Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the unveiling of The Gibson’s spring/summer cocktail menu. The Gibson is a speakeasy and cocktail bar located in the U Street Corridor of Washington, D.C. While taking a stroll in the busy area, you’re likely to miss the establishment due to its nondescript entrance. However, once inside, you’re met with a sleek and sophisticated space, complete with dim lighting and intimate seating. Further back in the bar leads to a charming open patio area, which was the setting for the cocktail tasting.
The seasonal menu includes 27 uniquely-mixed cocktails with names as distinct as the ingredients. Each drink boasts names derived from pop culture references or inside jokes between the staff. I had the pleasure of imbibing on 10 of the specialty drinks. Because I know your time is precious, I will highlight the standouts from the night:
I Never Do This
Mezcal, which is a favorite of Will Drink for Travel, provides a smoky element to this dark and rich cocktail. Aromatic bitters are another primary ingredient, however it had no bearing on how smoothly the concoction settled.
Thanks to my mental repository of all things pop culture, I was able to guess where this drink got its name (R.I.P. ODB). With a mixture consisting of chili-infused sherry, lemon, pineapple syrup, and grapefruit bitters topped with soda, I didn’t know what to expect. Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly), there was a nice balance of bitter and sweet, which was very pleasing to my taste buds.
I’m Remy, You’re Nicki
Do I even need to go into specifics on the origins of the name? Inspired by the recent “beef” between the hip-hop heavyweights, this cocktail packs a mean punch. The inclusion of Laphroaig 10 makes this a perfect drink for lovers of scotch. Because this was my first time tasting it in a drink, the harshness took some getting used to. Indubitably an acquired taste but settles smoothly, nonetheless.
Named after one Ms. Josephine Baker, this banana-infused cocktail is an ode to her infamous skirt made of the same fruit. This drink has a very interesting blend of ingredients-cognac, vanilla, mint leaves, banana liqueur, and a whole egg (yes, you read that right)-that I was all ready to write off. Boy, was I wrong! Each component was very subtle, creating a richness that proved plenty refreshing. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the dehydrated bananas used as a garnish. By far, my favorite of the night!
Kudos to the Gibson’s team of mixologists that prepared a wonderful launching event! The spring/summer menu was officially rolled out to the public on April 14th, perfectly coinciding with outdoor dining season. For more information on all things Gibson, please visit their website at thegibsondc.com.
- Andrea Williams
Photo Credit: Frankie Jones