The Story Behind the Rickey, D.C’s “Native Cocktail”

Shoomaker’s, the home of the Rickey, in 1917. Image via

Find a highball glass. Take a lime, cut it in half. Squeeze a half into the glass, then drop in the shell. Add a dose of dry gin or rye whiskey, then top with soda water and stir.

You’ve just made a “Rickey”—circa-1880-style—the drink that last year became by ordinance of the city government D.C.’s native cocktail.

“We’re one of two cities that has named an official cocktail,” says Garrett Peck, a local historian who was instrumental in the process. “New Orleans is the other. Do you know what drink is theirs?”

The Hurricane, obviously.

“No, it was actually the Sazerac,” says Peck, “since the Hurricane was actually created in Wisconsin.”

It was behind the bar of a saloon called Shoomaker’s  on what is now Pennsylvania Avenue that the Rickey was created some 130 years ago. Called “Rum Row,” the stretch of the city that was home to Shoomaker’s is believed to be the highest concentration of bars that this country has ever seen.

“It was called ‘the walk of magnificent distances,’ because you could walk all the way home going from drink to drink to drink,” says Derek Brown, co-owner of a D.C. duo of craft cocktail bars, the Passenger and Columbia Room. “Shoomaker’s, though, was the star.”

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Look What We Found on 14th Street This Morning: Batch 13, a New Small-Batch Liquor, Wine, and Beer Store

At a wee morning hour that was definitely more café au lait than craft brew, we spotted this freshly minted wine/liquor/beer store on 14th, just doors down from Cork and Peregrine Espresso. We can’t find a website, but did come across an article posted late last week on Borderstan.  Here’s what they have to say:

Batch 13
 is the place to go if you are looking for special beer, wine or spirits. The two-level store has been open for a week now. At 1724 14th St NW (between R and S Streets), it is a new retail addition on the block. After some six months of waiting for permits — and then renovations to the former Dogs by Day daycare space — the liquor store’s decor is a delight to the eyes.

We spoke to one of the managers of Batch 13 who told us, “Batch 13 is a fun place to shop and learn about beer, wine and spirits.” The store has more than 1,000 craft beers from small breweries — a paradise to the aficionado. It also carries a wide selection of wines and will be carrying small batches of bourbons and whiskeys. It is the place where you can find a brand you know, or Distilled Aventinus, which sells for $98 per bottle.

Batch 13 eventually plans to open rooftop for special tastings and gatherings. Batch 13 has tastings every Friday and Saturday from 6 pm to 9 pm. The store is open from Monday to Thursday from 2 pm to 10 pm, Fridays and Saturdays from 12 to 11 pm. They also deliver.

Denizens of 14th Street, have you checked it out yet?  If so, give us the scoop by leaving us a comment, or tweeting at us at @GlassifiedDC.

Because You Can Only Drink So Many Margaritas: 4 Refreshingly Fresh Cocktails To Make This Weekend

Newsflash, Washingtonians:  It’s hot.

The kind of hot, in fact, that renders even rooftop patios unbearable, that makes the three-block walk to the metro feel like a trek through the Amazon rainforest. When you can’t bear the thought of yet another Saturday spent “experimenting” with margarita recipes or sipping a glass (or three) of chilled white wine, it’s time to mix up some new-to-you cocktails from the comfort of your air-conditioned home bar. Here are a few recipes that we’ve been eyeing around the blogosphere.

Ginger Campari Slushies via Design Love Fest


The only thing we love more than this cocktail’s pairing of Campari and zippy ginger is its gorgeous, rosy glow. It’s a slurp-able frozen sip that’s just the right balance of bitter and sweet.

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Feeling Frenchy? Our Top 3 Picks for Bastille Day Wining and Dining

Courtesy of Mintwood Place.

If French maid races, masquerade balls, and baguette relays lack a certain je ne sais quoi for you, and don’t really appeal as suitable choices for Bastille Day fêtes, look no further. These three options will allow you to celebrate the quatorze juillet this Saturday evening in that most French-iest of ways: good food, good wine, and good company. Here are our picks for Bastille Day plans in the District:

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