|Acclaimed underground cocktail bar moves from its former home at Jack Rose Dining Saloon into a larger space within its sister restaurant|
|Tonight, Dram & Grain, award-winning craft cocktail den from the owners of Washington, DC’s acclaimed Jack Rose Dining Saloon, will finally reopen in the candle-lit basement of the group’s newest venture, The Imperial. After 15 months of being closed, the underground cocktail bar will soon show off its larger yet still cosy space, plus a new menu of envelope-pushing craft cocktails, and extensive vintage spirits collection. Dram & Grain will celebrate its grand opening on Wednesday, November 13.|
Originally opened in 2014 in Jack Rose’s underground cellar, Dram & Grain has been named one of the country’s “best bars” by everyone from Food & Wine, CNN, Travel + Leisure, Esquire, the Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine and more. In its new home, guests will find some of the country’s most creative, well-executed and meticulously crafted cocktails in an attractive, comfortable and dimly-lit space.
Dram & Grain 2.0 retains much of the cosy, intimate feel of the former Dram & Grain bar, but lives in a larger space. The capacity has grown almost 3x, accommodating 50-75 people depending on seated or standing. In addition to bar, booth and table seating, Dram & Grain also features a warm, inviting Fireplace Room outfitted with a gas fireplace, ideal for the cold weather season. The 24-seat Fireplace Room is also available for private events.
Known for featuring a majority of extremely unique house ingredients in its cocktails, Dram & Grain’s drinks boast more than 40 interesting house syrups, spirits and liqueurs, such as baked citrus amaro, fortified cinnamon roll vermouth, buttered crust apple pie bitters, lime caramel, black peppercorn tonic, nigiri jasmine rice syrup, and strawberry-toasted mustard seed syrup. A presentation is an art form, with out-of-the-box garnishes such as smoked cucumber pearls, almond pizzelle cookies, ham fat, vanilla ice cream espuma, and strawberry salt-dusted cherry tomatoes.
The cocktail program is led by Andy Bixby, creative director of beverage for both The Imperial and Jack Rose Dining Saloon, who has worked behind the bar at Dram & Grain since 2014.
The cocktail menu will change every couple months but will always revolve around three house ingredients, plus a small selection of “Constant Classics.” The diversity of each ingredient is showcased in different styles of cocktail, ranging from artfully delicate, to culinarily-influenced, to scientific and molecular, to decadent and spirit-forward. An example of the opening menu can be found below (cocktails range from $13-$20):
Baked Citrus Amaro
“The bright orange & grapefruit sweetness of Contratto Aperitif is enhanced by the bitterness of Don Ciccio & Figli’s Cinque and the rich baking spice character of Fernet Vallet.”
Fresh BakedWild Turkey Rare Breed, Baked Citrus Amaro, Fortified Cinnamon Roll, Trinity Bitters, Acido, Amere Sauvage
Sanguine AvionicsMacallan 12yr, Baked Citrus Amaro, Partner’s Cherry Sweet Vermouth, Acidulated Orange Juice, Gomme
As the Jungle Bird Tai’sAppleton 12yr, Sagamore Rye, Doctor Bird, Baked Citrus Amaro, Passionfruit, Toasted Pistachio Orgeat, Pineapple Citrus Caramel, Acido
“This savoury take on a digestif pulls flavours from tamari, dark miso, shoyu, lemongrass & ginger to showcase a playful balance of bitter, sweet & umami.”
Pearls Before SwineBombay Sapphire Gin, Tamaro, Fino Sherry, Cucumber Bitters, Smoked Cucumber Pearls, Ham Fat
Buckin’ HinnyGrey Goose, Tamaro, Clarified Ginger Beer, Savory Happiness
Put the Lime in the Koji-NutImperial White Rum Blend, Nigori Sake, Tamaro, Toasted Coco Lopez, Lime, Togarashi TIncture Anisette
“A blending of singular infusions including fennel, star anise, pine nuts, and almonds resulting in an approachable spirit for both those who shy away or who embrace the green fairy.”
CavallettaMilk-washed Branca Menta, Anisette, White Cacao, Cream, Almond Pizzelle
Creole LousianeCreole Spiced Rye, Cocchi Dopo Teatro, Benedictine, Anisette, House Barrel Aged Bitters
Anisette CP FizzAnisette, Lemon, Gomme, Egg White, Soda, Fennel Lemon Powder
D&G “Constant Classics”
“These cocktails answer the question, ‘what are you known for?’”
Former visitors will recognize a few favourites from past menus, such as the savoury tomato and mustard-seed infused “Stealing Tomatoes from the Garden of Eden” and “Helado de Jerez” inspired by the foodie-favourite dessert of PX sherry-drizzled ice cream.
Stealing Tomatoes from the Garden of EdenAbsolut Elyx, Strawberry Toasted Mustard Seed Gomme, Fresh Tomato Water, White Port, Lime Juice, Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
Helado de JerezPX Sherry, Belle Meade Sour Mash, Don Ciccio Carciofo, Don Ciccio Cinque, Vanilla Ice Cream Espuma
Teahouse TippleBombay Sapphire, Nigori Jasmine Rice Syrup, Lemon Juice, Yuzu-Cocchi Espuma
Dram & Grain will operate with both reservation-only and open seating sections, where a portion of the bar is available to reserve via Resy, and a portion is first-come-first-served, serving the a la carte menu of 20 cocktails. After the new year, guests will meet Dram & Grain 3.0, when they introduce a seated, prix-fixe tasting menu.
Dram & Grain comes from the owners Steve King and Bill Thomas of Jack Rose Dining Saloon, the world-renowned whisk(e)y bar boasting one of the largest whiskey collections in the world. The bar is located at 2001 18thSt. NW, in the basement of The Imperial. The bar can be accessed through the northwest entrance, via a door on 18th Street.
Dram & Grain will be open Wednesday through Saturday, from 5 pm to close. Reservations will soon be available 30 days in advance through Resy.