Nojito: The Mylan

By Lavanya Ramanathan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 5, 2009

There's a thrill that comes from ordering a mojito. For a moment, your bartender stops ignoring you and throws himself into mashing your limes and mint -- all that labor, time and care, for your drink alone.

Bar Pilar's former bar manager, Adam Bernbach, preserves that little pleasure in his more-exotic-than-it-seems nojito, which he dubbed the Mylan. Bernbach muddles cubes of cantaloupe drizzled with agave syrup, then adds tequila and ice. A few quick shakes, then he pours it all back into a glass and tops it with beer.

Beer and tequila? In one glass? Bernbach held court over a weekly series at Bar Pilar called Cocktail Sessions, where he developed a reputation for mixing up unusual flavors, including barbecued scotch and tarragon-plum gastrique. He'll serve the Mylan at his new one-off sessions later this month. The Mylan is named for his girlfriend's Arkansas-based mother, Ginger Milan, who adds a splash of Corona to her margaritas. Indeed, the sweet and peppery Mylan enjoys a certain simple Southern charm.

"I should point out that I really made it my mission to use ingredients that are available at any supermarket and liquor store," he says. The beer is pilsner and the tequila is the herbal Partida Blanco, but it could just as easily be Budweiser and PatrĂ³n, he says. Agave is an increasingly popular, neutral sweetener that comes from the same source as tequila (cactus), so the two blend well. Skip the garnish, and head straight to the sipping.

It tastes like the exact sort of elixir you would drink sitting on a porch in Austin, waiting for the sun to set.

Receipe: The Mylan

The Mylan will be served when Bernbach joins Owen Thomson for a drinks event, "Benjamin's Bar Mitzvah," at the Warehouse Theater on June 15; he will host a series of cocktail tastings called "Mixtape Arsonist" at the Warehouse on June 21 and 28. Warehouse Theater, 1021 Seventh St. NW. 202-783-3933 or

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