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What: The Peabody Memphis with One Eight Distilling District Made Vodka, Port City Porter reduction, and a house-made bell pepper tincture
Where: 1905 Bistro & Bar, 1905 9th St. NW; (202) 332-1905; 1905dc.com
What You Should Be Drinking: The Peabody Memphis is named after a luxury hotel in Tennessee where resident ducks have been marched out to a fountain daily for the past 90 years. The duck, after all, is head bartender JB Knapp’s so-called spirit animal, and the latest cocktail menu theme at 1905 nods at historic hotels. Knapp reduces Port City Porter until it has the consistency of a syrup and then makes a tincture by steeping yellow, green, and orange bell peppers in Smirnoff 100 Proof Vodka, which he strains after six weeks. Both are mixed with One Eight Distilling District Made Vodka, shaken with ice, and served neat in a lowball glass. “It’s a full-bodied, vodka-based drink that lets you explore outside your comfort zone,” Knapp says.
Why You Should Be Drinking It: Knapp likes the malty mouthfeel of D.C.’s own One Eight Vodka, which also lends a clean, spicy finish because of its rye base. The accompanying pepper tincture adds a savory pop and cuts through the velvety richness of the vodka. Knapp has long been a fan of the Alexandria brewery, and a cooked down syrup made with Port City Porter balances the spirit and tincture and adds the right amount of sweetness without being cloying like a simple syrup. “The cocktail is warm, luxurious, and elegant and feels like fall to me.” He suggests ordering it with Chef Joel Hatton’s truffled deviled eggs with mustard vinaigrette, or pork tenderloin with sweet potato mostarda and pepper pesto.