It's open season for federal employees as well as many privately-employed people to change their health plan selection for next year. We speak with experts for tips and will take your questions about how to make the right choice for you and your family.
When the mercury is rising, few things go down as deliciously as the perfect cold summer cocktail. Whether your taste leans toward virgin pina coladas, summer-fresh tomato margaritas, or slightly-spiked sweet iced tea, we’re talking with local craft bartenders about the art and science of mixing chilled drinks for young and old alike.
- Adam Bernbach Bar Manager, Estadio (DC) and Proof (DC)
- Katie Nelson Lead Bartender, Columbia Room at the Passenger (DC)
Katie Nelson’s Recipes
Katie Nelson, lead bartender at Columbia Room in the Passenger Bar, shares her favorite cocktail recipes.
2 oz cachaça (I like Leblon)
1 oz simple syrup (Can be made by mixing equal parts boiling water and sugar together, stir to dissolve)
Half a lime, quartered
Optional: Additional sliced fruit of your choice, such as berries, peach, mango, melon, etc.
Fill a glass (rocks or highball) with cracked ice. Add lime quarters, additional fruit (if using) and simple syrup to shaker, muddle. Add cachaca, then fill with the cracked ice from your glass, cap the shaker and shake vigorously. Uncap shaker, pour all contents back into glass. No garnish necessary, or garnish with a fresh piece of fruit, if using additional fruit in the drink.
1 1/2 oz vodka (I like Boyd & Blair)
1/4 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
3 dashes Worcester sauce
2 dashes Tabasco sauce
2 – 4 oz fresh-squeezed tomato juice
Pinch of pepper
Pinch of salt
Add all ingredients except tomato juice to shaker with ice, shake lightly to mix, strain into highball glass over fresh ice. Top with tomato juice, stir, add metal drinking straw. Garnish with lime wheel and lemon wheel.
4 oz Amontillado sherry
1/2 – 3/4 oz Pedro Ximenez sherry
Seasonal fruit (berries, etc.)
Combine sherries in julep cup or wine goblet, add crushed ice, stir gently. Add metal drinking straw. Garnish with mint sprig, orange slice, 2-3 pieces of seasonal fruit.
Adam Bernbach’s Recipes
Adam Bernbach, bar manager at Estadio and Proof, suggests these summertime drinks.
2 oz. Santa Teresa Solera rum
0.5 oz. Cane syrup
2 dashes Regan’s orange bitters
Stir with ice, lime wheel, in a double Old Fashioned glass, add orange zest, add nutmeg garnish.
1 oz. Plum syrup
0.25 oz. Lemon juice
Top with 5 oz. Sparkling water
Add all ingredients into a Collins glass, stir, add ice, garnish with a mint sprig.
Plum syrup instructions:
Dice four plums, cover in sugar (approximately 16 oz.). Toss every 15 minutes for two hours. The sugar will seep out the juice. Put all of the mixture into a blender with 4 oz. water, blend on high for 15 seconds or until consistent. Strain.
1.5 oz. High West Silver Oat Whiskey
0.75 oz. Lime juice
0.5 oz Amaretto
0.5 oz. Cane syrup
0.5 oz. Campari
Shake, strain into a cocktail glass. Lime wheel garnish.
MR. KOJO NNAMDIIt's a common cultural theme around the world, from bars to beaches to backyard parties. Wherever there's hot and steamy weather, some enterprising bartender will figure out how to mix ice, spirits and whatever other ingredients are at hand to make the perfect summer cocktail. In Brazil, they have Caipirinhas combining cachaca, lime and sugar. In the Philippines, they have the Baguio Skin with lime, rum and orange bitters. And here in Washington, we have our indigenous drink the Gin Rickey. We also have local farmers' markets with seasonal produce we can transform into delectable and refreshing drinks of the alcoholic and nonalcoholic varieties.
MR. KOJO NNAMDIWe're exploring refreshing libations from around the world with Katie Nelson, lead bartender at the Columbia Room at the Passenger. Katie Nelson, thank you for joining us.
MR. ADAM BERNBACHOh, thanks for having me.
NNAMDIAlso with us is Adam Bernbach. He is bar manager at Estadio and Proof, both of them in northwest Washington, D.C. Adam Bernbach, thank you for joining us.
BERNBACHThank you very much for having me.
