Born in D.C.: Celebrate the Rickey at the Passenger and Sushi at Sticky Rice

August 2, 2010

Often the District’s non-political culture feels manufactured, like all the people who live here and don’t work in government decided we need emblems other than the Washington Monument to remind everyone that there’s more to the city. Example: Calling some fossils discovered in Southeast the “Capitalsaurus” and making it D.C.’s “Official Dinosaur.”

Our unofficial cocktail, the rickey, has a much less obviously forced provenance. It was created here in the 1880s at a bar called Shoomaker’s and named for lobbyist Col. Joe Rickey, an early fan. The basic formula — liquor, lime, sparkling water and ice — makes for the kind of refreshment people probably killed each other over in the days before air conditioning. Thus the D.C. Craft Bartender’s Guild dubbed July “Rickey Month,” or as I like to call it, “Give Me the Icy Bubbly Stuff Before I Stab You Month.”

The grand finale is a party tonight at The Passenger (1021 7th St. NW) that features more than two dozen bartenders’ takes on the enduring local libation. Admission is $10, which includes a classic rickey.

Fresh Catch

The rule with sushi is don’t go on a Monday night — that’s when you’ll be eating the leftovers from the weekend. But Sticky Rice (1224 H St. NE ) claims its new fish shipment arrives Mondays, so all the sushi at that night’s happy hour — half-price from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. — should be fresh as can be.

Photo by Michael Temchine/The Washington Post

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