Smoke and Beers: Zola Turns Whiskey Into a Summer Drink

June 27, 2011


Summer is not the time for whiskey. Summer is for gin — Rickeys and Southsides — and for tequila. Whiskey’s a dark, cozy drink made for sipping while curled up on couches by fires, probably while reading Dickens or something.

A good bartender can change anyone’s mind, though. Zola‘s Micah Wilder has come up with the Smoke ($12), a whiskey drink so good it’ll make your eyes widen. Laphroaig 10-year-old scotch and an ice cube infused with a smoky apple flavor — it’s simple but stunning, and it comes with a little skewer of pork belly. Suddenly, whiskey is a summer drink: This feels like sitting by a campfire. Where are the s’mores? No, seriously, the first person to bring s’mores gets a prize.

But enough about the most amazing cocktail you’ll ever have*. Here’s the other exciting news: Zola’s happy hour is back. It had been greatly missed since it was axed, presumably because the $1 sliders were too good a deal to be true.

The new happy hour is slightly altered. Between 4 and 6 p.m. and 9:30 and 11 p.m. on weekdays, you can get $5 cocktails and wine; $4 beers; and a variety of small plates that range from lobster rolls ($4) to beef sliders ($8).

*Actually, you haven’t had that cocktail yet. I may or may not have secret knowledge of when you will come upon that cocktail, but either way, I cannot reveal the answer. Life is a mystery, and everyone must stand alone.

Photo by Michael Williamson/The Washington Post

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express · June 26, 2011