When Cork Wine Bar first opened its doors back in 2008, it naturally began building a reputation for its wine list. But regulars soon got to know the place as a destination for well-made, interesting cocktails, courtesy of bartender Tom Brown (now a fixture in D.C.'s cocktail scene and behind such projects as Hogo). Drinks like a stellar aviation, a house rum punch and a star anise-spiked lemonade gained a cult following there. Over the years, that reputation faded somewhat, even though cocktails have been consistently available alongside Cork's Old World reds and sparkling roses throughout the restaurant's tenure, explained co-owner Khalid Pitts.
The restaurant is making a push this winter to emphasize their mixed drinks, with new creations available and a physical cocktail list debuting soon (the restaurant never had a formal menu before this, though they recently introduced a drinks menu at brunch). Bartender Nicole Gulick is leading the charge. The restaurant's drinks will emphasize grape-based spirits like cognac and armagnac - a white aviation, for example, incorporates the latter. It's all in an effort to make sure the restaurant's core wine drinkers can bring their friends, and make sure everyone is happy, even if those friends gravitate towards liquor or beer, Pitts explained. Cork introduced a new beer menu a couple of months ago, with help from consultant Thor Cheston of Right Proper Brewing Company.
· All Previous Coverage of Cork [-EDC-]