It's easy for D.C. diners to find restaurants serving ramps at this time of year, but now they can drink them, too. The green stalks are adding a garlicky pungency to cocktails around town.
The most popular canvas for ramp cocktails is the Gibson— the classic gin (or vodka) and vermouth drink is usually garnished with a pickled onion. These new iterations often use a pickled ramp instead. At Trummer's on Main in Clifton, owner Stefan Trummer infuses gin and vodka with ramps for over a year. The Ramp Gibson, priced at $13, is served only during the two-week ramp season.
Another spin on the Gibson is available at BLT Steak right now. Beverage Director Jochem Zijp has cleverly christened his drink "The Rampsterdam." He stirs pickled ramp brine and Dolin Blanc vermouth into Damrack Amsterdam Gin, which is barrel-aged in house. The resulting cocktail is garnished with a pickled ramp, all for $15.
Republic in Takoma Park calls their drink "Ramp Season." Bar manager Brett Robison combines Small's American Dry Gin, Dolin Blanc, and ramp pickle brine. The drink is garnished with a "ramp lollipop," which is a pickled ramp formed into a sphere and skewered ($12).
These ramps drinks aren't all plays on the Gibson, though. At Macon Bistro & Larder, they're doing The Vespertine, a vegetal drink with Square One Cucumber Vodka, Lillet Blanc and pickled ramps with lemon bitters and orange bitters, all for $14.
Todd Thrasher, the bartender and a partner at Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, unexpectedly combines rum with ramps. The drink called "A Ramp Is Not Something You Can Pull Your Car Up on" is prepared with Plantation 3 Star White Rum, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, Rhubarb Bitters, pickled ramp juice and pickled ramps for $13.
Editor's Note: The price of the Republic cocktail has been updated.