I forget exactly how I came across ALL SOULS but as soon as I did it was on my places to go list! And probably bumped a couple other places down a notch or two! We don’t venture over into Shaw too often but we’ve been exploring more and more places. (Like here when we dined at Espita Mezcaleria!) All Souls is absolutely true to it’s word- it’s a Corner Bar located at 8th & T NW, serving only cocktails, beer, and wine… that happen to be quite delicious! We opted to try drinks off the cocktail list which includes 22 simple yet tasty drinks made with some fun ingredients and definite attention to detail. And speaking of simple, All Souls decided instead of naming each cocktail they’d just number them so pick a number any number- it’s going to be good!
First Round: I went with No. 22: Bayou Rum, Cynar, Fresh Orange Juice and Regan’s Bitters. The Cynar definitely shines through making this cocktail a refreshing, bittersweet drink. Sounds a little like an oxymoron but I would definitely recommend! J ordered No. 6: Maker’s Mark, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Fresh Grapefruit and St. Germain. I actually preferred his over mine, it had a smoother less bittersweet taste.
Second Round: I wanted to order something that would be a good transition from my first cocktail so I decided on No. 1: The Barcelona. It was Maker’s Mark, Cointreau, Fresh Sour Mix & topped with Cava. I’m a sucker for anything with bubbles and this one intrigued me since I love a whiskey sour. It was good, very good, and the sour left you wanting more! J let me order his second round so I picked a cocktail that I was excited to try as well! I ordered the No. 4: Juan’s Chilean Afro. Kappa Pisco, Aperol, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, and Regan’s bitters. Once again, his drink won.
Final Round: Ok, let me remind you- All Souls is a corner bar, not a restaurant. So at this point we had two very delicious, but strong drinks and a small bowl of olives. We could have very easily stopped there but I am a sucker for namesakes and the last cocktail on the menu is named “The All Souls.” How could I resist?! It’s a sparkling Rose with a Maker’s Mark neat. Very pretty and aromatic Rose and it was amazing how the flavors exploded with the combination. But to be honest, I probably didn’t need that last drink… 😉
C’s Tip: All Souls is the perfect spot to grab some pre-dinner cocktails at a simple but fun bar with a cool vibe. Since they don’t have food menu, you are able to order food to be delivered to the bar OR you can pop around the corner to Haikan for some of the best Ramen in DC. Add a vegetable spicy bomb if you like your Ramen spicy!
I always thought that Daiquiris were the frozen syrupy drinks that make your head feel like it’s going to pop off when you wake up the next morning. Quickly I would skip over the Daiquiri on the menu while out sipping at cocktail bars deeming the Daiquiri ‘not worthy’ of being served at cocktail bars… until a couple weeks ago. I don’t know if it was because cold weather was lingering just a little too long & I had found myself wishing for a tropical drink or what, but J and I went to Church & State, a cocktail bar in the H Street Corridor that serves “All American” cocktails with homemade syrups and mixes.Thanks to their Daiquiri, I’m now singing a different tune.
Also, the Daiquiri also might be the simplest cocktail out there to mix up so all you “I’m not a mixologist” drinkers out there, you too can whip this up and impress your friends. Serve it with some tacos or if you’re feeling really sassy, swap out the traditional base, Aged Rum, with the smoky cousin of tequila- mezcal! I can’t wait to play around more with this recipe now that warm weather has made it’s arrival!
Here’s the recipe I came up with for the birth of the Mezquiri…
The Mezquiri | makes one cocktail
2 ounces Mezcal (I prefer Vida)
1 ounce lime juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
1 lime wheel, for garnish
1) In a cocktail shaker, combine the mezcal, lime juice and simple syrup.
2) Fill the shaker with ice; cap and shake for 15 seconds.
3) Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice cubes and garnish with the lime wheel. Serve immediately.
C’s Note: If you’re taking my recommendation and serving with tacos, try this recipe for Green Chile & Tomatillo Chicken tacos! You can garnish with cotija cheese & some thin jalapeno slices. Cheers!
Cold weather means bourbon weather. Here in DC, we’re experiencing some unusually warm temps for February (hello 65 degrees & sunny!) but it’s still winter and in winter I like bourbon based drinks & red wine. The warm temps just make me want to drink a little earlier 😉
I shared our absolute favorite favorite bourbon cocktail recipe in this post, but I also like trying a few new ones just to keep it interesting.
Full disclosure; The Big Texan Bourbon calls for Basil and unfortunately I didn’t have anything but rosemary sprigs and some dried herbs when I was making this. I’ve tried dried cooking herbs in cocktails and they just don’t work out that well (insert: brush your teeth after!) so I substituted the basil for rosemary which was still super tasty! I have since tried the cocktail with basil, and that’s super yummy too!
The Big Texan Bourbon | makes one cocktail
2 tablespoons fresh grapefruit juice
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
1/2 tablespoon simple syrup
2 basil leaves
1 grapefruit slice or peel
In a cocktail shaker, combine the grapefruit juice, bourbon, simple syrup and basil. Fill a chilled rocks glass with ice. Add 5 ice cubes to the shaker and shake well. Strain the drink into the ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with the grapefruit peel and cherry.
C’s Tip: Make your own Bourbon-Soaked Cherries:
1 cup bourbon, ⅔ cup sugar, ¼ cup fresh orange juice, 1 1-inch strip orange peel, 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ pound cherries, pitted
Combine the bourbon, sugar, orange or citrus juice and orange peel in a small saucepan. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Combine the bourbon mixture and cherries in a container and seal. Cool to room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator and let chill for at least three days before using.