Behind the Bar

450px-Homemade_mojitoOver at the Washington Post Magazine, Tom Sietsema gets answers from the D.C. area’s top bartenders: Adam Bernbach of Estadio, Derek Brown of Columbia Room, Gina Chersevani of Eddy Bar at Hank’s Oyster Bar (Capitol Hill), Jeff Faile of Fiola, and Todd Thrasher of Restaurant Eve and PX.

A few commonalities emerged: For a mixology-caliber cocktail, 20 percent is appreciated. Two of them mention the Manhattan as their favorite drink (stirred, not shaken). And bartenders need to know the past, meaning Jerry Thomas, David Embury, and the rest. Bernbach says highballs will be the next big thing. Thrasher is guessing it’ll be 1970s libations like the Harvey Wallbanger. Sietsema asks his subjects to reveal their guilty pleasure drink. Perhaps the most shocking admission came from my friend Derek Brown: The Mind Eraser (“Kahlua, vodka, and Sprite or soda water, drunk through a straw,” explains Sietsema). At least no one said a Cement Mixer.

Photo by Mike Fleming

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