NNAMDIYou too can join the conversation. Are you an aspiring home mixologist or connoisseur of great cocktails? What's the best warm weather libation you've ever come across? 800-433-8850. You can also send us a Tweet at kojoshow or email to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can go to our website, kojoshow.org where you will happily find all kinds of recipes, so to speak, for the drinks that you can mix for your summer libations.
NNAMDIAround the world, there are great examples of cocktails for hot weather. And many of those cocktails have common theme or ingredient elements. Are there common rules or elements that you make all great summer drinks, Katie?
MS. KATIE NELSONCommon rules or elements? Well, I think for summer I love things that are bubbly, things that have a lot of ice, things with fresh fruit. You can really capitalize on all the wonderful things coming out of the garden, especially going to the farmers' markets.
NNAMDIWe'll talk about that later. Adam, this hour we may be talking about some obscure or semi-obscure concoctions but your top five warm weather cocktails is populated with some classics that everyone knows. What are they and why is the pina colada the perfect warm weather drink?
BERNBACHIt's the most wonderful just because there's no pretentions about it at all. There's -- the pina colada says nothing about you more than you just enjoy coconut, pineapple and rum. And it's extremely refreshing.
NNAMDIWhat are your other top five?
BERNBACHPisco sour, the dry martini, the tea punch and the daiquiri.
NNAMDIAh, yes. Woo, I'm tasting them even as we speak. Hold on a second. I don't actually have any in the studio. I'm just tasting them in my mind. Katie, the classics have stood the test of time for a reason, because they nail the balance between acid, sweet, et cetera. But some great drinks have undeservedly fallen into obscurity over time. You are a huge fan of a drink called a sherry cobbler. What goes into the cobbler?
NELSONOh, that's right. I do love a sherry cobbler. Sherry in general I think is a wonderful summer drink. But the sherry cobbler is just so simple and wonderful. It's just sherry, a little bit of sugar or you can use a sweet sherry to sweeten the drink, lots of crushed ice, orange slice and mint and seasonal fruit. It's really very simple to prepare so...
NNAMDIYou can find the recipe for that on our website kojoshow.org. It's my understanding also that we owe a debt of gratitude to this drink for the straw.
NELSONYes, I was going to mention, it's apparently the drink that popularized the drinking straw in the United States. So kind of interesting that little fact 'cause it was the most popular beverage in the country from about 1838 or the end of the 1830s to the end of the 1800s essentially.
NNAMDIHow do we know that? And now we can't drink anything cold without a straw.
NELSONAbsolutely. Yeah, well, it was handy because, you know, dentistry hasn't always been at the height of technology as it is today. So it was nice to have something to keep the crushed ice away from your teeth that might've been a little bit painful when it passed over.
NNAMDIThanks to the sherry cobbler for the straw. 800-433-8850 is the number to call. Do you have any tips or questions for entertaining in warm weather? Give a holler, 800-433-8850. Adam, you are both big fans of sherry as a building block and flavor for cocktails and on its own. But this is a spirit that often suffers from a reputation as being old, stuffy. What does sherry bring to the party when we are talking about cocktails?
BERNBACHI think the vast spectrum that's available to you through sherry is the first most amazing point about it. But the element of -- it's not quite as strong as say whiskey or rum or anything of the sort. But it does have a little bit of a strength to it, a little bit of a bite. But you can get -- there's lighter sherries, like Manzanilla, that have a crisp almost citrusy quality to them. You can go medium with the nice nuttiness of a Amontillado Oloroso. And then you can get sweet with a PX or a Moscatel.
NNAMDISo sherry brings quite a lot to the table. Let's try to take lessons, if we can, from other countries in terms of warm weather libations. Katie, you have given us a recipe for a caipirinha, particularly delicious concoction from Brazil using a spirit called cachaca.
NNAMDIWhat makes the caipirinha so delicious?
NELSONWell, like I said, before, I love cocktails with a lot of fruit and ice during the summer. You basically can combine both of those things in addition to just a little sugar, lime and spirit. So, again, really easy to prepare, caipirinha is a really rustic looking drink as well. Doesn't have to be too perfect, which is nice. And the name actually means little hayseed or I like to say little redneck.
NNAMDIWhat -- tell us a little bit about what cachaca is.
