were pitchers of bourbon cherry lemonade, a white sangria like the one at Jaleo, and Gin Punch à la Terrington, straight out of Dan Searing’s book. In that picture you can see the fruit for sangria being fortified by brandy and Cointreau, and the concentrated punch (just pour over ice and add seltzer). The only problem we have now is we made too much, so two of those jars of fruit and two bottles of punch concentrate are still in our fridge. I guess that’s not a bad problem to have.
Sunday night we had finally shaken off our hangovers enough to make it to hangover brunch at the Passenger, but I didn’t actually take any pictures that night. Here’s a picture of a chili half-smoke, if you need it.
Monday I attended a tasting of Hennessy Cognac at the French Embassy, with special guest Maurice Hennessy (a 7th generation member of the family). In the receiving area Hennessy Black ($43/750ml online) was on offer, pre-mixed with apple juice, cranberry juice, or ginger ale. I also tried it neat.
I had arrived early so I had time to wander around while they were setting up. This sample bottle was eventually replaced with a fancy decanter in the house’s signature shape that befits its $500 price tag. I have to admit I like the sample bottle better. It’s understated and shows a confidence in the product the decanter lacks.
Maurice Hennessy himself. With the piano behind him in most of the pictures, he looked more like a lounge singer than a cognac producer. He was a little horrified when I told him I’d tried the Hennessy Black neat (he was drinking it with cranberry).
So much cognac. Oddly, I preferred the $500 Paradis to the $3000 Richard Hennessy. It was more interesting in flavor and aroma (the perfume notes really come out in the Paradis), and the price difference doesn’t hurt.
The French Embassy itself is fantastic. It’s a beautiful space full of French art. What’s not to like? If you get an event invitation, it’s worth going just to see the space.
Dan’s last minute book launch event turned out to be a low-key affair. He took over the train car area at the Passenger, made a bowl of Horse and Carriage Punch, and chatted with everyone who stopped by.
Dan serves up the first cup of punch.
After Dan’s event wrapped up, I found myself at the bar between Joe Riley and We Love DC’s own Jenn Larsen. And Joe offered to buy a Cobra Bowl, as long as somebody would help him drink it. We didn’t say no.
Regular Tuesday night bartender Amy Russell, who came up with Tiki Tuesday as a way to combat winter, was more than happy to oblige.
Amy applies the garnish. The Cobra Bowl takes time to construct.
Last but not least, a little reservoir of overproof rum is set alight.
The menu board said you could order your drink in a pineapple for $5 more. Jenn’s friend Chris ordered an Oberon. The board didn’t say that drink couldn’t be beer!
Thanks for joining me on my drinking tour. Check in soon for the next installment!