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Bartender: Ian Shores
Where: Vapiano, 623-625 H St. NW
Mystery Ingredient: Confit of jasmine flowers (available at Dean & Deluca or online)
Bartender Response: Shores unscrewed the tiny jar of jasmine jelly with trepidation. “I was a little taken aback, especially when I opened it up and there were actually flowers in there,” he said. “It smells really good, though.”
What We Got: A summertime thirst quencher with citrus vodka, prosecco, and muddled strawberries and rosemary. “I wanted it to have a little bubbly fizz to it.”
How It Tasted: Very mellow. We liked the hint of woodsy pine from the rosemary to toughen up the sweetness of the jasmine and strawberry. “The smell and the flavor of [the jasmine confit] had an elderflower feel to it,” said Shores, who thought it reminded him of St-Germain liqueur.
Improv Points (1 to 5): 3. Maybe the jasmine confit could’ve been showcased a bit more. But the day I visited Vapiano, it was 94 degrees out, and this strawberry-vodka concoction hit the spot. “When I think of summertime, I think fresh ingredients,” Shores said, explaining why he added strawberry. “The citrus vodka gives it that refreshing feeling…If you’re on a patio, wow!”
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 full teaspoon jasmine flower confit
2 strawberries, sliced
1 3/4 ounces Stoli Citros
3/4 ounces triple sec
Splash of sour mix
Splash of simple syrup
1/2 ounce prosecco
Muddle rosemary with strawberries and jasmine confit in a cocktail shaker. Add Stoli Citros, triple sec, sour mix, and simple syrup. Shake with ice, then strain into a martini glass filled with the prosecco.
Photo by Adele Chapin