NELSONCachaca is a spirit made from sugarcane juice. So fermented and distilled sugarcane juice. So it's not really a fancy spirit. It goes really well with sugar and lime so basically you just muddle lime with sugar, add your cachaca then add crushed ice. And then mix it up really well, shake it and pour it right back into the drinking glass that you had the crushed ice in and then that's it.
NNAMDIComing from a country, Guyana, whose main agricultural product is sugarcane, you would think I would know something about cachaca. But we got a Tweet from @jetfrank (sp?) who says, Kuyper (sp?) vodka, no good cachaca in D.C. Are you familiar with Kuyper vodka?
NELSONKuyper vodka also -- I think also known as the Caipiroska, so that's great. Actually you can make the caipirinha very easily with different spirits. If you have vodka at home, make a Caipiroska. If you have rum you can do Caipirissima, basically just substituting those spirits for the cachaca. But we are lucky at the bar to be able to get our hands on a nice cachaca, Leblon, which...
NNAMDII'm writing all of this down. You can call us at 800-433-8850. Adam, you're a huge fan of a drink from the Philippines called a Baguio Skin. What goes into that?
BERNBACHIt's rum, bitters, lime and sugar. That's it.
NNAMDIRum, bitters, lime and sugar. Where'd the skin part come from?
BERNBACHThat's actually -- that's the curious part. A skin is typically in a cocktail reference to a family of drinks that are hot drinks. And this is not at all. So I'm not entirely sure to be honest with you. That was the thing that attracted to me.
NNAMDICould it be the citrus peel maybe that caused it to be the Baguio Skin?
BERNBACHBut the drink actually calls for a wheel of lime.
NNAMDIHow'd you come across that drink?
BERNBACHJust searching through books. There's -- Charles Baker in the early part of the 20th century is the person who discovered it in the Philippines.
NNAMDIThe Baguio Skin. We're talking with Adam Bernbach. He is bar manager at the Estadio which is on 14th Street, Logan Circle area and Proof which is on G Street northwest. And Katie Nelson is lead bartender at Columbia Room at the Passenger DC which is on 7th Street northwest right across from the convention center.
NNAMDIOn to the telephones. Here is Casey in New Windsor, Md. Casey, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
CASEYHi, Kojo. My favorite summertime drink is definitely -- it's called the nuts and berries. I get a lot of negative reaction from it because it has half and half cream in it. It's a third Chambord, a third Frangelico and a third half and half cream.
NNAMDINuts and berries. Are you familiar with this, Katie?
NELSONI've heard of it, yes.
NNAMDIHow about you, Adam?
NNAMDINuts and berries. That's your favorite -- why is it your favorite, Casey?
CASEYI just really like it -- I think it's really refreshing. It really does taste like, I guess, trail mix, nuts and berries served with ice. I was introduced to it about two years ago at a 4th of July event.
NNAMDIYeah, there seems also though -- which is one of the reasons I'm surprised -- to be a move away from creams and dairy mixed cocktails, hasn't there been?
NELSONSlightly, but actually, I mean, people like ice cream during the summer. I don't see why you can't have a great iced creamy drink to refresh you.
BERNBACHIt's true. I agree with Katie. Cream definitely can be an excellent ingredient. I enjoy the flip drinks, nice dessert-y style, yeah.
NNAMDICasey, thank you very much for your call. Nobody thinks of England as a place for tropical weather but it turns out that a British ingredient is actually a go-to element for a lot of delicious cocktails. What are Pimms, Adam?
BERNBACHPimms is a blended bottled cocktail. There's I think originally five of them. Normally the one you get is the number one. There're numbered and number one I believe is gin based. But they're usually served with ginger ale or 7-up or Sprite in a glass with lots of your favorite fruit or cucumbers.
NNAMDIWhat is the apparent reason for their rise in popularity, Katie? Pimms seems to be getting very popular.
NELSONYeah, Pimms is really popular. Well, it's actually the official drink of Wimbledon, the Pimms Cup. So right now is a perfect time to drink that.
NNAMDISo now is -- a lot of people downing Pimms even as we speak.
NELSONExactly, yeah. And it's just such a great ingredient for cocktails 'cause it has this great bitter and herbaceous quality along with a bit of citrus as well. So it blends so nicely with -- like Adam was saying, things like 7-up, Sprite, even ginger ale -- good spicy ginger ale. It's super refreshing during the summer.
