Words by Kaylee Dugan
Photos by Nicholas Karlin
I’m letting you know this right now so that you can be ahead of the curve and seem cooler than your friends, but beer cocktails are going to be the next big trend in D.C. I don’t have any hard evidence per se, but I can feel it in my bones. It doesn’t hurt that one of our favorite U Street locations, District Distilling Co. has just released a mini collaboration with one of our favorite breweries, 3 Stars. The idea behind the drinks is to showcase both District Distilling’s spirits and 3 Stars’ beers in equal measure. Considering the amount of amazing distilleries and breweries popping up in D.C., I wont be surprised if all of your favorite bars start doing this. Hell, now with District Winery open, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone manages to create a cocktail that manages to combine local beer, liquor and wine.
It all boils down to the fact that we’re lucky. Our city is filled with creative people who are making delicious things. District Distilling Co. and 3 Stars are taking advantage of it. The collaboration may only consist of three cocktails, but it’s an ongoing and evolving partnership, one that might involve us seeing new seasonal recipes. While I can’t wait for what’s the come, let’s take a look at what they have going on now.
The Moon Cloud is a mixture of Above the Clouds Farmhouse Pale Ale, Corridor Rye Vodka, Campari and orange bitters. Like most of these drinks, it goes down so much smoother than you would imagine. The farmhouse pale ale brings a little bit of funk, the vodka rye brings a little bit of spice and the Campari introduces that beautiful bitter component. Throw in a little dash of citrus, and you’re good to go.
The Passion Spice takes a different approach. Combining the Backroom Bourbon, the Peppercorn Saison, a passion fruit ginger puree, lemon juice and orange bitters, it’s a a bright and spicy drink that makes itself known. The Peppercorn Saison and Backroom bourbon work really nicely together and the passion fruit and ginger mix adds a little depth and stops it from getting so boozy you’ll get wrecked after two drinks.
My personal favorite, the Grey Ghost, sits right in between the punch of the Passion Spice and the delicate flavors of the Moon Cloud. Made with Wild June gin, 3 Stars Ghost White IPA, earl grey syrup, lemon juice and water, it’s got plenty of flavor, but never tastes overwhelming. The IPA and the gin mix deliciously, but that earl grey syrup makes all the difference in the world.
Need a snack while you’re working your way through their drink menu? The fried chicken biscuit is a forever favorite, but mix it up with the chorizo biscuit, which adds a a spicy housemade chorizo to their flaky and delicate housemade biscuit. The sliders are also a good bet, but really everything I’ve tried here is delicious. Whether you’re looking for good cocktails or good food, District Distillery Co. has your back.