A super secret drinking den serving brilliantly blended cocktails has blossomed in our fair city, and Metrocurean has exclusive permission to fill you in and pass along how to snag a coveted seat.
A few short weeks ago, a trio of top cocktail talents, Owen Thomson of Bourbon, Justin Guthrie of Central, and Derek Brown of Komi, launched Hummingbird to Mars. (The clever name is explained on the site.)
The speakeasy-style operation opens infrequently, but generally takes place on Sunday and Monday nights. Hummingbird has no official home, and the location will likely change from time to time. It's reservation only, and guests are informed of the location after they make reservations.
Once you're in, it's a candle-lit throwback to the Prohibition era — bartenders in old-school vests, 1920s jazz on the sound system and black-and-white movies projected on the wall. And, of course, some of the best cocktails being shaken, stirred and flambéed in DC.
These guys are seriously dedicated to the cocktail craft and the menu reflects that. The list includes classics, concoctions borrowed from friends and fellow bar masters, and original creations. And some of the East Coast's top mixologists drop in for guest bartending appearances, adding their own recipes to the mix.
I've sipped my way through a number of the deliciously nuanced drinks, like the Pimm's Cup 1.5 (Plymouth Gin, Pimm's, lemon juice, allspice dram and salted cucumber) and the Angostura-Scorched Pisco Sour (Macchu Pisco, lemon juice, egg whites and flamed Angostura bitters), borrowed from Jeffrey Morgenthaler.
And I can't wait to get my hands on the Summer Camp, with marshmallow-infused blended scotch, smoked vermouth, whiskey barrel bitters and marshmallows (toasted to order!). "We just introduced this one and it's a huge hit," Brown says. "The marshmallows add glycerin to the Scotch, giving it a smooth mouth feel, along with a touch of vanilla. The smoked vermouth has camp fire-like phenolics."
A few notes: Don't come expecting your drink to arrive in record Red Bull/vodka time. Good things take time. And writers — bloggers included — may be asked to abide by a nondisclosure agreement.
To snag a reservation, shoot an email to reservations AT hummingbirdtomars DOT com.
It'll be worth it.