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D.C. Distilleries Releasing New Ryes, Gins and Liqueurs

Politics, herbs influence latest pours

Cotton & Reed’s Dram Rickey.
[Farrah Skeiky]

Local spirits makers are flooding the market with new products this season, including politically inspired whiskeys and throwback gins.

Capitol Hill staffer turned Republic Restoratives co-founder Pia Carusone has distilled her feelings about last year’s presidential race into a new offering: Rodham Rye. Washingtonian reports that Carusone, the former chief of staff to retired Arizona Democrat Gabrielle Giffords, originally intended to have the commemorative blend on hand for what she hoped would be the election of former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. “It’s a tribute to women in history, and a tribute to women in our everyday lives,” she told Washingtonian about her plans to follow through now that President Donald Trump has moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The official launch for Rodham Rye ties into a discussion about “How to support women in the age of Trump” which is scheduled to take place at the Ivy City distillery on Saturday, March 25 from 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Neighbor Jos. A. Magnus & Co. is scheduled to release its latest effort, Vigilant Navy Strength Gin, the same day. According to a press release, head distiller Nicole Hassoun fashioned the 114-proof spirit from corn, and seasoned the final product with harissa, figs, mint, lemon, hops, and hibiscus.

Jos. A. Magnus & Co.’s Vigilant Navy Strength Gin.

Cotton & Reed went another route, readying its first Allspice Dram for release on Sunday, April 9. The custom mixer features house-made rum spiked with spices and herbs. “I’ve always been passionate about a molasses-sweetened allspice dram, one that’s more bitter and complex,” Cotton & Reed drinks guru Lukas B. Smith said in a release. “This specific dram recipe is my favorite creation.”

The spiced up selection ($35 a bottle) will be deployed in specialty cocktails — Cotton & Reed shared recipes for a Dram Rickey (two parts Allspice Dram to one part lime), as well as the White Lion (Cotton & Reed white rum, lime, Allspice Dram, and simple syrup) — in the works for the official release party on April 9.