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What: Adele Street with vanilla bean-infused Glendalough Irish Whiskey, Earl Grey and chamomile tea-infused Dolin Dry Vermouth, and Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
Where: nopa Kitchen + Bar, 800 F St. NW; (202) 347-4667; nopadc.com
What You Should Be Drinking: A frequent out-of-town guest at the Penn Quarter brasserie craved a drink reminiscent of her beloved Big Easy hometown, so bartender Dan Patrizio got to work. Drawing inspiration from a point of disembarkation for Irish immigrants coming to New Orleans from 1810 to 1850, he starts with Glendalough Irish Whiskey that’s been triple-barrel-matured in madeira, bourbon, and sherry casks. The proprietary whiskey is infused with Madagascar vanilla beans and stirred with Dolin Dry Vermouth that’s been steeped with Earl Grey and chamomile teas from Capital Teas. It’s served up in a coupe coated with Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur and garnished with a brandied cherry.
Why You Should Be Drinking It: Diners have been shying away from this drink, Patrizio admits, as “it’s essentially a two-ingredient cocktail which smacks potent and high proof.” Maybe so, but one of those ingredients just happens to be Irish whiskey, known for being the smoothest and most approachable of the brown spirits family. Flavoring it with vanilla also helps. Dry vermouth quells the high ABV, while the teas balance the sweetness and add palate-pleasing astringency. The overall effect is just as pleasant and charming as 1950’s Irish immigrant Ellis Lacey, played by Saoirse Ronan in the film Brooklyn.