These 10 cocktails, selected by the editors of Restaurant Hospitality, showcase bartenders’ creative takes on top bar trends. Read on and get inspired. See all the winners >>
Where to get it: The Alex Craft Cocktail Cellar & Speakeasy, Washington, D.C.
Creator: Mark Namdar, manager of the Graham Georgetown hotel
Ingredients: Housemade gin that incorporates juniper, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, bitter lemon peel and orange peel, combined with unfiltered tonic infused with lemongrass, citrus and quinquina bark.
About the drink: The Alex Craft Cocktail Cellar & Speakeasy has taken a page from history and created authentic bathtub gin that it uses as the primary ingredient in its classic gin and tonic. The service in a miniature bathtub makes it instantly Instagram-able.
A look at the trend: Bartenders are giving diners good reason to pull out their phones.
This Bathtub Gin presentation is a blatant plea for a photo, but it’s also a clever reference to The Alex’s speakeasy positioning and a way to be remembered.
The gin is housemade — true to its name — in the style of bathtub gin made in the Prohibition era, said Mark Namdar, manager of the Graham Georgetown hotel, where the bar is located. Rather than a base of pure alcohol, however, Namdar uses vodka, which he steeps with botanicals common to gin, like juniper berry, fennel, bay leaves, grapefruit, caraway, cardamom and cinnamon. The tonic is also housemade.
“People love it. It’s on Instagram everywhere, and it got a write-up in some local magazines, and we had so many people come in I ran out of bathtubs. I had to restock,” Namdar said. “Now people ask if they can buy them.”