Cheers to the Cocktails of Summer

Buckle up, roll down the windows and get ready for an amazing summer cocktail cruise. We are happy to share with our Edible DC readers the full lineup of amazing summer cocktail recipes and specialty drinks served at the Edible DC Cocktail Derby on May 9. The event featured top shelf distillers of whiskey, bourbon, gin and new local craft distillers of a Virginia scotch-style whiskey. Beverage artisans True Tonics and Runningbyrd Tea were on hand to provide samples and mixers. Horse racing season inspired the decor and attire; hats and snappy outfits were everywhere. The event was catered by Poste Modern Brasserie and held in the outdoor courtyard of the Hotel Monaco. Vendors included Whistle Pig, James River Distillery, Koval, Catoctin Creek, Copper Fox, Virginia Distillery and Bernheim Wheat Whiskey. Special thanks to Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, Typecase Industries, Amarillyis Floral + Event Design, and Elizabeth Duncan Events. Many thanks to event photographers Christina Brown and Katrina Tavanlar.


Copper Fox Distillery - The Bismark

2 ounces Copper Fox Rye

1 ounce lemon orange blossom shrub 1 ounce Carpano Bianco ½ ounce lemonade Sparkilng water Lemon verbena

Shake, strain on ice and top with sparkling water and lemon verbena for garnish.

Poste Modern Brasserie - Le Parc


1 part Strawberry Shrub (or any shrub flavor) 1 part Dolin Blanc 1 part vodka Club soda

Pour first three ingredients over ice, top with club soda. Garnish with a half strawberry and sprig of fresh thyme.

James River Distillery - Negroni

1 ounce Commonwealth Gin 1 ounce Campari 1 ounce Sweet Vermouth

Combine all ingredients in an old-fashioned or rocks glass and stir. Garnish with an orange peel.

True Tonics - Caribbean Pharaoh


2 ounces Lyon White Rum 2 ounces grapefruit juice ½ ounce True Grenadine Club soda Sprig of mint

Combine rum, grapefruit juice, and grenadine over shaved or small-cube ice in an old fashioned glass, top with club soda, and garnish with a sprig of mint.

WhistlePig - Porky’s Smash

Porky's Smash_WhistlePIg

2 ounces WhistlePig Rye Whiskey 4 lemon wedges 4-5 mint leaves 3/4 ounce simple syrup 1 dash each, aromatic and orange bitters Fresh mint, for garnish

Muddle the lemon and mint in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and remaining ingredients and shake well; strain into a chilled old-fashioned glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint leaves.

Catoctin Creek -When Me Angry Gin Smash

Half a lime 4 to 6 mint leaves 1 3/4 ounces Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin 1 ounce pea purée* Mint for garnish

Muddle limes in a cocktail shaker. Add pea purée, mint leaves, gin and ice to the shaker and shake well. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint.

*Pea Purée: Take a cup of shelled peas, 1 oz of cold brew green tea, a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt and place them in a food processor or blender until smooth. Strain the mixture using a fine mesh sieve.

KOVAL Distillery - Magna Fortuna

Named for a famous rescued Chicago racehorse

2 ounces KOVAL Dry Gin 1 ounce KOVAL Ginger Liqueur 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice 1 ounce spearmint infused simple syrup Club soda

Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a glass. Top with club soda and garnish with a wedge of lime (optional: also garnish with mint).

Running Byrd Tea Co. - Spiked Runningbyrd Tea

Adapted from Cava Grill

1 jar Runningbyrd Apple Cider Tea, chilled 2 ounces whiskey 1 sprig of fresh mint 1 cinnamon stick 1 lemon twist for garnish

Pour the whiskey into the tea and shake a few times. Pair with a cinnamon stick and mint and serve.

Virginia Distillery Company - Virginia Highland Smash, or Highland Smash

1 ounce Virginia Highland Malt Whisky ½ ounce of rich honey syrup (2:1 honey/water) 1/4 wedge of lemon 5 spearmint leaves

In a cocktail shaker, gently muddle lemon with mint leaves, taking care to just barely bruise the mint leaves. Add honey syrup and Virginia Highland Malt Whisky and shake with ice. Strain into a rocks glass over one large ice cube. Garnish with two mint leaves slapped between your hands to release essential oils.

Bernheim & Domaine de Canton - The Gold Rush

1½ ounces Bernheim Original Kentucky Straight Wheat Whiskey 1 ounce Domaine de Canton liqueur ½ ounce fresh lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice; shake well and strain into a martini glass.

Catoctin Creek Distilling Company - Elemental Rye Julep


3 ounces Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky ½ ounce of Element Lemon Mint Shrub (more or less to taste) 6-10 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish

Add mint to a rock glass with crushed ice, and muddle the mint to the ice. Add the rye and shrub and stir to combine, then garnish with more mint.

Thanks to Edible DC intern Avery Morrison for compiling the recipes and photos.