Friday, July 28, 2006


For those of you who follow these things... (I've heard Derek has a fan club...)

I have official permission to announce that Derek Brown is hopping up the hill from Georgetown Waterfront's Agraria and will settle into world-renowned Citronelle, in a couple of weeks...

Never fear, Citronelle's current mixology master, Brian Zipin is still around for the moment, and will remain so until he becomes General Manager of Michel Richard's new restaurant, Central opening this fall...
Raise your Lichido!

Get exotic this summer and bring the tropics home with Lichido Liqueur. Blending aged French cognac and premium vodka infused with the fragrant essences of lychee, guava and white peach juice, it is a unique sipper and versatile mixer. It’s fruity without being overly sweet – and with a squeeze of lime juice, it’s even better.

Red Lotus
2 oz Vodka
2 oz Lichido
Splash Cranberry Juice
Dash Lime Juice

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously with ice. Pour into chilled martini glass. Garnish with red flower or wedge of lime.

Lichido Lemon Drop
2 oz Lichido Liqueur
1 oz Vodka
Splash of Curacao
1 Lemon
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Pitted Lychee

Muddle lemon rinds in cocktail shaker. Squeeze juice of entire lemon into glass. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Strain. Add Vodka, Lichido, Curacao. Shake vigorously with ice. Pour into chilled martini glass. Garnish with pitted lychee on cocktail skewer.

Costs: $22.99 Order online here

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Wine N Yu

Tuesday was recently declared the new Thursday. Well, last night, Wednesday was the new Tuesday as the Silk
Road wound its way through Georgetown. Celebrating its 3-year anniversary and the launch of its new wine-list-cum-magazine, Mie N Yu put on quite the bash!

It all started with the invitation. A couple of weeks ago, a wooden box arrived in the mail. Inside, nestled on a bed of straw sat a small scroll upon which the party and RSVP details were printed. Of course, that got me excited from the get-go. (I’m a sucker for creative presentation…)

Exotic dancers, a “living Buddha”, belly dancer and live drummer - plus a few hundred who’s whos - celebrated against a Moroccan marketplace-inspired backdrop. Already a gorgeous space with much attention to detail, the Zanzibar theme pushed the atmosphere above the usual high-mark. Manager, David Troust, explains, “We wanted to re-introduce people to the restaurant, and show the amazing events we can do here.”

The party also provided guests with a first look at the anticipated Wine N Yu, designed to help people feel comfortable pairing wine and food, while presenting the wine list in an innovative way. Troust explains, “We don’t conform to any guidelines, here.”

Initially dreamed up by General Manager, Oren Molovinsky, Wine N Yu (a 12 page take-home wine publication) blends the talents of the management team. Bar Manager (and personality about town) Saeed Bennani, designed the Wine Spectator award-winning wine list. He also creates many of the popular bar’s tasty cocktails and is currently preparing to do his sommelier certification.

Wine N Yu will be a monthly publication featuring 300+ wines including: sake, specialty beers, half-bottles, wines by the glass and champagne. It includes maps of wine regions, pairing guidelines, a calendar of monthly tastings at the restaurant, featured recipes and articles by Jennifer Rozen, who won a James Beard award for wine-writing.

In addition to sampling from the piles of yummy appetizers, I tried an interesting sparkling Shiraz. I must have forgotten that I love Italy’s Lambrusco. I used to drink it a lot when I lived in Europe - but have not had a bubbly red in years! This flavorful Australian version is worth a trip to Mie N Yu, just to sample.

The cocktails were delightful, too. The Kyma (aka: Mediterranean) highlights a gummy fish swimming in the bottom of the glass. I quite liked the French Kiss, too. And, I had a white chocolate concoction for dessert. Yes, decadent, indeed.

Heading to Mie N Yu after work? Try this tart and tasty drink.

2 oz. Citadel gin
2 oz. Sake
1/2 oz. Midori
1/2 oz. Sour mix

Keep in mind that Mie N Yu’s décor, and many rooms, make it fantastic for private events and personalized tastings, I definitely see a Liquid Muse party there, in the future…

Interested in hearing about events and special Sipster discounts at participating establishments?
Sign up for The Liquid Museletter by emailing:

*All photos in this post are courtesy of
Moshe Zusman

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ever try a Klean Pink Martini?

