The ever expanding restaurant scene in Washington inevitably brings with it the ever expanding, and sophisticated cocktail menu, with Cava Mezze being no exception. Glendon Hartley helms the bar across the Cava restaurants, who you may know from BlackSalt, Lost Society and my office favorite, Founding Farmers.
I was invited for an evening of imbibing on Cava's Capitol Hill rooftop, a beautiful spot overlooking Barracks Row. The cocktails offer a twist on old favorites, Hartley brings a fresh and unique approach - the Huele De Noche (smell of night, thanks Google translate) brings together Angostura Bitters to provide balance to the sweetness of the Patron Blanco Tequila, mixed with fresh squeezed lime and coconut. As someone who can't nor should drink tequila straight up or stomach more than one margarita for being too sweet it was a nice alternative use of tequila.
We all love a copper cup and the Angry Mule gives us that, a simple take on the traditional Moscow Mule, with Habanero for that added kick, there's nothing quite like the subtle heat of vodka served in an ice cold vessel on a warm summers evening. Hartley's favorite drink on his menu is the Trinidad Swizzle, a nod to the Swizzle, it's a complicated mix which includes Rum, Vanilla infused Bitters, Hibiscus infused Cointreau, Allspice, Lime and Mint. It's more refreshing than it is intimidating.
Pull up a seat at the bar, order a cocktail or three and some mezze and you're evening will be set.
Cava Mezze: 527 8th Street SE, Washington, DC (closest metro: Eastern Market)