Brine Time

Brine pairs its seafood dishes with some adventurous cocktails that, along with its wide open space, make for a great evening.

Ambiance: ***1/2

Decor: ****

Service: ****

Cocktails: ****

Overall Rating: 4

I’ve gone on and on about my joy with the rapid rise of the Mosaic district – it seems like every week there’s a new restaurant popping up there.  And that means new cocktails.  I read a recent Eater DC article on Brine, the new seafood joint in Mosaic and it seemed like the positive reviews centered on its cocktail selection — that kind of press is like putting up the Bat-signal for me.  On a humid later afternoon I headed over to Brine to take a tour.

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At the top of the list was the Rizal, which I just like saying….RIIIIIIZAAAAAL.  Anyway, this drink has gin, spiced guavamansi soda, and lime.  It was super spicy and interesting, a little fructosy on the nose, not perfect but really creative.  I’ve never had guavamansi soda, but it’s a very interesting addition in a cocktail.  Unique, I’d like to try more cocktails with it.  Then I moved onto Passion and Warfare, which sounds like a relationship gone bad <snare drum>.  Tequila, passion fruit, lime, and Ancho salt.  This one came highly recommended from Yelp but I didn’t really enjoy it — tastes sort of odd, almost mediciny.  It was ok but the integration didn’t really click – it grew on me a bit as I moved through, though.  Dig the outer glass spice artistry.

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Trekking on, I grabbed the Where is Asher? with my old friend Pisco, blackberry syrup, lime, and ginger ale.  Oh and herb tincture.  It wasn’t bad but not great, sort of vague, distant, the herb hit some nice notes.  You can definitely taste the burn of the pisco but again, sort of mellow in the middle — intriguing but no slam dunk.  Then I had the Daily Punch, which has sour, sweet, strong, and weak — no further clues!  I liked this a lot, the flavor sort of cascades as you drink it down.  Starts almost citrusy, mango pops in, then ends with some spice.  Very good sipper.

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The finale was the intriguingly named Impeached, with bourbon, vanilla syrup, lemon bitters, and honey-ed peach.  It was nice but a bit harsh, strong, straight to the point, with a pleasurable hint of vanilla at the tail end.  Liked it. I took the bartenders advice and ate the bourbon-soaked peach — damn that was rich!

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Brine is a beautiful open and sunny bar that I’d definitely recommend.  Special shout out to the bartenders — about 15 minutes into my booze tour, ~50 people showed up for some sort of grouop happy hour. With that kind of rush, I could see how easy it would be to lose sight of little ol’ me at the bar, but they were very attentive and quick to get new drink orders.  Kudos to those hardworking folks.

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