Love dirty martinis? Well, you may just love a Klean Pink Martini even more!

As much as I love to drink a good cocktail, I have found that showering with one can be quite lovely, too...

This body wash smells delish and frankly, it feels downright girly to lather every inch of one's body with shimmering pink stuff with "-tini" on the end... (there's a shimmering body scrub, too!)

Other delectable bath products include the Klean Colada, Yuzu, Zen Tea and German Chocolate Cake. Yum!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

PBR - What’s the big woop?

Apparently, I’ve had my head up my ass. Until recently, I had no idea that hipsters in NY and LA have been guzzling down Pabst Blue Ribbon for like, 7 years now.

It first came to my attention when I interviewed Ryan McDermott (the new sound check blog guy at DC Style Magazine). He said his favorite beer is PBR and all the hipsters in NY are drinking it.

I was like, “New trend! Must investigate!” I put out an ‘APB’ to some of the ‘cool girls’ in LA asking if it had taken hold on the West Coast. Here are a few responses:
  • I hate to get all "indier-than-thou" but this is old news. PBR has been a very big seller in the Silver Lake/Echo Park bars for like three years (only in cans though). Check out the infamous "hipster bingo" website from 2-3 years ago. (site pasted below) Mara

  • When I lived in NY it was indeed a thing. And that was 7 years ago so I guess it stuck and must have grown. It must be an East Coast thing cause, like you, I haven't been anywhere that it's even offered in LA. Stacy

  • Both 3 Of Clubs and Cha Cha's proudly serve PBR. In fact, the last man I dated broke the ice by sending one to my table. I thought he was being ironic. He was just cheap. Donna

  • A lot of LA, and especially Hollywood, hotspots don't sell PBR b/c it is so cheap, but all the hipsters do know where to find it... I moved to LA from Austin, TX in September and found the lack of PBR at bars a real pain. $5 for a Bud Light bottle is just too much. In Austin, Pabst is pretty much available anywhere! Anna

  • I have to say Natalie, every art gallery or cool "it" party I've been too is doing it. I guess it falls in line with the trucker cap craze a couple of years ago RedNeck chic, but, yes, I'm seeing it everywhere. Paula

Needless to say, I felt like an ass. Or rather, that I had been keeping my head up my own. I’m really more of a cocktail girl, myself, as any follower of The Liquid Muse will gather. And, I grew out of the dollar-beer thing after college … so I guess I just wasn’t paying attention.

Being curious to check out anything with a buzz (yes all puns intended) I decided I had to experience this cultural phenomenon for myself.

Frankly, Pabst has very little flavor. It’s kinda like drinking watered-down cow piss.

I don’t drink beer often enough to throw around opinions on it’s “hoppiness” or “finish.” I do know, however, that I don’t drink Bud. Or Miller. I’ll suffer through an Amstel Light if I have to… Once in a while, I hit a sports bar and indulge in greasy food and a tasty amber ale or thick-n-creamy dark lager.

But, seek out Pabst? I don’t get it.

I mean, I can appreciate the irony of a hot society chick in Jimmy Choos swillin’ trailer trash bubbly as much as the next person. Who doesn’t love a gal who ‘plays well with others’ from country club to truck stop? But, seriously, now, with all the choices out there, and all the men willing to pony up to buy a cute girl a drink… what gives?

Is it the price tag? Is a decent beer really unaffordable? Is it the trucker hat phenomomen? (which is long gone by now…)

Does holding PBR make people feel ‘hip?’

Excuse me for bringing this up… but if “all the hipsters are doing it”… it’s not all that hip anymore…it’s trendy. Isn’t trendy the antithesis of hip?

I’m confused.

So, please, folks, enlighten me. PBR - What’s the big woop?

Hipster Bingo:

Monday, July 24, 2006

Party at Topaz!

If you want to be treated like Rockstar Royalty, throw a bash at Topaz Bar.

Lounge Manager, Mike Hill, sets the tone - chill, friendly, relaxed with subtle flair... (yes the lounge has those qualities, too!)

The Liquid Muse is shifting 'home base' back to Los Angeles so we pulled together a few friends for drinks and appetizers on Saturday at Topaz. We were totally spoiled.

Lounging on velvety banquettes in the Zen Den, our three attentive cocktailers (Margot, Jillien and Rose) delivered libations with a smile. The DJ spun funky beats. Perfect.

