By now, my dimly lit cocktail bar photography should be legendary. I won’t use a flash, even where permitted (and here it most definitely wasn’t), so as to not disturb other people or draw attention to my blogginess. But alas, I blog anyway, although I try to do so covertly. In this case, the image at right is a picture of our first course at the Columbia room: the Pegu Club Cocktail.
In the back of the Washington D.C. bar The Passenger is where this wonderful place lives. A quiet bar in the back which seats nine. Reservation only (including a private restroom for just the patrons of the back bar). For a prix-fixe price you get three drinks: the house drink, a drink paired with a small course, and one drink tailor-made to your specifications. The bar is attended by two knowledgeable bartenders who consistently impressed me with not only good drinks, but really stood out in the final course where they came up with our individualized cocktails.
As gin drinkers, you probably want to know about the gin. The bar’s selection is more “curated” as to provide options for as many drinks as possible, rather than “deep.” Only a couple of gins were present, but fortunately Plymouth and Tanqueray 10 were making their rounds, so at least you know they’re thinking quality.
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It seems like there’s a few hot trends among gin distillers. One of them definitely is the creation of “seasonal” or “limited edition” runs. Green Hat Distilled Gin from New Columbia Distillers in Washington D.C. burst onto the scene just late last year, and in addition to their rather excellent, in this reviewer’s opinion, Green Hat Gin, they’ve released their first seasonal selection for this year’s spring and summer.
As it’s a seasonal gin for spring and summer, I’m heavily assuming this is a gin built for the official drink of summer: the Gin and Tonic. I’m going to factor that heavily into my review of this drink. In my opinion, if you’re putting out a seasonal gin for summer, you’ve got to be able to handle lazy days in the yard -being combined all willy-nilly with lemonade, tonic, or whatever else might be sitting in the cooler. But fear not, I’ll test it in some proper cocktails too, because although I like the idyllic vision of pulling a bottle gin out of the cooler on the beach, I know that properly made bar cocktails deserve a little bit of summer love too.
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A couple of weekends ago I paid visit to Washington D.C.’s preeminent Gin distillery. Not only was it great to meet the people behind the operation, see their great space, but I was also amazed at the buzz of activity in their distillery on a Saturday afternoon. People were laughing loudly at a bottling party; there was a constant stream of folks coming in for tastings and tours. I’ve been in some museums that would be envious of the size of the tour group that I saw in the distillery on this Saturday. So all in all, the distillery was quite a hub of activity in what at first sight seemed like a rather out of the way location in Washington D.C.*.
Now there are two things most people want to know about this gin.
One) How does it taste.
Two) Why “Green Hat.”
Well I’m only equipped to answer one of those questions. If you want to learn about the Green Hat, go to the New Columbia Distillers’ website. The come back here for the review.
About the Gin, not the Hat.
The nose is very floral, very pronounced.
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