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The Drink: Double Dragon
Where to Get it: Dram & Grain, 2007 18th St. NW, (202) 607-1572
What It Is: A hazy, amber-colored whiskey cocktail made with Wild Turkey Rare Breed and turkey bone-infused Cynar artichoke liqueur with Becherovka bitters. It’s topped off with Angostura and “dark age” bitters.
What It Tastes Like: Bartender Lukas Smith says his goal was to impart the drink with “a ramen-esque, bone stock quality.” The flavor profile is reminiscent of an old fashioned and includes notes of caramel, vanilla, citrus, leather, and aromatic herbs. The 112-proof whiskey gives the drink a spicy kick, and the fat from the bone-washed liqueur creates a nice, smooth feel.
The Process: Cynar, Becherovka, bitter herbs (cassia bark, gentian, and angelica root), and a wild turkey leg—which is smoked at the restaurant—are placed into a vacuum-sealed bag and spend 24 hours cooking in a sous vide water bath at 173 degrees. The bag is then removed and cooled to room temperature before the bones are strained out. The liquid is then frozen, allowing the excess fat to be skimmed off. What’s left is ready to be used in the drink.
The Story: The cocktail’s name is a nod to the hunting tradition in Smith’s family. “Some say that natural beauty is sometimes commingled with and impossible to separate from that which is most ugly,” he says. “In that case, wild turkeys must be profoundly beautiful in some way, because they are ugly enough that we used to call them dragons.” The drink features “turkey” two ways, hence the name Double Dragon. It’s also the name of a video game, Smith points out.