And, as a special honor, our party got to sneak-peek Topaz’s newest creations. The ‘cocktail enthusiast’ in me was in 7th Heaven! Their new drinks whoop-a**!

Bruce ‘Lee’che uses one of my favorite new liquors, Absolut Ruby Red, with lychee puree, triple sec and fresh lemon.

Grandmaster of Grapes blends Ciroc grape-distilled vodka, organic white grape juice, red wine, lime juice and frozen grape clusters.

Tokyo, defined as “manhattan in Japan” mixes bourbon, sake, organic plum nectar and angostura bitters.

Finally, their Razzberry Mojito is better than most mojito-and-some-kind-of-fruit variations.

The appetizers were delish and the gorgeous fruit-and-cheese plate (hand-delivered from Bar Rouge !) was a hit. Finally, a surprise champagne toast was the icing on the cake.

I make no apologies for the pun - Topaz is a gem!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I heard a rumor...

Nothing's confirmed - but - Have you noticed anything (or anyone) missing from Agraria? (and I'm not talking about the former chef - that's old news, now...)

If you have the beans, spill 'em with The Liquid Muse...
inquiring minds want to know...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Indebleu’s Executive Chef, Vikram Garg
Shares Liquid Inspiration

Indebleu is popular among DC hipsters for its lively bar scene. The lounge won “hottest bar scene” at the 2005 Rammy Awards, it’s creative ‘metro’ cocktail map got national attention, and Cosmopolitan Magazine included Indebleu in its ‘Hot-City Guide.’

But do the young’ins of Washington know that upstairs, in the dining room, Chef Vikram Garg’s cuisine placed IndeBleu on Conde Nast’s ‘top 80 new tables in the world’ list? Or, that just after opening, Chef Garg was invited to present his “Spice and Ice” menu at the prestigious James Beard House, in New York? I didn’t think so…

Vikram is one of my favorite chefs in town. Not only has he earned respect for his colorful and flavorful Indian, French and ‘infusion’ culinary creations but he is one of the most charming personalities in DC’s ‘foodie’ landscape.
Additionally, he is a guy I can relate to on all levels… the man enjoys a good drink!

I recently learned that Vikram makes his own limoncello. He showed me a corner shelf in his office where he keeps a vat, or two, constantly brewing. And, let me tell you, that stuff is not only delectable but potent! He has also found a way to incorporate his specialty booze into his food…

Chef Garg recalls, “I was drinking limoncello, one day, in my office, and realized it’s fresh flavor would be great for salmon. So, I created this limoncello-buttermilk reduction sauce - and I tell you, it’s out the door! It sells like crazy!”

Finally, it’s hard to resist a chef who explains his philosophy on cooking this way: “To me, food isn’t just a material. Its something you put inside your body. People who sit down to eat here trust us with their stomachs. I tell my kitchen staff that we don’t just throw it on a plate. We cook with love.” Aww, Vikram, we love you, too!

Below, Vikram shares the recipes for both his limoncello and salmon dish with the Liquid Muse community. I definitely recommend trying your hand at Limoncello – impress your friends at your next shin-dig. And, by all means, send in your cocktail creations using Vikram’s limoncello to The Liquid Muse. I’d love to post them. (include photos!)

As for the salmon… I don’t know about you, but I’d rather leave the cooking to Chef Garg!


18 Lemons
1 1/2 qts. grain alcohol
1/2 stick lemon grass
2 kaffir lime leaves
5 1/2 cups sugar
5 cups mineral water

1. Wash and dry the lemons then using a peeler, strip away the rind.
2. Place the lemon rind strips in a big plastic tub and add grain alcohol. Store in an airtight jar for 12 days, shaking it vigorously every day.
3. On the 12th day, boil and cool the sugar and water.
4. Strain the lemon and alcohol mixture and add it to the sugar syrup. Store this mixture in an air-tight jar for 21 more days in a cool dark place, shaking it every day
5. On 22nd day bottle and store in freezer
6. Throw a party – you deserve it after all that patience and dedication!

Wild Alaskan Salmon
slow-poached in olive oil, limoncello-butter milk reduction

4 wild Alaskan salmon fillet 6oz.ea
150 ml olive oil
1 lemon zest
1/4th tsp. salt

Warm olive oil, lemon zest and salt to 120 F. Place salmon fillet and poach at for 20 minutes.

