The Sheppard


Editorial Review

"You can’t take photos in here," a fancifully mustachioed man behind the bar at The Sheppard — the new speakeasy off of Dupont Circle — tells me as I pull out my phone to snap a picture of the bar.

"But I’m a reporter," I say.

"Sorry, it’s our policy."

I knew this place was inspired by the Prohibition era, but I didn’t realize the technology usage had to match. I’m a little ruffled until the killjoy hands me an Opiate cocktail ($15) to smooth things over. It’s made with poppy and jasmine liqueurs, vodka and citrus, and what little bite it has is countered by a soft floral finish.

All is right with the world. After chatting, I learn my trusty bartender is Jack Caminos, beverage consultant for The Sheppard.

The New York native was tapped by owners Spike Mendelsohn (Good Stuff Eatery, Bearnaise) and Vinoda Basnayake (Kabin) to develop the hidden bar’s cocktail menu.

On the drink list you’ll certainly see a Manhattan, Ramos Gin Fizz and Blood and Sand. ("It’s not just for winter months," Caminos says of the smoky, scotch-based cocktail.)

But Caminos also takes some liberties with libations, like the San Franpisco Sour (a Pisco Sour with a chamomile infusion). At least he serves them while wearing a tweed vest most of the time.

-- Holley Simmons (July 31, 2014)