Before I start sharing the deets of this festive little cocktail, I want to say a quick thank you to everyone who reached out about my post below. It’s amazing to me that people I haven’t spoke to in years reached out and shared their journey – it really meant a lot.
Ok! Now back to our regularly scheduled programming… holiday cocktails!
The week before Thanksgiving I started testing out cocktails and it’s kind of a two-birds-one-stone situation since Thanksgiving and December holidays are so close. The Blackberry pear smash won Thanksgiving (recipe coming soon!) but this little cranberry peppercorn number might slide into first for our Christmas cocktail.
I have been so intrigued to make a cocktail using pink peppercorns. Pink peppercorns are a dried berry of the shrub Schinus molle, commonly known as the Peruvian peppertree but they don’t have as harsh of a “pepper” taste as say black peppercorns. Turns out, pink peppercorns aren’t even peppers at all! It’s lighter, brighter, and a little pop of spice.
To begin I made a cranberry “compote” using sugar, fresh cranberries, peppercorns and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat and let it simmer down into more of a thick liquid consistency. Remove from heat, and cool. Add 1.5 oz. of the mixture, 2 oz. of Gin (or you can substitute with Vodka) shake, pour and top with your favorite sparkling water!
It’s surprisingly a refreshing, light drink which is a great alternative to everyone’s favorite – spiked nog. Which I didn’t try to make my own, but I’m tempted this season to give it a shot!
I forget exactly how I came across ALL SOULS but as soon as I did it was on my places to go list! And probably bumped a couple other places down a notch or two! We don’t venture over into Shaw too often but we’ve been exploring more and more places. (Like here when we dined at Espita Mezcaleria!) All Souls is absolutely true to it’s word- it’s a Corner Bar located at 8th & T NW, serving only cocktails, beer, and wine… that happen to be quite delicious! We opted to try drinks off the cocktail list which includes 22 simple yet tasty drinks made with some fun ingredients and definite attention to detail. And speaking of simple, All Souls decided instead of naming each cocktail they’d just number them so pick a number any number- it’s going to be good!
First Round: I went with No. 22: Bayou Rum, Cynar, Fresh Orange Juice and Regan’s Bitters. The Cynar definitely shines through making this cocktail a refreshing, bittersweet drink. Sounds a little like an oxymoron but I would definitely recommend! J ordered No. 6: Maker’s Mark, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Fresh Grapefruit and St. Germain. I actually preferred his over mine, it had a smoother less bittersweet taste.
Second Round: I wanted to order something that would be a good transition from my first cocktail so I decided on No. 1: The Barcelona. It was Maker’s Mark, Cointreau, Fresh Sour Mix & topped with Cava. I’m a sucker for anything with bubbles and this one intrigued me since I love a whiskey sour. It was good, very good, and the sour left you wanting more! J let me order his second round so I picked a cocktail that I was excited to try as well! I ordered the No. 4: Juan’s Chilean Afro. Kappa Pisco, Aperol, Dolin Sweet Vermouth, and Regan’s bitters. Once again, his drink won.
Final Round: Ok, let me remind you- All Souls is a corner bar, not a restaurant. So at this point we had two very delicious, but strong drinks and a small bowl of olives. We could have very easily stopped there but I am a sucker for namesakes and the last cocktail on the menu is named “The All Souls.” How could I resist?! It’s a sparkling Rose with a Maker’s Mark neat. Very pretty and aromatic Rose and it was amazing how the flavors exploded with the combination. But to be honest, I probably didn’t need that last drink… 😉
C’s Tip: All Souls is the perfect spot to grab some pre-dinner cocktails at a simple but fun bar with a cool vibe. Since they don’t have food menu, you are able to order food to be delivered to the bar OR you can pop around the corner to Haikan for some of the best Ramen in DC. Add a vegetable spicy bomb if you like your Ramen spicy!