Limoncello-Buttermilk Reduction Sauce

3 oz. limoncello
4 oz. buttermilk
4 oz. heavy cream
4-5 flakes red chili
to taste salt

Bring all ingredients to a boil and reduce to half. Serve over poached salmon.

*all photos in this post are courtesy of Moshe Zusman:

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sipster Submission
(sipster: a member of the Liquid Muse community. To be a sipster, send your favorite drink recipe to:

This is why I love my readers - you are so much fun! Erin Muir, a sipster from Los Angeles, has this to share…

“I was bartending at a club in Naples that I don't think exists anymore.... and somebody requested a new cocktail. I was coming up with all sorts of fru-fru martinis at the time (it was 2002- 03 and it was all about flirtinis and cosmos).
I decided this one would be the Sextini because it was so creamy and delicious…

Cue: dim lights, Barry White croons in the background…

2 oz stoli vanil

2 oz baileys

1 oz amaretto

Shake and serve up. It's nice to float a few thin shears of ice along the top, and dust it with something like- cinnamon, for example, if you're feeling a little spicy....”

*Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Debbie Downer

Cafe Milano Sucks

Normally, on The Liquid Muse, I share things I enjoy with my readers. I try to keep it light. I don't like to be a "Debbie Downer."

However, I have to get this off my chest.

Last night, an editor took me to Cafe Milano. I was interested to see what the hype was about.

I admit that their full page ads, of nothing but an almost naked girl, did little to entice me into the place, previously. (Hello... can we scream "Here's the eurotrash!" any louder?)

Still, I'm always up to check out a "hotspot."

What a disappointment.

Firstly, it was LOUD. The place gave me a headache. A few rugs would surely help absorb the echo.

And, it was crowded. Not with the otherworldly gorgeous male and female runway models as implied by the ads. It was the same old stuffy, suited, obnoxious people one would see elbowing their way down K Street.

The thing that pushed me from disappointment to disgust, however, was the service.

I often sit at a bar and ask, "What's your specialty drink?" Most bartenders enjoy showing off their creative talents. At the very least, its an opportunity for them to pour whichever premium liquors they wish into a glass, and be perfectly justified, because I left it to their discretion.

This guy, however, just looked irritated and said, "I don't have one" and stared at me blankly. So, I tried to cajole him into a friendly exchange saying, "Oh come one. Every bartender has a specialty." He practically rolled his eyes and replied, "Vodka, on the rocks."

That was the first moment I formulated the words in my mind, "Cafe Milano sucks."

I ended up with a blueberry mojito. It was a mojito. With blueberries. Yawn.

I'll spare the rest of the sordid details but in a nutshell:

-food: average. especially for a place with those prices. very average.
-drinks: average, at best
-ambiance: lacking
-service: piss-poor

Oh - and did I mention the air conditioning didn't work?

Overall, my evaluation is that Cafe Milano sucks.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Loganberry Liqueur

Clear Creek Distillery

traditional European brandy-making techniques with fruit from their own Oregon orchards, Clear Creek Distillery produces fruit Eau-de Vie, Grappas, Brandy and Whiskey. Their brandies are internationally respected, served in fine restaurants and appreciated by connoisseurs everywhere.

Clear Creek was kind enough to send me a couple of sample bottles. I am saving the Eau de Vie Pomme (fine apple brandy) to share with my family when Jason and I go to Santa Fe, in August.

However, I could no longer resist trying the Loganberry Liqueur. All I can say is oh-my-gosh, it's delicious. I've sipped it room temperature and chilled, and drizzled it over vanilla ice cream. Not only is it super tasty but I like knowing that it is from a boutique distillery, run by down-to-earth folks. I also enjoy the feeling of connection to the fruit grown on their land and knowing I'm consuming a quality product made with care.

Just look at the label. It's like it is made by your neighbors, down the country road.

For more info visit:

*Photo courtesy of Moshe Zusman:

Monday, July 17, 2006

Personality Profile

Agraria’s Lord of the Drink, Derek Brown

“Everyone is pulling for us,” says Derek Brown with a smile, expressing his gratitude toward diners and friends in the restaurant business in Washington. Smash-hit Agraria, owned by the North Dakota Farmers Union, has been the talk of the town since it’s opening earlier this summer. Brown muses that it also re-affiliates him with his roots.

