The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2018

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26  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2018 CAP TOL CAP TOL TOL FUNKY DRINKS, MOLECULAR MIXOLOGY, AND A PANEL OF D.C.'S FEMALE BEVERAGE PROS HAS US THIRSTY FOR MORE THIS MONTH by Kelly Magyarics, DWS H ow do you follow up one of the most popular eateries in all of Washington, D.C.? With another one, of course. Rose Previte's international street food at Compass Rose has been a neighborhood staple for four years, and her second restaurant, Maydan, fuses North African and Middle Eastern cuisine. I was the (very grateful) plus-one of a good friend and fellow booze writer recently for dinner, when we grabbed a table overlooking the fire pit that serves as the restaurant's focal point. The space is gorgeous—exposed brick, copper touches, and vibrant dry-brushed walls—but not as stunning as the food and drink itself. The Za'atar, an herbal take on the Martini, features local products District Distilling Co. Wild June Gin and Capitoline Blanc Vermouth, as well as a handful of sumac and thyme, a spritz of argan oil, and an olive garnish. Whatever you decide food-wise, get #AllTheCondiments so you can dip every- thing from grilled eggplant to lamb kebabs in harissa, chermoula, and other delicious options. The skin-contact section of the wine list, meanwhile, offers funky orange wines from Georgia and Greece. It was a flavorful, fun culinary trip of a night, but let's face it: Most of the time adulting is no picnic, and sometimes we crave those carefree days of childhood. Fortunately, the team at José Andrés' barmini has created a whimsical seven- cocktail flight that taps into that thirst for nostalgia. The carrot- and ginger-based jarmini comes in a baby food jar topped with a sugar snap pea espuma, while the Abracadabra with honey vodka, Singani, coconut, lavender, and lemongrass finds its magic in the form of color-morphing butterfly pea flower and ice cubes that instantly form from water poured into a metal canister. (I'm still scratching my head over that last bit.) For the Saturday Morning Cartoons cocktail, my friend and I were given boxes of Chef Crunch cereal to pour into bowls containing brandy, black walnut, cereal milk, and vanilla (yes, we ate it all with a spoon). And after building a path for our Lego minifigure, we were rewarded with a smoky, spicy mezcal and amaro libation, its surface frozen over with liquid nitrogen. So many fabulous women work within the city's beverage industry, and I was lucky to moderate a recent panel featuring three of them during the latest install- ment of "What She Said" at the POV lounge in the W Hotel. Emily Bruno, founder and Director of Business Operations at Denizens Brewing Company; Rachel Gardner, co-founder and Head Distiller at Republic Restoratives Distillery; and Maydan's Previte talked about the paths to their respective careers, challenges they continue to face, and the future of women leading in the workplace. Spoiler alert: It looks to be as strong and vibrant as a finely crafted Negroni. Kelly Magyarics, DWS, is a wine, spirits, and lifestyle writer and wine educator in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached through her website,, or on Twitter and Instagram @kmagyarics. Stirring Up Summer An herbal take on the Martini: the Za'atar at Maydan featuring gin, vermouth, sumac, thyme, and argan oil. PHOTO: JAKE EMEN PHOTO: REY LOPEZ The seven-drink cocktail flight at José Andrés' barmini is a nostalgic look back to childhood.

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