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Photos by Nicholas Karlin
Words by Kaylee Dugan

Everything is better with booze. Any meal, and (almost…) activity can be improved with a good cocktail in your hand. So If you’re the kind of person who was taking measures into their own hands, the kind of person who’s been sneaking flasks into &pizza to make the delight that is eating pizza just a little bit better, you’re in luck. &pizza’s brand new Chinatown location has more than just a new color scheme, it also has a brand new bar featuring three meticulously designed cocktails. Sure, &pizza has been offering beer and wine for a while now, but there’s nothing quite like sitting at a bar with a slice of pizza in one hand and some whisky in the other.

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The three cocktails are designed, much like their pizzas, to give you a quality product for your money. Each one is going to run you $8, but promises to pack a decently boozy punch. The first, which is made with a base of Republic Restoratives Civic Vodka, leans fruity and refreshing. It combines the local vodka with &pizza’s most popular soda ever, their ginger berry lemonade, and also includes a little sparkling water for some carbonation. It goes down incredibly easy. It wouldn’t be too hard to accidentally have one or two more of these than you intended.

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The next drink I tried was their bourbon cocktail. Made with Boar Creek’s Appalachian whisky, it’s the booziest tasting by far. The young whisky is combined with their peach ginger tea and then garnished with a lemon peel and brandied cherries. The sweet peach and ginger flavors in the tea help temper the strong taste of the whisky, but it’s still a much more booze forward drink than the other two cocktails. This has been the favorite drink of &pizza’s staff by far and considering how crazy everyone is about whisky these days, I can imagine it will be one of the more popular drinks.

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Next was their tequila cocktail. Made with Tequila Cabeza, this is basically a riff of a tequila sunrise, with beautiful layers of tequila, grenadine, and their mango passion fruit soda. The rim of the drink is covered in a spicy sweet salt which mirrors the flavors of the drink. It’s a bubbly and light cocktail that gets an added bite from the cayenne in the salt and the smokiness of the tequila. This is definitely the most complex of the three cocktails, and if you’re pairing it with a pizza, I’d go for something a little more straightforward.

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One of the great things about the bars set up, is that you won’t have to wander downstairs to grab a pizza, you’ll be able to order straight from the bartender and someone will bring it up to you. So if you’re looking to elevate your &pizza experience, pre-game a Verizon center outing, or just get drunk and stuff your face, I can’t imagine a better place than their brand new bar.

&pizza Chinatown is located at 705 H Street NW and opens September 28. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Sunday thru Thursday and 11 a.m to 3 a.m. Friday thru Saturday.

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