Originally from Ashton, Maryland, Derek was reared on a horse farm. He says, “I grew up with chickens and bulls, and a red-door country store down the road.” However, with no ambitions to take over the family farm he adds, “I was more into punk rock and skateboards.”

Brown, now a certified sommelier, is among the top creative minds in DC’s premiere beverage programs. He calls his journey a typical bartending story. “I started bartending in school, fell in love with it and stopped school to tend bar
full-time. I wanted to deal with everything poured out of a bottle or shaker.”

His staff recognize bartending as a ‘noble’ profession. Insisting they be knowledgeable and helpful, not merely into “making a dollar or being part of a scene,” he aims for Agraria’s bar to be “a welcoming place where people can try interesting drinks, and know the bartenders are looking out for them.”

Derek even created a Cocktail Design Assistant position, filled by Kris, a talented young woman nicknamed “Mojito.” He says, “I can’t claim 100% creation here. The beverages are continually improved by the staff.”

Equally important are the ingredients. “There’s not one thing in the bar I wouldn’t drink a whole glass of,” claims Brown. Even among the ‘rail’ liquors are Henessey, Tanquery, Schmirnoff and Vya, a boutique vermouth from California. Known for brewing his own bitters, Derek exclaims, “We have more bitters than any bar in DC. They are a huge component of cocktails. We insist on them.”

“New York has been at the forefront of the resurgence of cocktails but DC is starting to catch up,” claims Brown, who
enjoys exploring beverages that “ignite the palatte.” He recalls, “I recently read a poll that said 60% of people drink cocktails, which means, overall, more people drink cocktails than wine. And, I believe it.” He says, “A gin martini is fantastic with certain foods, like charcuterie. It’s up to us to create balanced cocktails that are food-friendly.”

Keeping with the ‘sustainable’ focus on Agraria’s food, the bar is moving toward small batch liquors. Bison Grass Vodka, for example, is already on the shelves and Square One, an organic vodka, is on its way. When possible, Derek supports wineries employing sustainable viticulture.

In the kitchen, Agraria’s new Executive Chef, Ricky Moore takes the reins mid-July. Moore says he was immediately enticed by the restaurant’s farmer-owned concept. Winner of the Chicago Tribune “Good Eating Award” in 2005, his menu showcases the simplicity and richness available from America’s family farms.

The Martini

2 oz. Millers Westbourne Strength Gin
1/2 oz. Vya dry vermouth
1 dash of Fee Brothers orange bitters

Pour gin, dry vermouth and bitters over ice in a shaker. Stir, then strain into a cocktail glass. Serve with a pickle tray.

Blueberry Collins

1 1/2 oz. Millers Gin
1 oz. blueberry sour mix
1 oz. lavender simple syrup
1/2 oz. tonic

Pour gin, sour mix and lavender simple syrup over ice in Collins glass. Top with tonic. Add three blueberries and a lemon wheel.

Agraria: 3000 K Street, NW; 202-298-0003;

*All photos in this post are courtesy of Moshe Zusman:

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wines of the World Wednesday

Get Your Goat!

I’m a sucker for Pinots… so Flying Goat Cellars has been on my radar for a while. They focus mainly Pinot Noir, a little Pinot Gris and even a sparkling, bubbly Rosé de Noir!

Flying Goat Cellars is small but increasing production slightly each year, keeping close attention on every barrel. Winemaker Norman Yost has over 20 years winemaking experience, including Pinot production in the Russian River Valley in Northern California and the Wilamette Valley of Oregon, before settling in Santa Maria Valley in Santa Barbara County.

(Not to mention, their label is so damn cute!)

A sampling of their latest “kids” includes:

2004 Dierberg Pinot Noir
Ruby, with glints of garnet around the edges. Cherry aromas – red, Bing and black – plums, black cherry, cola, red plum and rhubarb. Long finish of red fruit, followed by hints of cocoa.
Only 267 cases produced. $38 per bottle.

Rio Vista Vineyard, clone 2A, Santa Rita Hills, 2004
Crimson with magenta highlights, aromas of berries, notes of violets, spice and rhubarb, a hint of earthiness and a lingering, lasting reminiscent note of hard raspberry candy.
Only 194 cases produced. $38 per bottle.

