Just the Bottle

One woman's adventure in beer, food, wine and spirits

Why yes I would like some free gin, please and thank you

Jim Ryan, Hendrick’s Brand Ambassador and all around lovely fellow, is touring with Hendrick’s presenting at the Hendrick’s Cocktail Academy. On Wednesday, March 20th they held two sessions at 918 F Street (LivingSocial) and two sessions at the Gin Joint on Thursday, March 21st. I attended only the 918 F Street session at 8:00pm because I was slightly hung over and exhausted from all the fun.

Before the cocktail academy, I assisted my boss at an intergovernmental event at the Mayor’s pressroom celebrating developmental disabilities awareness month. It was well attended with Mayor Gray and Councilmember Graham both speaking about the importance of respect and opportunities for people with disabilities.

After my work event, I found out that Taylor Gourmet’s new Chinatown location was offering free hoagies between 6:00pm-7:00pm. I quickly sprinted to Taylor and tweeted the manager that I was en route. When I showed up, the manager was slightly scared, but seemed impressed with my enthusiasm. I really didn’t care since I got my free delicious sandwich. I took it to Iron Horse to have some delightful happy hour beers. I went with the Three Stars Brewery peppercorn saison and Three Head Brewing Loopy Oatmeal Red. The saison paired very well with the garlic and arugula in my hoagie.

Afterwards, I proceeded to 918 F Street and checked in. Staff at the venue are always polite and knowledgeable. The young women working the event had these amazing Hendrick’s inspired outfits with tiny hats. I wanted one of the tiny hats to recreate In Living Color’s Men on Film - two snaps around the world.

That’s the view downstairs in the Speakeasy as we waited upstairs. It was a good sign that most everyone who attended the earlier session was pretty drunk.

My merry crew enjoying a cocktail before the event started. We each were greeted with a gin and tonic.

Each person sat at a place setting that had everything we would need to make three fabulous cocktails.

Jim presented briefly on the history of Hendricks, types of stills and flavors.

Next we made our first cocktail. The first cocktail had St. Germain Elderflower liquer, Hendrick’s, Club soda, tons of ice and a tall cucumber slice. This was my favorite as I love almost any cocktail that involves St. Germain. It was very refreshing and the elderflower brought out more of the aromatics without overpowering the gin.

Next cocktail was some sort of version of a lemonade. It was incredibly tart with sweetness on the finish. I enjoyed it, but I found it overpowered the gin.

We ended with some sort of punch that involved bitters, gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and tea. I think we were offered a sweet tea that made our punch taste more like a Long Island Iced Tea.

It was a really wonderful event that was completely FREE. It can be annoying at times, but signing up with various companies can really provide you with interesting events. One of my friends in the picture above and I attended a Balvenie tasting that was spectacular and a Guinness tasting.