Any casual follower of my blog knows of my affinity for my home bar Copperwood Tavern in Shirlington and its exceptional cocktails (read my previous dispatches here, here, and here) So when the seasons turn, I’m always a bit excited to see what Copperwood turns out; as usual, they did not disappoint!
With newly-hung Christmas ornaments in the village, I started with the “Winter Cardinal” made of Juniper-infused (!) moonshine, cranberry shrub, lemon juice, dry vermouth, orange bitters, and star anise. This is a new version of the Cardinal and is a little less sweet. The drink is very good, even throughout, with a perfectly tart taste that flows nice and strong. And it just looks beautiful, its crimson-hue fitting for the season. Next up was the “3036” which uses Reyka vodka, pear syrup, cider, lemon juice, and egg white. This was my favorite of the new batch, with a very refreshing, sprightly taste that perfectly combines the pear and cider influences – so many great sensations in this drink, only reinforced by the smooth and powerful Reyka vodka (it’s made from lava!). The cinnamon on top also plays well with the overall taste. Don’t miss this one.
Now I’ve never really been a nog guy. Cream-based cocktails always struck me as risky so I usually avoided those weird carton nogs the adults would always break out ’round Christmas time. “Copperwood Nog” brings spiced rum, bourbon barrel maple syrup, cream, and egg. This was really good, not too dairy heavy but also not too thin, with just the right amount of volume and richness to it. The rum is light and faint, which I enjoyed. Perfect for a chilly December evening!