The Tasting Panel magazine

December 2017

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102  /  the tasting panel  /  december 2017 N ot since Pierre Charles L'Enfant put his stamp on the city's layout has the District sported such a French makeover. Gallic fever has indeed taken over Washington, D.C., with beverage programs at three new Francophilian spots touting ingre- dients and techniques straight from l'Hexagone. Ooh la la! BRESCA One of nature's most perfect shapes—the very same that inspired France's sobriquet—is behind cocktail consultant Juan Coronado's beverage program at chef Ryan Ratino's new avant-garde French restaurant Bresca. "Hexagons are as close as nature comes to magic," Coronado says. "They're ubiquitous and their properties are incredibly inspiring." One of the most obvious examples is the geometrical honeycomb that gave the restaurant its name (the Spanish term for honeycomb is "bresca"). Bee byproducts find their way into several of Bresca's drinks, including the deconstructed French 75 with honey- infused gin, clarified citrus, bee nectar, and Champagne syrup; the Bee's Knees with beeswax gin, truffle honey, and citrus served in bee-shaped glassware with a silver-winged lid; and the Pollination, with vodka, bee nectar, and a cordial made with gentian, citrus, and chamomile. According to Coronado, bee nectar provides a different texture than sugar, as well as a more aromatic and flavorful sweetness. While behind the bar at Bresca, Coronado reaches for French ingre- dients like Chartreuse, Avèze liqueur, and absinthe, and tends to take a more savory approach when creating cocktails to pair with Ratino's inventive cuisine. The Sirene's oyster shell vodka, dry vermouth, and Manzanilla Sherry verjus olives served in a glass fish bottle work especially well when paired with oysters topped with an Earl Grey black pepper foam. "Bresca is a way to tell Washingtonians that a little piece of France's culinary history is alive and booming on 14th Street," Coronado says. PHOTO: REY LOPEZ The Bee's Knees cock- tail at Bresca features beeswax gin, truffle honey, and citrus. FRANCOPHILES CAN TAKE THEIR PICK OF DELICIOUS COCKTAILS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. by Kelly Magyarics, DWS FRANCOPHILES CAN TAKE THEIR PICK OF Savoir Boire

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