Rio Vista Vineyard, Santa Rita Hills, 2004
Glints of garnet, notes of leather, pepper and dark blackberries, smoky, mouth coating tastes of cola and dried blueberry. Medium body and firm structure, joined by lingering layers dark fruit, earth and dusty bakers chocolate tannins.
550 cases produced. $42 per bottle.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Enjoy the Mediterranean...

Charming Annapolis, Maryland has a new hotspot! Kyma specializes in Mediterranean cuisine… tapas, mezzes, wine… everything necessary to feel like you’re lounging on the edge of a sparkling azul sea - without the plane ride to Europe.

And, like every restaurant on The Liquid Muse radar, they boast this decorative cocktail.

The Mediterranean Martini

2 1/2 oz. 3 - Olive Citron Vodka

2 1/2 oz. Alize Blue

2 oz. White Cranberry Juice

Shake over ice. Serve in a chilled martini glass and garnish with a gummy fish.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Sipster Submission
(sipster: a member of The Liquid Muse community. Join for free, by emailing:

Pink Velvet

Sipster, Amy Jurist from LA, sent in this recipe – and I love it because, for me, the name of this drink conjures up images of gaudy ladies 'of a certain age' wearing pink velvet “leisure suits,” lots of gold jewelry and big hair, parked in front of a slot machine in Vegas lounges…

In other words, the aging remnants of Vegas’ good old days. The one that catered to fast-livers, hardened gamblers and women of ill-repute. The clandestine hang out of the Rat Pack and starlets, where a bad move could get a guy taken out to the desert, never to be seen again… The REAL Vegas before it became a diluted extension of Disneyland for college kids, convention-goers and obese tourists from middle-America.

And, then of course, there are the Pink Velvet Porn flicks, which is another subject entirely…

But, I digress in all my ramblings … here’s the drink!

Pink Velvet Martini

1 oz. vodka
1/2 oz. peach schnapps
2 oz. pineapple juice
splash Chambord

Combine vodka, schnapps and pineapple juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with Chambord.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Perfect Margarita

I get a lot of requests for the perfect margarita recipe. My first thought is that any cocktail stems from the quality of the base ingredient. In this case, I’m referring to Partida Tequila.

In a nutshell, this 100% agave, family estate-grown “Double Gold” winning tequila is so smooth and richly flavorful that it is almost criminal to put anything in it, at all.

The Anejo (aged) Partida Tequila which I sampled, is easily compared to a fine cognac. Definitely a ‘sipper,’ its deep amber hues and fragrance alone make the mouth water. Experiencing it on the palatte is an additional pleasure.

The 5,000-acre estate in Amatitan, Jalisco was founded by Enrique and Norberto Partida, in the 1930’s. The company is now run by Sophia, the youngest of Norberto’s 11 children. Ms. Partida considers her family business a way to stay connected with her Mexican heritage while presenting the legacy of superior agave tequila to the public.

My husband, Jason, and I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, so we are no strangers to a tequila drink. On the 4th of July, we indulged our good friends, Jackie and Tony, in Jason's recipe, or what we call “The Perfect Margarita.” Try it, and see if you agree:

"The Perfect Margarita"
3 oz. Partida Anejo
2 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
splash of Cointreau
1 tsp. of sugar

Dissovle the sugar into the lime juice. Combine all ingredients and shake vigorously with ice. Pour into chilled cocktail glasses, garnish with lime wheel. (Repeat.)

*Under no circumstances should you use ‘Sweet N’ Sour Mix’ with a fine tequila! You might as well pour the tequila down your kitchen sink.

On April 21, in The Liquid Muse archives, you can read a general piece I wrote about the process by which Agave tequila is made. If that doesn’t convince you of its virtue, by all means, splurge on a bottle of Partida… And, please, write in to tell me your thoughts! I’d love to hear if you Sipsters are as taken with it as I am!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Going To The Dogs, from Coast to Coast

I’ve heard guys refer to their adorable pooches as “chick magnets” and frankly, they’re not all wrong. Personally, I can’t resist a adorable mutt (and it doesn’t hurt if the dog is cute, too… wink, wink!) Bringing your furry friend along to mix-and-mingle is a great way to ‘break the ice’ when meeting new humans, not to mention contributing proceeds for animal-rescue shelters.

