Shaw Favorite La Jambe’s New Cocktails
La Jambe is another one of those D.C. places which I just can’t seem to stop talking about. There’s a good chance that if you’ve seen me out and about around town, then you found me sidled up at the bar here. So when they released a new cocktail lineup, you know I couldn’t resist heading over as soon as possible.
La Jambe is focused more on its diverse and carefully curated French wine selection than on spirits and cocktails, but if you’re looking past that portion of the menu you’re missing out. They use only French or D.C. made spirits, a unique approach to cocktailing that stays true to their de facto all things France mission statement.
After a spring Tiki-centric cocktail list, the new summer cocktails are really about just honing in on French ingredients and flavors. Begin with the Suggestif, made with rye whiskey, grapefruit juice, cognac, and raspberry liqueur. “It’s one of those magical drinks that doesn’t taste like any of its ingredients,” says Dave Bloom, who owns the joint with his wife Anastasia Mori. All of the bartenders get a chance to get a drink on the menu, and the Suggestif happens to belong to Bloom.
Or you might want to begin with the Bonne Soirée, riffing on a French 75 with gin, elderflower, grapefruit, and Crémant sparkling wine. Elsewhere on the menu you’ll find other modified classics, such as an Armagnac Sour, and a Marseille Mule. There’s also a French Negroni featuring gin, rancio, Avèze, and house Provence herb bitters.
The Gin & Génépy is made with saffron gin and genepy liqueur, with ginger getting a boost from jalapeno bitters, while the Violette Sauvage includes whiskey, salers apéritif, crème de violette, and lemon, a refreshingly light whiskey cocktail.
On a menu loaded with tasty, balanced and distinctive cocktails, some of the best finds aren’t even listed —so if you can’t make up your mind, as always, just ask for La Surprise and let the crew work up something new for ya, or go even further off-menu, and ask for Bloom’s still unnamed coffee bitters Old Fashioned riff. You won’t be sorry. All cocktails are priced at $12.
Check out the full menu at LaJambeDC.com or pop in at 1550 7th St NW.