Negroni Week is once again upon us! The Negroni is a classic cocktail that in recent years has come back with a vengeance! It is made of equal part Campari (bitter orange liqueur), red vermouth, and gin, with a twist. It is a fun drink to tweak for many bartenders and this year, from June 5-11th, our staff at Church&State and Wisdom will be serving up their recipes for your drinking pleasure as well as the Fisher House Charity. 
As a long-time mixologist its current popularity truly surprises and pleases me; for it is a drink that stands out boldly in the bitter realm–a realm that the masses usually do not embrace.
Appreciating bitter is generally something that comes with experience and age–it is said that ‘a mature palate, is one that appreciates bitter’, and that the young tend to shy away from this part of the flavor spectrum.  Bitter however is a cornerstone in the Italian liqueur world, where imbibing on a digestivo after the meal is a long and wide-spread cultural tradition.  The growing love for this classic beauty may very well be a good indicator of America’s revival of and embracing of the neo-cocktail culture.
The classic origin story is that the drink was created by or for Count Camillo Negroni circa 1920 in Florence, Italy at Bar Casoni (now, Caffe Giacosa). The concoction was a riff and higher-proof evolution of an Americano (indicating bitter in Italian not American) Campari, red vermouth soda water. Before the Americano, there was the Milano-Torino (Campari from Milan and Martini Rosso Vermouth from Turin) and older still the Torino-Milano (Campari and Amaro Cora, another Italian bitter liqueur).  And before the Torino-Milano there was the big bang.
So swing by Wisdom or Church & State June 5-11th for a unique Negroni cocktail experience!1195

Holiday Mixology Gift Certificate


We Have Gift Certificates For The Cocktail Enthusiast On Your List!

Email DCWISDOM@gmail.com with “Gift Certificate” in the Subject line and how many persons you would like to purchase for. We will then send you a paypal link and then mail the certificate & password to you. The lucky recipient will then email us (at the email above) to reserve their class anytime in 2016.

Discounted until Dec 22nd


How to Drink Gin in the Spring


Photo by Flickr user Ashley Moore

My guide to drinking Gin in the Spring–with classic tipples. The snow is beginning to melt and soon green will begin to appear. Spring is upon us and its time to shake off the hibernation cobwebs and load up on energy and excitement as the mating period is about to begin! Here are five classics gin cocktails with my recommended ratios that I believe are best suited for Spring:

Bees Knees

The Bees Knees-originated during our prohibition in the 1920s. The phrase “bee’s knees” was prohibition-era slang for “top notch”. Citrus & honey were often used to mask the cheap smell & taste of bathtub gin; believed to be the favorite of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I recommend a rye-based or aged gin that adds a bit of “weight” to the mix. If you have a a sweet tooth and have a Winnie the Poo fondness for honey, try it with the craft honey-heavy gin, Bar Hill.

2 oz of gin
0.5 oz of Runny Honey*
0.5 oz of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Shake ingredients over ice and serve in a coup.

*Runny honey is a British mixologist term for diluted honey (1:1) water to honey. Caution: do not make massive amounts of Runny Honey ahead of time; water is introduced to honey it will inevitable combine with yeast (naturally in the air) and start the chain reaction of converting the sugar to alcohol making a prehistoric mead…or maybe you want to do this intentionally…

Monkey Gland

Created by Harry MacElhone of Harry’s New York bar in Paris sometime in the 1920s. The name derives in honor of the work of Dr. Voronoff, who attempted to delay the ageing process by transplanting monkey testicles…eh…cheers! A fine example of an absinthe cocktail that is well balanced by sweet and citrus. Any strength of juniper gin can work in this cocktail, but I would tend to go to a heavier juniper gin.

1.5oz of gin
0.25 oz absinthe
½ orange fresh-squeezed
Heavy dash of real grenadine
Shaken over ice and strained into a coup glass

Corpse Reviver #2

The most popular of the Corpse Reviver cocktails, intended to be a “hair of the dog” hangover. First published in 1930 in Harry Craddock’s Savoy cocktail book with these instructions: “to be taken before 11am, or whenever steam and energy are needed.” I recommend a heavy juniper gin.

1.0 oz of gin
0.5 oz of Lillet Blanc
0.5 oz fresh-squeezed lime juice
0.5 oz of Cointreau
Dash of absinthe
Shaken over ice and strained into a coup

Ramos Gin Fizz

The secret recipe of the Imperial Cabinet Bar in New Orleans that was created in 1888. Over 20 bartenders were working at once, making nothing but this cocktail and still struggled to keep up with demand. The wildly popular & profitable bar like many fine institutions, however, met its end with American prohibition. At the onset of prohibition, Henry Ramos’ brother as a “screw you” to the government, published the secret recipe in a full page advertisement. This is a remarkable classic drink with the perfect balance of sweet and sour and a fluffy mouth feel. The longer you shake the ingredients without ice and then with ice the better-10 minutes should yield a wonderful drink and a great arm workout.

Any strength of juniper gin can work in this cocktail
1.5 oz of Gin
0.5 oz of fresh-squeezed lemon
0.5 oz of fresh-squeezed lime
0.5 agave nectar with drops of orange blossom water added
0.5 oz egg white
1.0 oz double heavy cream
Dry shake all ingredients, then add ice and shake
Pour over ice and top w soda in collins

Singapore Sling

Created sometime between 1911 and 1915 by Chinese-born Ngiam Tong Boon at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel, Singapore. There is huge debate over the original name and ingredients, and not even the Raffles Hotel knows for sure. Gin, Cherry Brandy & Benedictine are certain and the cherry brandy is primarily what distinguishes it from other slings. Such a famous creation that so few have actually tasted.

Recommend a heavy juniper gin or rye-based gin
1.5 oz of gin
1.0 oz Benedictine
0.5 oz Cherry Heering
0.5 oz fresh squeezed lemon
Stir in highball glass filled with ice and top w/ soda
2 dashes of orange & angostura bitters