Have you had enough Rickeys yet this summer? The D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild wraps up its annual month-long celebration of "D.C.'s Native Cocktail" this Sunday at Jack Rose, where the Best Rickey in Washington will be crowned at an afternoon competition and celebration.
Throughout the month, 50 different bartenders from the D.C. area – and as far afield as Baltimore – have been serving their own twists on the classic Rickey, a simple recipe that involves a spirit (bourbon, rye whiskey or gin) and the juice of half of a lime, topped up with soda water. The field has been narrowed to the top eight bartenders, who will whip up drinks for judges and the public on Sunday afternoon.
The $35 admission includes unlimited Rickeys from the eight finalists from 4 to 8 p.m., plus sandwiches and appetizers. The winner will be announced at 7.
This year's contest wasn't as well publicized as in recent years – there wasn't the usual "passport" that was taken around to different bar, for example – but some of the cocktails are rather outstanding. (Full disclosure: I was one of a team of chefs, bartenders and industry folks who helped select the eight finalists, but will not be judging the final contest.)
Here's the list bartenders who made it to the Elite Eight. If you can't make it on Sunday, be sure to stop into the bars and ask for a Rickey.
Julien Bourgon of Bar TNT: War Pig Rickey
Geraldine Galdamez of Tryst: 1700 Park Rd.
Danyelle Hadaway of Tryst: The Gin Rhuby
Jamie McBain and Duane Sylvestre of Bourbon Steak: The Saltire
Dane Nakamura of Range: It's Only Foofy if You're Beardless
Rachel Sergi of Buffalo & Bergen: Rick Rolled Rickshaw
Lukas Smith of Daikaya: The Dick James
Jess Woods of Room 11: The Cry Baby Rickey