NELSONAnd it's low in alcohol, too.
NNAMDI...here's Aleah (sp?) in Washington, D.C. Aleah, your turn.
ALEAHHi, Kojo. How are you?
NNAMDII am well, Aleah.
ALEAHGood, good. I'm a huge fan. My husband and I love Campari which is a bitter -- it's kind of bitter. But when you add orange juice, a little bit of soda and some ice it's a wonderful, refreshing summer drink.
NNAMDIWhat do you call it again?
ALEAHIt's called Campari.
NNAMDIOh, Campari, oh. I'm familiar with Campari, yes.
NNAMDIWe are -- you have gotten unanimous approval of that suggestion here, Aleah. So thank you so much for making it.
ALEAHThank you, Kojo.
NNAMDIYou too can calls us at 800-433-8850. Is there a science to re-freshened drinks be they made with sprits or child-friendly virgin versions? Call us at 800-433-8850. Send us a Tweet at kojoshow or you can send an email to email@example.com. Katie, tell us about the Columbia Room. This is a sort of speakeasy bar within the bar at the Passenger.
NELSONWell, yes. It's a small private bar. We have ten seats so it's pretty small. We do reservations for a cocktail tasting menu in which the courses we offer are actually cocktails. So we usually start off with something kind of light like a punch or a cup. Second drink is usually paired with a bit of food, just 'cause we like pairing cocktails with food. It's kind of fun to think about how cocktails and food pair. And then a third drink would be left up to each drinker's individual choice.
NNAMDIAnd you make a point to serve at least one drink that's built on seasonal ingredients. Explain.
NELSONYeah, we're very much inspired by seasonal. And seasonal tends to be a little bit of a different idea than just the four seasons because every week new things are available. We get really inspired by the fresh produce at the farmers' market, the weather, anything that might contribute to thinking about what we want to drink at any particular time.
NNAMDINot just the fresh produce at the farmers' market. At the Columbia Room, you actually have a rooftop garden...
NELSONWe sure do.
NNAMDI...where you go apparently for inspiration.
NELSONYeah, we have a pretty big garden this year. Last year we just started with a few pots but we have some big plant boxes, we have lots of herbs and some vegetables. We have some melons growing now, which is kind of exciting. We also have bees on the roof. We harvested our first honey a couple weeks ago so I'm hoping to use that in a project soon for the Columbia Room.
NNAMDIIn case you're just joining us, yes, we're not talking about gardening. We're talking about summer libations with Katie Nelson who's lead bartender at the Columbia Room at the Passenger, and Adam Bernbach, bar manager at Estadio and Proof. Adam, we tend to think about bartenders as night owls. But you both make a point of setting out in the middle of the day to a local farmers' market. Walk us through what you're looking for when you walk through a farmers' market.
BERNBACHMainly what's available at the time. Just what's exciting, what's new, what's fresh. That's -- like Katie, that's the most inspirational part about it. Those ingredients are what inspires the drinks.
NNAMDIFarmers' markets you, too, Katie?
NELSONAbsolutely. Yeah, we're lucky. We have a lot of farmers' markets in D.C. that we can go to during the week. And there's one on Thursday really close to our bar so I always make a point to hit that one up.
NNAMDISo what's in season now? What're you picking up and popping into my drink?
NELSONOne of my favorite things right now, lemon cucumbers, which don't taste like lemons. They look kind of like lemons. They have a yellow color. They're really sweet and crisp. Been finding those for the past few weeks over at the Thursday market at Penn Quarter. Also lots of herbs. Gooseberries are in season right now. I love the tartness of those instead of citrus. Kind of fun to use that in a cocktail.
NNAMDIWhat are you looking at, Adam, in the farmers' markets these days?
BERNBACHA lot of berries, blackberries, raspberries, black raspberries. But definitely the mint as well. Basil, Thai basil. Herbs are very, very important.
NNAMDIHow do you approach pairing berries with a spirit? Do you just do it?
BERNBACHGenerally, yeah. How much acid the berry has definitely influences it. What citrus it will go well with, what herb it will go well with. But I think -- someone mentioned Campari. Campari goes very well with things like plum. They think it's delicious.
NNAMDIOn therefore to Mike in Great Falls, Va. Mike, your turn.
