Brothers Jared and Arthur Ringel, who own and run one of my go-to sit-down restaurants, DC Harvest, recently invited Mr. and Mrs. Barred in DC to check out the “DCH Mixology Class.” This independently owned spot, which recently celebrated its 5 year anniversary at its 6th and H St. NE location, serves popular brunches, well-priced local and seasonal dinners, and really good cocktails and beer. The mixology class, which costs a very reasonable $45 (with service fee/tax, a shade under $60 total), features a choice of any three of the spot’s signature cocktails along with any appetizer ($14 or less). Given that 3 cocktails themselves if individually purchased cost around $40, this is a solid deal
The class, which can be as educational (or not) as you want, is set up at the bar and usually taught by Jared. The co-owner explains in detail the inspiration for each cocktail (and its name) and what’s in it, and shows you how it’s made. He also shares some tips along the way that you can take home with you to make great cocktails. If you’re with more than yourself, I highly recommend getting different cocktails so you can sample the whole menu.
The whole menu, including the drinks, are seasonal, so we sampled some great fall cocktails, almost all made with spirits from DC, Virginia, or Maryland. The Apiary features honey (harvested by a DC Harvest server), lemongrass, bee pollen, angelica oil, and a Dutch-style gin; the Citron was quite garden-like, with limoncello (from local distiller Don Cicio & Figlo), house-made zucchini shrub, topped off with heirloom cherry tomatoes; the beautiful Pitaya is made with Falls Church Bourbon (the brothers are from there), dragon fruit syrup, lemon juice, elderflower syrup, and shiso; The Espadin Experiment is only one not made with local spirits, but makes sense, as it featues mezcal, along with roasted cashews, poblano peppers, toasted coconut syrup, and lime juice. I really dug the Monticello which is made with an agave-based spirit from Gray Wolf in St Michael’s (Eastern Shore MD), a housemade paw paw cordial, lemon juice, gomme syrup, nutmeg, and egg white. The one cocktail that is year-round at DCH, Kentucky Windage, is made with Kentucky Gentleman bourbon that has been house-“boosted” to add flavor with gomme syrup and house-made bitters.
The class is available basically every night (except certain holidays), with seatings on the half-hour 5:30-8:30p Sun-Thurs and 5:30-9:30p Fri-Sat. Book at the link.