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Nick’s Riverside Grill in Georgetown is one of many D.C. bars bringing back the Mind Eraser.
Leading DC

Mind Erasers Are Having a Major Moment in D.C.

The ’90s cult classic resurfaces at respected cocktail bars, watering holes, and clubs across the city

Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

D.C. bars have revived retro spirits and throwback cocktails in a big way this year. This spring, blue Curacao staged a comeback in drinks around the city. Now the Mind Eraser—a fizzy, potent party starter born in early aughts-era clubs—is the latest back-in-style story to tell.

Considered a close cousin of the White Russian, the Mind Eraser’s original recipe calls for two ounces of vodka and an ounce each of Kahlua and soda, each strategically layered in an ice-filled glass. Its name stems from the brain freeze that quickly ensues after sucking the drink through a straw.

According to Eater’s sibling site Punch, Shaw’s acclaimed cocktail cove Service Bar was at the forefront of its resurgence around D.C. this fall. Spotting a spike in requests from its diehard industry regulars for well over a year, head bartender Christine Kim decided to reformulate—and rename—the old-school favorite. It’s called Meint Eraser as an homage to its retooled “Mind/Mint” combination of Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee and high-ABV Rumple Minze peppermint schnapps. The cooling concoction gets topped with soda in a Collins glass over crushed ice.

D.C. bartender Luis Aliaga makes minty riffs on Mind Erasers.
Luis Aliaga

“The ripple effect has been very strong lately,” Kim told Punch, adding that when one customer eyes a round of Meint Erasers go out, another order typically flows in fast.

Service Bar appears to have set a trend, with more D.C. bars now unleashing Meint Erasers of their own as of late. That includes a pair of popular 14th Street NW dives: Saint-Ex and Black Whiskey.

A future variation of the newly coined Meint Eraser is also in the works. At Adams Morgan’s soon-to-open Bolivian cocktail bar Casa Kantuta, beverage director Luis Aliaga plans to loop in South American spirit Singani 63. For now, he’s sending out Meint Erasers at Shaw’s Roy Boys during its last days of service.

Other bartenders have opted to resurrect the Mind Eraser in its true form, sticking to its classic components of vodka, Kahlua, and soda water. At King Street Oyster Bar in NoMa, its “KSOB Mind Eraser” is slightly updated with espresso whipped cream for a frothy finale.

Soda water tops off Mind Erasers at King Street Oyster Bar.
Leading DC
King Street Oyster Bar adds a frothy finish to its Mind Eraser.
Leading DC

Georgetown Harbor’s waterfront siblings Nick’s Riverside Grill and Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place both send out original versions. As does Adams Morgan sports bar Town Tavern and politico hangout Union Pub on Capitol Hill. Mind Erasers are also on the menu at scene-y downtown club The Park at 14th.

Capitol Hill hangout Union Pub sends out Mind Erasers in a shorter glass than some.
Union Pub
Nick’s Riverside Grill sends out fireside Mind Erasers in Collins glasses.
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