MIKEYes, good afternoon. Just a quick comment regarding the caipirinha that was mentioned. I have had many trips to Brazil in my better days and I found that the sugar they use is not the kind of sugar you can find on the shelf, you know, walking down your average Safeway or Giant Food. For some reason, it melts into lime juice much more rapidly and makes a better paste. And I suppose there's probably some stores around here that specialize in Brazilian items that would carry it. But it just makes a better product.
NNAMDIKnow anything about that, Katie Nelson?
NELSONWell, I haven't had the opportunity to go to Brazil actually to try the caipirinhas on their home soil. But as for sugar that we use, we do a simple syrup. It's not, I don't think, traditional. I think in Brazil, they use just sugar in the shaker. But we use cane sugar syrup, that's like a rich simple syrup with a 2 to 1 ratio of sugar to water.
NNAMDIOkay. Thank you very much for your call, Mike. Here is Ryan in Derwood, Md. Ryan, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
RYANHi, Kojo. Hi, Katie. I was just wondering, if you were going to name a drink the Kojo Nnamdi, what would you put in it? And thank you for joining us.
NNAMDIMake sure you put some mango someplace in there, Katie. What would you put in that?
NELSONWell, I happen to know that Kojo's a big fan of Rickeys, so...
NELSON...it would probably have to be some kind of variation on a Rickey. But Rickey's don't use a whole lot of sugar, so fruit could definitely substitute for some kind of sweetness. So probably lime, mango -- I'm getting the nudge from Kojo over there.
NNAMDIYes. Yes. Yes.
NELSONAnd I'm guessing he's a fan of gin.
NNAMDIYes, I am.
NELSONGin, yeah. So lime, mango, gin, sparkling water, or -- I think that would be a pretty good start at least.
NNAMDIHey, it works for me. I'm...
NELSONDon't you think?
NNAMDI...tasting it already. What do you think, Adam?
NELSONMaybe some hot pepper?
BERNBACHI'd say coconut, maybe a little white whiskey, and of course mango, a little lime juice to spritz it up a bit.
NNAMDIHow do you know about the white whiskey? Because I had not drank -- drunk white whiskey before we discussed it on the show, and once I tasted it, I fell in love with it.
BERNBACHIt's a new thing that's coming out. I think a little bit more adapted from the moonshine history of the United States. It's a little bit more palatable, I imagine, but there's of neat kinds out there. There's one that's silver oat that from High West that I particularly like.
BERNBACHI think it goes well in tiki-style drinks.
NNAMDIFeel free to offer suggestions of your own. You can send us a tweet @kojoshow. No. It's not true that I'll drink anything, but I will drink most things. 800-433-8850 is the number to call. We're going to take a short break. If you have already called, stay on the line, we'll get to your call. If not, and the lines are busy, send us a tweet @kojoshow, email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or simply go to our website, kojoshow.org and ask a question or make a comment there. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.
NNAMDIWelcome back. Suggestions and advice for your summer libations from Adam Bernbach, bar manager at Estadio and Proof, both in Washington D.C., and Katie Nelson, lead bartended at Columbia Room at the Passenger, also in Washington D.C. You can send email to email@example.com. Katie, while we're preaching the virtues of fresh produce, we should talk about a classic that is often quite divisive, the Bloody Mary. Some people love the classic preparation, some hate it, but you say a fresh tomato Bloody Mary should unite us all.
NELSONAbsolutely. It's like a completely different drink once you use fresh squeezed tomato juice. It sounds so obvious, fresh squeezed tomato juice.
NNAMDIWell, we got a tweet from @lilthunderliz (sp?) , who says she discovered pickled green beans in New Orleans to add to a Bloody Mary. She says weird, but delightful.
NELSONThat sounds like a great garnish, absolutely.
NNAMDIYeah. And then we got one from Mindy Maretta (sp?) who added that they used pickled okra in Savannah. Would you like pickled okra in your drink, Adam Bernbach?
NNAMDIYeah. Because pickled okra is so good anyway.
NELSONYeah. Okra is one of my favorite vegetables. Of course, I did grow up in the south so ...
NNAMDIA cocktail mixed with fresh produce will give you fresh flavors, but it's also possible to capture some of those flavors over a longer time period through different kinds of preparation. You, Katie, are a huge fan of a preparation called a shrub.
NNAMDIWhat's a shrub?
