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Bee's Knees (Photo by Rey Lopez)

Exclusive First Look: Here’s what you can expect from the cocktail menu at Bresca

When Ripple in Cleveland Park closed back in June, fans of the restaurant’s innovative chef Ryan Ratino hoped that he wouldn’t be gone for long. Now, just months later, Ratino is poised to open Bresca, a modern bistro, in what used to be the first floor of Policy Restaurant & Lounge on 14th Street.

Ratino’s inspiration for the restaurant comes from the Parisian movement of “bistronomy”—a combination of the words bistro and gastronomy—which combines upscale French gastronomic cooking and a more relaxed bistro atmosphere. “Our main focus is the seasonality of food and ingredients,” he says. “It’s bold flavors combined with French technique and casual informality.”

Ratino has been very busy preparing to launch his own restaurant in such a short time frame, but for good reason. “I think that this is something every chef dreams about,” he says. He has also assembled a talented team to help, including General Manager Brian Zaslavsky and Chef de Cuisine Jose Arguelles.

For the cocktails, Ratino recruited one of the city’s best mixologists, Juan Coronado, to develop the menu. “[At] modern bistros, cocktails receive the same kind of detailed attention as the food on the menu,” Coronado explains. The drinks will also focus on seasonal ingredients and modern techniques. “We will use fresh herbs from our rooftop garden, fruits, and flavors to create original and classic recipes,” Coronado says.

The menu is divided into two sections: signature drinks and riffs on classics, which Coronado dubs Classique ‘ish. Several of his original creations include unique ingredients, like oyster shell to add minerality to Siréne ($12) with vodka, dry vermouth, Manzanilla, verjus, and olives. The Black Tahini Fizz ($13) is made with dark rum, coconut cordial, black tahini, vanilla cream, and citrus.

Since Bresca means honeycomb in Spanish, several of the cocktails prominently feature bee products. Pollination ($12) is made with vodka, gentian, citrus, chamomile cordial, and bee nectar (a blend of different honeys). The Bee’s Knees ($16) uses truffle honey, citrus, and beeswax gin, which is gin washed with melted beeswax. It's served in a playful bee-shaped vessel.

There are also a few more traditional cocktails, like the Hanky Panky ($12) with gin, sweet vermouth, fernet, and amaro and the Bresca French 75 ($13) with honey gin, clarified citrus, bee nectar, and Champagne syrup.

Bresca will debut in the next several weeks, and Ratino is excited to open the doors to customers. “I want them to get an experience that goes beyond the traditional bistro–an experience that they remember, they talk about, and that they want to repeat again.”

See the full cocktail menu below:

Bresca Cocktail Menu

Siréne $12

Vodka- Oyster Shell- Dry Vermouth- Manzanilla- Verjus- Olives

#Wishfulthinking $13

Scotch- Hibiscus Cordial- Citrus- Genepy- Bergamot

Pollination $12

Vodka- Bee Nectar- Gentian- Citrus- Chamomile Cordial

Black Tahini Fizz $13

Dark Rum- Coconut Cordial- Black Tahini- Vanilla Cream- Citrus

Stan the Goldfish $12

Jasmine Mezcal- Grapefruit- Elderflower- Soda

Viens Avec Moi $13

Gin- Green Chartreuse- Citrus- Absinthe- Pineapple Cordial

Classique ‘ish’

Bee’s Knees $16

Bees Wax Gin- Truffle Honey- Citrus

Hanky Panky $12

Gin- Sweet Vermouth- Fernet- Amaro

Adonis Adapted $12

Fino- Amontillado- Sweet Vermouth- Blanc Vermouth- Bitters

Bresca French 75 $13

Honey Gin- Clarified Citrus - Bee Nectar- Champagne Syrup

1906 Old Fashioned $12

Bourbon- Crème de Yvette- Bee Nectar- Bitters

Rakija $13

Herbed Brandy- Citrus- Demerara Cordial- Sparkling Wine

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