Photos by Clarissa Villondo
Words by Kaylee Dugan
Bars all over the District are getting in the election spirit with politically themed cocktails. From the cheesy to the straightforward, you can order a drink pledging your allegiance to Clinton or Trump in many of the bars around D.C. With Bourbon Steak‘s newest cocktail menu, the power lunch / dinner / any meal restaurant is throwing their hat in the ring in a very different way.
Instead of thinking up pun filled names or using the cocktails as way to poke fun at the current candidates, Bourbon Steak has reached back into the past with four classic cocktails. Inspired by the tastes of Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, James Buchanan, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, the cocktails are incredibly boozy and packed with flavor. However, Bourbon Steak isn’t simply serving up some new cocktails, they’re also giving everyone who orders one a chance to win a free night in the presidential suite. For each cocktail you order, you’ll be able to put your name in the ballot box in order to win a free night and dinner at the restaurant. Not to mention, $5 from the $20 cocktails will go toward the non-profit, Rock the Vote. So it’s almost like you’re drinking for a good cause.
We started with the Hoover inspired cocktail, The Chief. It’s a slight twist on a dirty martini, made with Absolut Elyx, house made truffle brine, and then served with white truffle stuffed olives. If you’re a vodka fan, this is certainly the way to go. I hate dirty martinis because I seriously can’t stand olives, but the addition of the white truffle really made it more palatable while giving the drink a little complexity. If you’re more of a whisky drinker, you’ll probably want to check out the Give ‘Em Hell Harry. A mixture of bourbon, Lustau cream, sherry, and a housemade spiced tincture. Despite all of the different flavors at play, this is wildly drinkable, and almost feels like a more delicate version of a Manhattan.
If you’re looking for something a little more flavor forward, look no further than the Whizbanger. A play off of the Whiz Bang, the Eisenhower inspired cocktail is made up of scotch, grenadine, absinthe, dry vermouth, and orange bitters. It’s floral as hell, and the combination of absinth and scotch really gives it a kick. Finally, if you’re the kind of person who is looking for a patio pounder no matter what the season, the Sherry Cobbler is exactly what you’re looking for. With Lustau sherry, brandy, muddled Berries, lemon juice, a little bit of ginger, and bitters, it’s bright and citrusy and stupidly easy to drink. This is the kind of cocktail that would make you feel like it was summer, even if it was the dead of winter.
If you’re looking for something a little different than what most of D.C. is offering, Bourbon Steak is exactly what you need.