NELSONSo a shrub is -- basically, it's a colonial technique and you don't have to refrigerate it necessarily if you have a cool dark place to put your result. So basically, it's almost like pickling. You add sugar and vinegar to a fruit to create a puree, and it's really great if you have a lot of leftover strawberries or raspberries that you know are going to go bad, you can kind of save their flavor by making this liquid. So what I usually do is just cook the fruit that I want to use with a little bit of vinegar, puree, and then strain, and then add some sugar to taste.
NELSONAnd normally it is done with fruit, but it's fun to experiment and kind of stretch the boundaries. I did a great celery and fennel shrub which is actually with vegetables, but it turns out it's so refreshing and so invigorating, that that tart tangy vinegar really wakes up your taste buds.
NNAMDIAnd fennel is actually kind of sweet so that adds a little flavor to it also.
NELSONMm-hmm. Absolutely, mm-hmm.
NNAMDIYou too can call us, 800-433-8850. Speaking of leftover fruit, here is Judy in Elkridge, Md. Judy, you're on the air. Go ahead, please. Hi Judy, are you -- oh, that was my fault. I did not bring Judy up. Now you're there, Judy.
JUDYYeah. Now, I am. Hey, how are you?
JUDYSo you buy a big watermelon, hopefully a seedless watermelon because it works better, you eat a couple pieces, and then you've got this whole watermelon and you don't know what to do with it.
JUDYSo cut it off the rind, cube it, and freeze it. When it's frozen, get out your smoothie machine. Put this in the smoothie machine, and you don't need water, because there's so much water already in the watermelon. Add some fruit juice, and I like cranberry juice, banana, some yogurt, fresh fruit if you've got some extra fresh fruit left over, and blend it up. And then if there's kids around, you know, serve that to the kids, and when the kids leave, start adding the booze.
NNAMDIWhat kind of booze do you prefer to add?
JUDYI -- my favorite is Peach Schnapps, but I've been known to put three or four different in at one time just to see how much it can tolerate.
NNAMDIWell, you should know that our guest, Adam Bernbach, is known as the king of the Slushito. At Estadio, he's pretty well known for his Slushitos. Tell us about those.
BERNBACHWhat they are is they're frozen drinks that we have in machines, and we change them up seasonally, maybe even a little bit more frequently than that. But it's a spirit, fruit, herbs, little bit -- occasionally sparkling wine or sherry, and it's mixed with water and frozen to a slushy consistency.
NNAMDIThere it is. There it is, Judy. You might want to try that, too.
JUDYTry -- I also recommend Peach Schnapps in everything else, iced tea is a delicious summer drink, and I've got some white wine that's a little too dry, and I even put the Peach Schnapps in the white wine.
NNAMDIThank you very much for sharing your secrets with us, Judy. Let's talk about non-alcoholic concoctions, although our producer, Brendan Sweeney, says asking a bartender about non-alcoholic drinks is kind of like asking a butcher about vegetarian food. But the building blocks of a great cocktail can actually be retrofitted for delicious virgin drinks, too. Adam, you've given us a recipe for a plum soda...
NNAMDI...and it's my understanding you're about to mix one even as we speak.
BERNBACHAbsolutely. I'll do it right now for you.
NNAMDIWhat are you mixing? What's the plum soda?
BERNBACHSo what I've done is I've made a plum syrup by dicing up plums and just tossing them in sugar, and what the sugar will do is it will suck the juice out over the course of a couple hours. And then once I've done...
NNAMDILove the sound effects, yeah.
BERNBACHOnce I've done that, I'll just whip it up in a blender and maybe add a little bit more water, and strain it.
NNAMDIWe are about to enjoy the plum soda, compliments of Adam Bernbach that he's making even as we speak. What are you pouring in now?
BERNBACHSo this is the plum syrup that I've mixed with a little bit of fresh lime juice.
BERNBACHExcuse me, lemon juice. I'm just adding a little bit of sparkling water.
NNAMDIYes. Oh, I can hear that, too.
BERNBACHI'm just gonna mix it up very fresh.
NNAMDINow we mix it up a little bit, and voila.
BERNBACHBut of course, you have to top it with a little bit of fresh mint...
BERNBACH...to give it a nice cooling sensation.
