Vanilla Cherry Coke Cocktail
I have been a tourist in other cities. And while I have no reluctance and certainly no shame in being a tourist, there is a bit of touristy behavior that I try to avoid.
Such as taking pictures of everything. Oh sure, every local restaurant, landmark and key building has a unique set of charms, with their fun architecture and atmosphere, but a picture of DC’s largest Chipotle? A picture of you in front of a Cherry Blossom tree, now next to, now in front of but closer, now gently resting on a low slung arm, now smelling a blossom… And then there’s the 50 pictures of your friend “leaning” against the Washington Monument from 1000 feet away.
Oh, now the Monument is his dick because he’s laying down? What a genius.
And then there are other red-flag behaviors, like wearing fanny packs. Carrying 7 poorly folded maps. Wearing binoculars. Being part of an entire family wearing red shirts saying “They don’t make them any bigger in Texas”, or worse, entire families wearing nothing but DC emblazoned clothing: hats, t-shirts, hoodies (
watch for gunfire!), bags and sunglasses.
Oh no, you fit right in just perfectly fellow local person! What a smart Smithsonian keychain with what I can only assume has keys to your Georgetown apartment.
Getting used to living in DC with all the extreme high volumes of visitors and tourists takes some getting used to. And oh yes, snarky reader, I most certainly was that person just a few years back. The irony isn’t wasted on me. But I’d like to think I did a better job of blending then anyone on a Segway tours or one of 20 people in matching neon tie-dyed orange shirts that say “Minneapolis to DC or Bust! Group 3”
But sure, I’ll play the part of the snob when it suits me.
Point is, it’s the annual Cherry Blossom Festival and the out-of-town’ers are in by the thousands. And it always makes for good people watching, fyi.
Today, however, offered a nice change of pace from the usual tourist trap [see what I did there?]. Our good friends Laura & David were in town visiting to race in the annual Cherry Blossom Run. They’re also Ohio transplants, but now live in North Carolina. And like us, they know how to blend.
They had a pretty packed weekend with the run, so we were excited to get to have lunch with them today as they started their carbo-loading. Joe and I had been wanting to try Georgia Brown’s on 15th and this looked like a perfect opportunity.
Georgia Brown’s is another solid low country/southern cooking restaurant—one of my favorite genres in DC—along with the likes of Acadiana, Eatonville, and Acre 121. This place had a fun contemporary Carolina vibe with it’s warm wood interior, green fabrics and tight quarters.
They even had this really slick idea to create flat, rust-green ironwork tree branches around key corners and posts in their dining room. The ceiling was already quite low so this visual concept actually created more intimacy, drawing attention smartly, creating even more southern bayou atmosphere.
Being the Cherry Blossom Festival, I wanted something to highlight the occasion, a drink special to tie it all in. I settled on a custom drink of theirs, the Vanilla Cherry Coke. It’s a rather simple cocktail with vanilla, cherry Bacardi rum a coke.
And there you have it: it tasted exactly like it’s name. A vanilla cherry coke. It had hints of vanilla, a mild hum of rum, it was tangy, tasty almost more like a Dr. Pepper if I’m going to nitpick (Joe was smart to point that out). The rum gave the cola a slight burnt caramel flavor that gave the drink some depth while also muting a bit of faux cherry nicely.
The finish was nicely vanilla with a twinge of alcohol burn. I liked it. It was really tasty, not mind-blowing, but the book was certainly something you could judge by the cover and in this case that was nice. I wanted something with cherry and that’s what I got.
Our visit with Laura & David was also nice. We’d love to see them more often and so this visit was really wonderful. We were able to talk about work and the city, the race and hopeful some trips out to see them at their annual Oktoberfest this fall and maybe having them out again a little earlier, but later in the summer.
They were also interested in the blog, and David is an avid reader. And as luck would have it, now he’s in it. And later in the year he’ll really be in it,directly contributing via some solid German beer drinking on my end.
And the circle goes round.
A fun part of my drink Adventure is that I get to be a sorta tourist in a variety of capacities drinking and otherwise. And you, and people like David & Laura get to be my guide or watch me take a dozen photos of the same drink—as the case my be.
I’m just trying very hard not to be the guy wearing the neon “Alcohol Virgin to Drunk or Bust” t-shirt while taking a photo of my me drinking a beer and fishing for my iPhone out of my corona fanny pack. Trying oh so very hard. And burning those photos along the way.
PS: Tomorrow, another new firstdrink at a Birthday Brunch-a-thon for our friend Jamie, owner of the Blue Banana. And then actually at the Blue Banana this Monday for next charity happy hour event with my friend Rochee to raise money for her AIDS LifeCycle event this summer. We’re having a March Madness happy hour on April 2nd with tons of drink specials, a 50-50 raffle and basketball. I hope to see you there!