Drink Local Drink DC: Church & State
“This is not a Church. D.C is not a State.
But every bottle, whether heavenly or devilish, comes from the United States, its territories or possessions.
We invite you to be free and brave.”
–Church & State Menu
Twas the week for visiting Eric Holzer’s bars, and let us just say we have no complaints. After finally making it to Wisdom–a bar that’s just down the street, in fact so close it could (and should!) be our neighborhood joint–we also finally made it to Church & State.
I (Steph, that is) met a fabulous lady at this event , and her & bf blog about craft beer (blogs + craft alcohol = awesome) and politics (blogs+craft alcohol+politics=more awesome) at a site call Beeraucrat. When she suggested we grab drinks at this Church and State, I said, ‘Yes, please.’ Making a new friend and trying a new bar both sounded like excellent ideas. I’d like to think I’m fairly skilled at spotting a speakeasy, but, alas, no such luck. I walked back and forth on H Street, my blue dot going back and forth across the red pin, enough times for the homeless guy to stop asking me for money. Somehow, I eventually figured it out.
Like Wisdom, it’s super cozy inside. It has a different vibe, but still feels like you could equally suitably go here for a fun first date or for a happy hour drink with your parents.
We’ve been to one too many speakeasy style cocktail joints where the drinks are amazing, but the staff and vibe make you feel 2 ft tall. Scratch that, inches! Not Church and State. What we absolutely l.o.v.e.d about it is that the staff, the menu, and the drinks are all excellent and not at all pretentious.
One of the Partners, Ron, came to take our drink order. He made the mistake of asking if I had questions. Maybe it was because it was a Friday. And I was tired. And really hungry. But I had a thousand. And he answered every single one.
“So, in this drink, which flavor is most dominant?” “And what do you mean by ‘chartreuse-like’?” The list goes on. And so did Ron’s patient answering.
In addition to having a fabulously wonky DC theme, the other beautiful aspect of Church & State is that absolutely everything they serve has to be made in the U.S. That is why their Chartreuse is instead chartreuse-like. Chartreuse is a secret recipe owned by monks in France; so Chartreuse in their drinks would be a no-go, unless they figured out how to make something like it here. What out Brothers, Eric is on to you.
What We Ordered
Envy: Our “all American” Last Word take, dubbed “Last Breath” –gin, American maraschino liqueur, chartreuse-like liqueur
Lust: An apple-Negroni twist–gin, apple whiskey, Aperitivo, sweet vermouth
What We Thought
I love a good Last Word. In part because I just like saying “I will have the last word!” And also because I love gin. And love Chartreuse. How can you not? What was so impressive about this drink was how good it tasted while using American versions of liqueurs that are originally French. It had just enough tartness, complexity, and depth to make me have to work very hard to not consume it all in on swoop. And I felt so proudly American while I drank it.
Beeraucrat ordered Lust and found its apple-spice undertone quite nice. It was complex, yet balanced, and no one ingredient was overpowering. And like lust often does, “it went straight to my head, so it must have been pretty strong.”