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Posted at 01:58 PM ET, 08/24/2011

The darkest cocktails in town


The Captor of Gin was a standout at a previous Spirits in Black happy hour. Named after a Slayer song, the citrusy, herbal drink — a mix of genever, bourbon, orange aperitif and vermouth — was garnished with a piece of lemon peel cut into a cross. (Fritz Hahn - The Washington Post)
Washington D.C. doesn’t have a heavy metal cocktail bar, but if it did, I’d imagine it would be something like American Ice Company’s monthly Spirits in Black happy hour. Every month, American Ice bartenders Patrick Owens and Ashley May invite a guest bartender to help them write a menu of metal-inspired original cocktails — tonight’s star is Paul Michel, a musician and drink-slinger at the Tabard Inn — while a DJ spins a blistering playlist heavy on Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Sepultura or Metallica.

Some twists on classic cocktails take their names from bands (Napalm Death in the Afternoon, with a smoky house-made scorched absinthe) while other originals were inspired by songs. The Thing That Should Not Be, which takes its name from the Metallica tune, looked like a tropical concoction when you read the list of ingredients on the menu — aged rum, plum, lemon juice and sweet Velvet Falernum — but Owens added squid ink for a briny, savory taste and an unusual jet-black color.

The music and the theme are fun — as is seeing how many names of cocktails you “get” — but the excellence of the cocktails is what takes the night over the top.


The Darkest Sour is one of the most popular drinks at Spirits in Black. That’s the logo of local thrash band Darkest Hour on top: Bartender Patrick Owens shakes egg whites with bourbon, Cynar, Fernet Branca, port and blood orange juice to make a frothy base, and then sprays bitters through a homemade stencil to add the art. Unfortunately, someone stole the stencil at the last happy hour, so it won’t be made tonight. (Fritz Hahn - The Washington Post)


The cocktail menu from the first Spirits in Black, showing drinks named after metal bands and songs (and using proper fonts, where appropriate). Note the fiyer for the Maryland Death Fest — they know where their audience will be. (Fritz Hahn - The Washington Post)

By  |  01:58 PM ET, 08/24/2011

Categories:  Bars and Clubs

 
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