“The Gin Joint”: D.C.’s Best Selection of Gin with a Sophisticated Twist
The Gin Joint is keeping it classy these days. The chic bar, located on the first floor of New Heights Restaurant (and just around the corner from Woodley Park Metro), boasts a startlingly long gin menu that today hovers around 65 different brands. With plentiful tasting events, an interesting selection of homemade tonics, and a rotating featured “Gin of the Month,” the Gin Joint is heaven for fans of the juniper berry.
Gin Tasters: Perry’s Tot and Dorothy Parker (Photo: NY Distilling Company)
I was fortunate enough to attend a tasting last week for the latest gin of the month: “Dorothy Parker,” one of New York Distilling Company’s two flagship gins. Named after the witty yet eloquent poet, the “Dorothy Parker” bears a reflective thought about alcohol on the inside of the bottle that could stand up with Hemingway’s best:
“I like to have a martini, Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table, After four I’m under my host.”
Dorothy Parker, the drink, starts warm and smooth and finishes with a sweet blend of elderberries, coriander, cardamom, citrus, cinnamon, and hibiscus petals to complement the juniper. My admittedly unrefined gin palate was struck with a distinct absence of the “dry” that London gins have made famous. Indeed, Tom Potter of New York Distilling Company spoke proudly about how his Dorothy Parker was uniquely “American.”
New York Distilling Company’s President, Tom Potter, here holding up a tasty Dorothy Parker concoction with us at the Gin Joint (Photo: Garret Glover)
Dorothy Parker, along with the 57% ABV Perry’s Tot (dubbed “Navy Strength”), were two labors of love. Tom and his son spent years perfecting their spirits, one small batch at a time. Balancing botanicals is a mixture of art and science, and, according to Tom, plentiful taste tests. The work seems to have paid off as both gins are being championed by just about every fashionable New Yorker. Most impressively, perhaps, is that the New York Distilling Company operates out of their functioning distillery in urban Brooklyn!
The Gin Joint provided a fine atmosphere to bring the spirit of New York to Washington, D.C. The tasting brought in many young professionals happy to have a local gin bar to call their own. While the bar is small, the intimate environment and rich wooden interior fosters good conversation among fellow gin enthusiasts from all over D.C.
I look forward to returning with my newly trained palate and, thanks to Dorothy, a profound appreciation of the dangers of four martinis.
By Matt Chandler