Los Angeles: Overlooking the downtown skyline, SKYBARk, launched in March, offers both humans and canines a lively social environment. On June 25th, Sky Bark collaborated with Le Paws, a talent agency for canine celebrities, to create the Woofers Ball. Limos, red carpets, live entertainment, and paparazzi greeted guests, who were taped for a reality show on Lifetime TV. Proceeds were donated to Animal Avengers, an animal rescue started by actress Shannon Elizabeth.
SkyBark, 1026 S. Santa Fe Ave, Penthouse, 90021. (Expanding to Boston in August
and Las Vegas in September, 2006)

Washington, DC: Helix Lounge, recently named one of the “best bars across the country” by InStyle Magazine, hosts the Dog Days of Summer Happy Hour every Wednesday throughout the summer, from 5-8 pm. Offering specialty cocktails (such as Pet Peeve, Pooch Hooch and Tail Ale) and appetizers from their Bark Bites menu. In addition, Doggie Style, DC’s premiere pooch emporium creates dog biscuits for the event. The pet-friendly parties benefit the Washington Humane Society. (for more about the Washington Humane Society, see below!)
Helix Lounge 1430 Rhode Island Ave, NW, (202) 462-9001;

The Washington Humane Society currently operates two shelters, a private shelter at 7319 Georgia Avenue, NW, and the D.C. Animal Shelter at 1201 New York Avenue, NE. These are the ONLY shelters in Washington where no animal is ever turned away. They handle approximately 12,000 animals a year, about 95% of all the homeless, abandoned, and abused animals in the District of Columbia.

Each week, the Washington Humane Society will bring an adoptable shelter dog to Helix Lounge for a fun break from life in the shelter and to meet potential adopters. Proceeds from drink sales and a weekly raffle item (supplied by the Hotel Helix) will benefit the work of the Washington Humane Society.

Scooter (pictured above) a 5-month mixed beagle puppy, had the time of his life meeting other dogs and sampling the abundant dog treats. He was turned in to the shelter because his person got tired of caring for a puppy. Happily, Scooter met someone at the party who was willing to take on this responsibility, and will return to the happy hour with his new owner!

photos courtesy of:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Feeling Patriotic?

If you’re spending the 4th in the Nation’s Capital, and looking for something special to do, check out Charlie Palmer’s place. In addition to a 3-course menu for $35, Sommelier, Nadine Brown, and bartender, Tracy Kinneahan, created a cocktail salute to the USA.

The Patriot Fizz

1 part Stoli Blueberry Vodka
1 part cranberry juice
Splash of Chambord for color

Shake ingredients, pour into a tall glass, over ice. Top with Westport Rivers Sparkling Cuvée (any dry, sparkling brut wine, preferably American!)

Garnish with sun-ripened blueberries and half a strawberry

Charlie Palmer Steakhouse: Capitol Hill at 101 Constitution Ave., NW

Monday, July 03, 2006

Art and the Drink

After a 5-year renovation, the Portrait Gallery has re-opened its doors in downtown Washington, DC. The breathtaking space immortalizes people who have impacted American society. Rosa Parks, George Washington, Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol are but a few diverse and notable figures who peer back at spellbound visitors.

Some of the bars and restaurants around Penn Quarter celebrate the Smithsonian’s newest and brightest jewel by creating cocktails in honor of the neighborhood museum.

Here are a few places to wet your whistle after a stroll through the gallery:

Zaytinya, 701 9th Street NW

1-1/2 oz. Hangar Mandarin Blossom Vodka
3/4 oz. Peach Schnapps
Splash Blue Curacao

Shake vodka, peach schnapps and blue curacao with ice. Pour into martini glass. Top with apricot foam.

Jaleo, 480 7th Street, NW

2-1/2 oz. Fino Sherry
Splash fresh lime-juice

Pour all ingredients into a tall glass, over ice.

Café Atlantico, 405 8th Street, NW

1-1/2 oz. rum
2-1/2 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1/2 oz. fresh lime-juice
cotton candy

Place cotton candy into glass. Pour shaken ingredients over the cotton candy, as it dissolves. The art is in the execution!

*All photos taken by Moshe Zusman