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What: Rockefeller Rose with Pikesville Rye, amaro, sweet vermouth, and rose water

Where: Tabard Inn, 1739 N St. NW

Price: $13

What You Should Be Drinking

“Whatever you want” is Bar Manager Jamie Johnson’s mantra. “I don’t think anyone should follow traditional rules. It’s way too far into the game to live by tradition.” He’s referring to bromides like white wine should be served with fish, or in the case of his new drink, Rockefeller Rose, that brown spirits are for winter imbibing only. Johnson recently added the rye-based cocktail with amaro and sweet vermouth to Tabard Inn’s menu just in time for spring. “The first warm day, everyone goes to their spring cocktails, and it’s all vodka and gin, which is lovely, but there’s no reason not to have rye drinks year-round.” He does, however, give a nod to the current season with the inclusion of Al Wadi rose water.

Why You Should Be Drinking It

It’s the rose water that makes this Manhattan variation sing. Even though Johnson only uses three ounces of it for every 3.5 liters of the pre-batched cocktail, a little goes a long way in delivering a floral finish. Take a whiff of the potent rose water on its own and you’ll suddenly find yourself transported to grandma’s house where potpourri balls have been amassing for decades. While it would be most appropriate to sip this cocktail in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden in the Bronx, Tabard Inn’s courtyard will do. Note that the first three tables are open to those who just want to drink, but they’re first-come, first-served. “They’re always full, so if you want a table, get there at 4 p.m.,” Johnson recommends.

Photo by Laura Hayes