NNAMDIOf course, you can also find a recipe for plum soda at our website, kojoshow.org, compliments of Adam Bernbach, and we are now about to savor the flavor of the aforementioned plum soda. Can we get a drum roll please? Apparently not. Ooh, yes.
NELSONThat looks so refreshing.
NNAMDIOh, yes, this is good. The plum soda. Thank you very much, Adam Bernbach.
NNAMDILet's get back to the telephones. Here now is Jeff in Washington D.C. Jeff, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
JEFFHi Kojo. This is a great show. I have a couple of suggestions, and a question.
JEFFThe first suggestion is Sangria.
JEFFAnd there are different variations, red Sangria, white Sangria, and use of fruits.
JEFFThe second one is non-alcoholic and it's Sorrel. I have West Indian roots and I love Sorrel. So I don't know...
NELSONI do, too.
NNAMDII too have those roots, and also love Sorrel.
NELSONI love Sorrel, yes.
NNAMDIIs there any drink that these people are not familiar with at all? Sorrel is a great summer drink once you know how to make it properly. Thank you very much for sharing that with us, Jeff. We will move on to Michelle in Silver Spring, Md. Michelle, your turn.
MICHELLEHi. It sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun over there.
NNAMDIWay too much.
MICHELLEYeah. I had a -- I worked in Tex Mex restaurant once, and this wasn't on the menu or anything, but back behind the counter we had something called Sangrita, not Sangria.
MICHELLEI was wondering if (unintelligible) guys know about it. So it's like a half -- half portion of fresh tomato juice, and then a quarter each lime and orange juice. I think that's how we did it. Does that sound familiar?
NNAMDISangrita. Are you familiar with that, Adam?
BERNBACHYeah, absolutely. Yeah.
NNAMDIBoth of our bar experts are familiar with Sangrita.
NELSONYeah. I've had that a bit spicy too, which is nice.
BERNBACHYeah. Usually there's some kind of hot sauce.
MICHELLEYeah. I think we...
MICHELLEYeah. We played with putting Serrano chilis in there, maybe habaneras, and then cilantro or mint, just to toy with it, and that was supposed to be a chaser for tequila, but...
MICHELLEBut I started playing with it. I think it's like a nice alternative to Bloody Mary's to like loosen it up a little bit, like dilute it because it's really intense. Anyway, I just thought I'd share.
NNAMDIOh, thank you very much for sharing the Sangrita S-A-N-G-R-I-T-A.
BERNBACHThat's a great idea.
NNAMDISangrita, Michelle. Thank you very much for your call. You too can call us, 800-433-8850. Adam, I mentioned Slushitos, but you're also known for drinks that work with non-traditional cocktail favors like saffron. You say this is more of a culinary approach. What do you mean by that?
BERNBACHWhen we first opened up Estadio, we sort of narrowed down our liquor selection, and I've been more experienced with a larger selection using liquors as modifiers. But there I've been forced to kind of go with using a lot more ingredients from the culinary world. And for instance, you mentioned saffron.
BERNBACHI make a gin and tonic that infuses that with bay leaf and thyme and orange to highlight the saffron flavors.
NNAMDII've heard that that gin and tonic is one of a certain person who shall remain nameless, Katie Nelson's, favorites.
NELSONIt absolutely is.
NNAMDIHow come, Katie? Why do you like it so much?
NELSONIt's just so refreshing. It's got such a great balance of sweet and bitter. I love the gin that he uses in it. It's just wonderful. The first time I had one of those, I had to have one the next day because I was thinking about it so much.
NNAMDIAnd gin and tonic is also one of my favorite cocktails so I like the culinary approach to the gin and tonic. Great ideas we're getting here. Here is Ida in Washington D.C. Ida, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
IDAHi, Kojo. I'm a big, big fan. I was traveling in Rome last year, and one thing that I really enjoyed there was actually the Prosecco and Aperol, which they call Spritz.
IDAIt's so delicious. And I find here not a lot of bars have Aperol so sometimes I'll just order it with Campari. Not quite the same, but it works.
NNAMDIProsecco and Aperol, they call it Spritz. Ida, thank...
NNAMDIIt's delicious, isn't it?
NELSONOh, Aperol Spritz is one of my favorites for sure.
BERNBACHGreat morning drink, actually.
NNAMDIDo you drink it in the mornings, or in the afternoons, Ida?
