The Washington Post

Coolness and heat, in one cocktail

While Spirits columnist Jason Wilson is on a summer hiatus, we will offer a biweekly cocktail recipe that fits the season, created by some of the Washington area’s most innovative mixologists, including Chantal Tseng of the Tabard Inn, Derek Brown of the Passenger and Jason Stritch of Rasika.

The recipes have been compiled by Victoria Vergason, who owns the Hour, a mostly vintage cocktail accessories shop in Alexandria. Next month, she will self-publish “Capitol Cocktails” (, $35), an illustrated collection “that showcases our great local cocktail culture,” she says.

First up: Angels and Demons, from John K. Hogan of Level Small Plates Lounge in Annapolis. The place is known for sourcing local, sustainable ingredients, so Hogan says he was out to make something “fresh, simple and food-friendly.”

“We use local habaneros from Gorman Farm and micro cilantro from Davoncrest Farm as the base for this savory aperitif cocktail,” he says. “The result is floral, zesty and citrusy, a wonderful balance of savory and spicy.”

And here’s his insider advice about ordering an Angels and Demons at Level: You’ll have a devil of a time finding it on the menu. (It’s not listed.) You have to ask the bartender to make you one, and he or she can customize its heat.

Angels and Demons, a cocktail by John Hogan of Level in Annapolis. (Mary Estes/PHOTO BY MARY ESTES)


Angels and Demons

Bonnie S. Benwick has the job most envied among cocktail-party conversations. If they only knew ... Cook with her each week at Dinner in Minutes:



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