Refresh Your Spirits

Try mixing these delicious cocktails from some of DC’s best bars and restaurants (featuring your favorite Italian liquors).

For our members in the nation’s capital, the DCist has conjured up a voyage through the mixology landscape with stops at all things Italian. Visit one of these great bars to sample a delicious and refreshing Italian summer drink.

For the rest of you who are feeling adventurous, try mixing these recipes at your next get-together. Or, simply make one for yourself and have a siesta!

Whatever you do, be sure to enjoy life, your family, and some good conversation. And don’t forget to share your favorite Italian cocktail recipes with the rest of us!

This article, written by Alicia Mazzara, appears on DCist:

Classic Cocktailist: Italian Summer Edition

Summer would be unbearable without the flavorful and low alcohol content of Italian spirits. The citrus zip of Aperol, the bitter bite of amari, and the soft sugar notes of vermouth just lend themselves to all-day sipping on the patio. As D.C. drinkers are broadening their spirits horizons every year, it should be no surprise that bars are beginning to stock these tasty and sometimes hard-to-find liqueurs. Nor is it a surprise that Urbana (2121 P Street NW), the Palomar Hotel’s Italian-influenced restaurant and bar, has an entire cocktail menu—from light summer coolers, to strong fortified nightcaps—devoted to the use of Italian spirits.

I was fortunate enough to be invited to taste Urbana’s summer cocktail menu and talk to its creator, head bartender Andrea “Drea” Tateosian. Formerly a bartender at The Gibson, Tateosian has recently returned from Europe, bringing with her all she gleaned from the hottest cocktail trends.

“My goal for this menu is to incorporate as many Italian ingredients as possible without driving people away with too many amari,” she says.

Tateosian began my tour with the Estate Cooler, a mildly alcoholic bubbly drink with Cocchi Americano, cucumber infused #3 gin, Campari, and grapefruit tonic. She tells me that the drink’s name has a double meaning: “Estate means summer in Italian, but it is also a drink I would enjoy on the veranda of an estate home if I had one.”

Another sweeter sipper, You Tuacan’ To Me, will have you practicing your Italian-American accent when you order it. It’s a strawberry-infused Espolon blanco tequila drink with lemon and, of course, the vanilla and spice of Tuaca. Tateosian hopes this gentle cocktail can change the minds of guests who have had bad experiences with tequila in the past.

From there we moved on to stronger stuff.

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