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Underserved is a recurring Y&H feature highlighting the best cocktails you’re not ordering.
What: Catching Flies with Bushmills 10-year whiskey, Lindera Farms elderflower vinegar, lemon, and orange blossom honey
Where: Daikaya Izakaya, 705 6th St. NW
What You Should Be Drinking Remember when your mom said “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar?” Well, you can make a charming cocktail if you use both. The idiom is the inspiration for Daikaya’s Catching Flies, which contains elderflower vinegar from Virginia’s Lindera Farms and an orange blossom honey syrup that the Daikaya team makes in house. The buzz-inducing ingredient is Bushmills 10-Year Irish Whiskey. Bar Manager Jameson Huckaba (whose first name makes him the perfect person to talk about Irish whiskey) says Bushmills is partially aged in sherry casks, lending a buttery richness. “It also adds some body, some real substance to this cocktail,” he says.
Why You Should be Drinking It Don’t be another Daikaya patron who overlooks Catching Flies because it contains vinegar, or you’ll miss out on a zesty drink full of personality. “The vinegar is really throwing people off,” Huckaba says. Though culinary in nature, vinegar is having a real cocktail moment because it’s an alternative way to get acidity into a drink. Many bars have been concocting vinegar-based shrubs, but the direct incorporation of vinegar is noteworthy. The acidity lends itself to pairing with some of Daikaya’s dishes. “Catching Flies stands up to our fattier dishes, like the chawanmushi egg custard,” Huckaba says. “The cocktail cuts through it, almost like a palette reset every time you take a sip.” Think of it like pairing an acidic wine like Sauvignon Blanc with a creamy wedge of Brie cheese.
Photo by Laura Hayes