IDAYou can drink it anytime you like. Somewhere it's always 5 o'clock.
NELSONIt's light. It's fine. It won't bother you.
NNAMDIWhere do people go to get these ingredients for a drink like this, Prosecco and Aperol.
IDAI mean, most liquor stores, you can probably find them in Virginia or Maryland. But in D.C., sometimes it's a little bit harder.
NNAMDIOh, good. Thank you very much for your directions. On now to Anna in Bowie, Md. Anna, your turn.
ANNAHi. I met Katie at the Taste of the Nation, which (unintelligible) which is for No Child Goes Hungry by 2014, I think is what their plan is.
NELSONHi. Nice to talk to you.
ANNAYeah. You were awesome.
ANNAYou made a shrub drink that was the best -- there were like five different really top-notch drink makers, you know, mixologists as we call -- as you're called, and everyone else did great drinks, but yours was by far the best...
NELSONOh, you're sweet.
ANNA...and I just wanted to compliment you.
NELSONThank you so much.
NNAMDIAh, thank you very much for your call. And since you complimented her, let's ask her for her -- for some of our secrets, because our town, our brains, associate certain flavors with cold. You taste it on the tongue and you say, oh, this is good, even if they aren't served with a boatload of ice. What flavors, what herbs do we associate with cold sensations?
NELSONMint for sure, mint.
NELSONIt has that menthol in it, and it kind of tricks your taste buds into think that there's a cold sensation happening. So your body kind of follows suit and feels more refreshed.
NNAMDIYou got any of your own, Adam?
BERNBACHOh, absolutely. Mint is great, basil. I like anything with sort of an anise-y tone to it. Obviously star anise, but fennel, tarragon is really great for that.
NNAMDIGet me my one Mint Julep. Anna, thank you very much for your call. Here is Chris in Washington D.C. Chris, you're on the air. Go ahead, please.
CHRISHey guys, how are you?
CHRISHey, great show. You guys have talked a lot about minty and very refreshing drinks. This is refreshing, but in a completely different sense, a Michelada, which I'm sure you guys have probably both heard of.
BERNBACHYeah, it's a favorite.
CHRISYeah. You know, most people at the bar whenever I try and order it, they don't have it, but they have all the ingredients. So I'll sit there at the bar with a bottle of Worcestershire hot sauce and salt and pepper and they look at me like I'm nuts, but yeah. So in the southwest, we pour any cheap beer or Latin beer, Tecate is probably my favorite, over ice with a couple dashes of Worcestershire a crapload of lime juice, a little bit of salt, and hot sauce, which, you know, you can use anything from Tabasco to Louisiana Hot Sauce.
CHRISJust put a little hover of -- or put a little floater of Clamato, mix it up and it's awesome.
BERNBACHI haven't had it with Clamato actually.
CHRISTry the Clamato. It just makes it -- it just really changes the flavor, so...
NNAMDII'm going to have to listen to this all over again so I get everything that you just said, Chris, and be able to put it all into a...
CHRISWithout Clamato, in New Mexico they call is Chilata, just Chilata...
CHRIS...and further in the southwest, like in southern Arizona, California area they call it michilatas, but they add the Clamato on top.
NNAMDIHey Chris, thank you very much for sharing that with us.
BERNBACHThank you very much.
NNAMDIAnd Kurt in College Park, Md. Kurt, we're running out of time. Please make your question or comment brief.
KURTHi. I was calling because I'm -- I have a bumper crop of mint in my garden, and I was wondering if I could use mint and hot peppers at some point, not together, to infuse vodkas, and if there's advice about that.
NNAMDIKatie, mint, vodka.
NELSONYes. You can, but I would be careful about letting it infuse too long. You could probably infuse mint with vodka for maybe -- oh, let's see, maybe about 20 minutes or so and check it. It's probably fine. The oils tend to permeate the spirit pretty fast.
NNAMDIKurt, thank you for your call. Katie Nelson, lead bartended at Columbia Room and at the Passenger. You can find some of her recipes for drinks at our website kojoshow.org. Adam Bernbach is bar manager at Estadio and Proof. You can also find some of his recipes at our website, kojoshow.org. Thank you both for joining us.
NELSONThank you so much.
BERNBACHThank you very much.
NNAMDIAnd thank you all for listening. I'm Kojo Nnamdi.
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