Lazy Sippin’ at Matchbox

A clubby choice for drinks and some nice pizza, Matchbox is a good time for an after work or pre-movie meal.

Ambiance: ****

Decor: ***1/2

Cocktails: ***1/2

Service: ****

Overall: 3.75

After work I headed over to the “Mosaic” district in Fairfax, which is a strangely well-organized and fun “pop-up” neighborhood anchored by Target, boutique clothing stores, and food.  With a few friends I toured the cocktail list at Matchbox, a local DC chain.

I started off safe with two summer sippers, the “Vanilla Peach Tea” and “Lemon Quencher” which are your basic flavored vodka and citrus mixes. These drinks were sugary, simple, and fine — the sort of cocktail you could lay out on a porch and have five of, if you were so inclined.

The mid-afternoon campaign got more interesting when I ordered the “Fire and Smoke” which is made of “Laphroaig” (I had to look this up, it’s whisky), pimm’s, red pepper, and cayenne thyme syrup, which I was excited about.  The taste was really unique, a soft and almost tomato-ish intro with an extremely hard burn at the end.  I’d recommend having some water handy!  Overall I wasn’t a huge fan, but I give it high marks for creativity.

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The last drink was the best, a “Blackberry Pisco” that uses pomegranate, chambord, sour, egg white, and macchu pisco, a Peruvian spirit.  Honestly, this drink was a stunner, one of the cleaner and best-tasting cocktails I’ve had.  The table agreed and we put the bartender to work making three more of these.  Honestly, the pisco will be my go to when I return.

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I was very impressed with Matchbox’s selections — when you head into a chain like this, you prepare yourself some ho-hum cocktails that just “get the job done.”  I could tell Matchbox wanted to move beyond that safe (and boring) position and take some risks — our Friday was all the better for it!

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