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What: Gintonic with Green Hat Summer Gin and house-made tarragon and basil tonic
Where: Estadio, 1520 14th St. NW
What You Should Be Drinking:
Bar Manager Adam Bernbach has been charging soda siphons with his own creative house-made tonics for years. Estadio’s revolving “Gintonic” menu pays homage to Spain’s reverent attitude towards the classic combination, and Bernbach’s latest incarnation makes use of seasonal herbs procured from a local purveyor. “I wanted a tonic that was sort of like a really good pils—clean, a little more spare maybe, but still has something going on.” His starts by steeping tarragon and basil leaves in hot water and sugar. The infused syrup is then mixed with fresh lime juice, water, and cinchona powder (a source of quinine derived from tree bark) before it’s carbonated and combined with Green Hat’s Spring / Summer 2013 gin over ice. The drink comes garnished with sliced strawberries and a sprig of tarragon.
Why You Should Be Drinking It:
The limited edition gin from the D.C. distillery has aromas of juniper, cherry blossom, and rosemary, and a bright citrus character that gets along swimmingly with the tonic. “It is a very bright, very floral gin,” Bernbach says. “While there aren’t any obvious shared ingredients, the light herbal notes of the tonic are designed to play up the warm citrus and flowers of the gin.” Basically, it’s an herb garden in a glass, with just enough aromatics to entice, but not enough to deter the tarragon-averse. (Believe it or not, there are some out there). Ruby-red sliced strawberries give a burst of sweet-and-sour flavor. In a nutshell, Bernbach touts it as “tart, refreshing, and perfect for 95 degree, 95 percent humidity D.C. summers.” He says to try it with summery berry desserts.