We are definitely in the midst of a "Who run the world? #GIRLS!" moment in D.C.'s mixology scene and we are HERE.FOR.IT! We rounded up a few of our favorite boss bartending babes for you to get to know -- and then go sample their work!
Chelsea Wood: Bar manager, RARE Steakhouse & Tavern
Where are you most likely to go when you're not working? I really enjoy a low-key environment to unwind. Union Trust is one of my favorite spots.
Fav. thing about D.C.: The dynamic and interesting food scene.I recently moved here from upstate New York, where I wasn’t exposed to many different kinds of food. On my days off, I like to try and hit new restaurants that offer cuisines from around the world.
Your Specialty: Definitely the Old Fashioned. It’s the perfect cocktail to settle down with at the end of the day. I don’t believe in muddling my Old Fashioneds, but simply expressing the oils of the orange peel over top and placing it into the glass. Simple, sophisticated and reliable.
Rachel Kling: Bartender, Quill at The Jefferson
Where are you most likely to go when you're not working? I absolutely love cozying up to the outdoor fire pits with friends and a nice glass of wine at Maxwell, and visiting the congenial team at The Passenger is my comfort zone after a long shift. When I’m feeling fancy, I love seeing what brilliant creations Sarah Rosner is mixing up at Bourbon Steak. Hank’s Cocktail Bar on Upshur is one of my favorite hidden gems for an incredibly dynamic cocktail program and I’m elated to see the amazing duo of Lukas B. Smith and Robin Miller combine forces at the newly opened Destination Wedding. Andra Lynn is doing powerful things from behind the bar at Unconventional Diner with her podcasts, and as one of the organizers of DMV Black Restaurant Week.
Fav. thing about D.C.: D.C. does an unparalleled job of combining classic and eclectic. Going from a mahogany-laden bar to a go-go show at Vegas Lounge is a natural evolution of the evening, with both locations boasting a mix of people from all walks. With regards to working in D.C., especially at a downtown hotel bar steps from Embassy Row, I love the variance in guests I see over the course of an evening and I never know who is going to sit down next. It exposes me to an incredible range of opinions and perspectives, not to mention drink preferences, which fuels my creativity behind the bar.
Your specialty: Wine and whiskey are my favorite alcoholic beverages and I love combining the two. My deep love of New York Sours is no secret to those who know me, but creating interesting combinations outside of that classic featuring grape and grain spirits is a passion for me.
Morgan Tweddle: Bartender, bartaco Mosaic
Where are you most likely to go when you're not working? At a game. I’ve been rocking the red, showing off my natitude and fighting for ol’ D.C. sports teams my whole life. Those arenas are like a second home. So if I’m not enjoying a cold (albeit pricey) beer in the stadium, I’m probably in a nearby Greene Turtle, Matchbox or Bar Louie enjoying a cocktail and cheering for the game with my fellow D.C. fans.
Fav. thing about D.C.: Growing up in D.C., I sometimes feel I’ve become impervious to the magnitude of the history, culture and beauty that is captured here. But all of that nonchalance washes away when visitors come to town. I love taking family and friends through the whole touristy shebang: museums, monuments, traffic––all of it! I throw my own spin on it of course, but I truly love joining the masses in awe of this city and all it has to offer.
Your specialty: Behind the bar at bartaco Mosaic I am known for my double shake. That’s right, two shakers. One for each hand. It is apparently so impressive that it even inspired a lovely poem dedicated to me by one of our guests on a napkin that I will treasure forever.
Madiha Marous: Bartender, Barcelona Reston
Where are you most likely to go when you're not working? I don’t have much time to go out for drinks, but I do love to entertain friends at home, and make Caipirinhas for them.
Fav. thing about D.C.: The food scene. You can find a wide variety of international cuisines, and as a foodie person this is all I need. I like the ability to try different foods and to experience flavors I don’t know.
Your specialty: I definitely love Caipirinhas, Brazil’s national cocktail. It can be adjusted and adapted with any other liquor, which makes it fun to work with and enjoy as well.
Samantha Park: Bartender, Le Desales
Where are you most likely to go when you're not working? I love Jimmy Valentines and El Techo. They both have a good combination of music, nightlife and delicious cocktails/craft beers.
Fav. thing about D.C.: I love how niche this city is, due to the fact that it is a transplant city. Because it’s so diverse here, there is something for everyone to indulge in.
Your specialty: I love making martinis! It’s a classic drink, and while the ingredients are simple, everyone knows a good one when they get it, so I take a lot of pride in making them.