Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | December 7, 2009

2nd Annual DCCBG Repeal Day Ball

Wow, what a blast. There really is too much goodness to report – from the colloquies of cocktail bloggers and spirit aficionados, to meeting legendary bartender Dale DeGroff, to choosing from over a dozen amazing cocktails and punches, or enjoying delicious food at PS7s.

DeGroff’s cocktail was called Coctel Jerez. It was made with Jameson’s Irish Whiskey, Lustau PX Sherry, Lustau Dry Oloroso Sherry, Angostura Bitters & a flamed orange peel. Regular readers of this blog will know that this is a cocktail that is right in my wheelhouse: strong, savory, and balanced. It was crafted to be sipped alongside these delicious lightly fried ox tail balls. The match was great and it was pleasure to have an original Dale DeGroff creation for the event itself. Oh, plus Dale had the most artful and skillful technique for flaming a citrus peel I’ve ever seen.

Ed Hamilton of the Ministry of Rum was making a Ti’ Punch with Neisson Rhum Blanc, Petite Cane Syrup and tiny wedges of lime. The Ti’ Punch was one of the first cocktails that I ever got into and this was far and away the best I’d ever had.  Ed’s mix was light and delicate. He free-poured throughout and used only a tiny bit of syrup and lime. Nonetheless, the cocktail was balanced and refreshing.

There were other great cocktails that I don’t have any notes for. Todd Thrasher’s cocktail was delicious and included a nice measure of air on top. Adam Bernbach made a hot pisco punch that will go down as one of the most enjoyable warm cocktails I’ve ever had. A drink that was new to me and worked incredibly well on a cold December night was a variation on an Atholl Brose, a traditional Scottish cocktail made with scotch, honey, cream and oats. Simply delicious and much more potable than Egg Nog or a Tom & Jerry, in my opinion.

But my favorite drink of the night – the only one that I had twice – was Tad Carducci’s Gussied Up Breadline. Fortunately, I have the recipe for it:

Gussied Up Breadline

1.5 oz Averna Amaro
0.5 oz G’Vine Floraison Gin
0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
2 oz ginger beer
1 oz club soda
5 fresh cranberries

Combine Averna, gin & lemon juice in an ice filled shaker, shake & strain into a highball glass. Top with ginger beer and club soda, garnish with cranberries.

It was sweet, savory, and refreshing all at once. Truly a delightful cocktail and one that consistently some of the longest lines of the party waiting for a chance to drink it.

As I said above, I had a blast at the Repeal Day Ball. It was a testament to how strong and vibrant the craft cocktail community in DC is, both that so many people from DC and so many cocktailian luminaries — Dale DeGroff, Jill DeGroff, Simon Ford, Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Ed Hamilton, Tad Carducci, and others — came to the party. I can’t wait to next year, when the cocktail community in Washington will again have grown and the core leaders of the cocktail movement in DC — Derek Brown, Owen Thompson, Adam Bernbach, Gina Chersevani, Todd Thrasher, Clinton Terry, Chantal Tseng, Tom Brown and others — will have found new ways to increase the love of the cocktail in the District.


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