We had the best Saturday last weekend. Not only was it the most stunning weather and the Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom, but we also had a party bus waiting for us at Cori Sue’s house, ready to take us to a cocktail-making class at Quench.
Twelve of us piled on board. With Ryan as the DJ, and Cori Sue and I as the party directors, we made our way north, popping bottles of prosecco and dancing in our seats the entire way.
We arrived at Quench, a lovely little bar, restaurant, and live music space right in the Traville Gateway Shopping Center, where the bar was set up for us to begin our master lesson in cocktail craft.
We had initially turned up our Bitchy little noses at the idea of a bus to a town center in the burbs, but this was no ordinary bus (with leather seats, surround sound and a clean, cozy environment) and this is no ordinary restaurant in a strip mall. It’s Quench, one of our favorite brunch spots of 2013.
At Quench, the cocktail class features three fabulous drinks created by the master mixologist, along with an opportunity to dip behind the bar and create our very own unique mix, and plenty of gourmet bar snacks to go around.
But first, the Bitches Brew was waiting for us. It is the special champagne cocktail that the restaurant named after yours truly. Mini Bitch Brews, with a sliver of lemon balancing on the glasses, were at every place setting as we sat down. A great way to kick off a Saturday of Bitchy fun!
Quench recently won the Wine and Beverage Program of the Year Award from the Maryland Restaurant Association, so we knew we were in for a treat. On the docket were three cocktails: the Hemingway Daiquiri, the Ramos Gin Fizz, and my personal favorite, the French 75.
During the class, we were regaled with history and trivia on each of the drinks—and we learned exactly what goes into each. On the menus, the ingredients and plenty of space for taking notes.
All the drinks were so delicious, we decided we had to counteract the tipsiness with some of Quench’s fabulous food. Though Quench provides snacks with the class, we ordered even more.
Unique to Quench are the corn beef hash spring rolls, served with a creamy dipping sauce, that surprised the happy crowd.We ordered wings your way—spicy Guinness glaze and maple-Siracha. More chicken arrived in the form of moist adobo and garlic braised chicken tacos, which the boys dug into heartily.
The girls went for the ahi tuna tacos, made with spicy soy yuzu, pickled ginger cabbage slaw. Because what’s better than ahi tuna tacos? Not much, except for doughnuts and cocktails.
We’ve never seen such enormous plates of calamari. The calamari was Thai calamari, so it was tossed in that lovely sweet chili sauce you find at Asian restaurants and sprinkled with sesame seeds. Also, enormous, the slices of bacon, which is an option to order. Alas, the Bitches love bacon, we were served enormous slices of bacon three ways—bruleed (yes, bruleed bacon), Maple-Siracha, and a pickled ramp iteration.
We also had the “world’s greatest fries,” which were pretty damn good based on our experiences. The frites were tossed with lemon zest, rosemary, thyme, and parsley, and served with four dipping sauces, including ketchup and a malt vinegar aioli.
Other delicious snack foods sampled were pretzel bites, baked on-site and served with a beer cheese pale ale sauce made with beer from local brewery Heavy Seas. And, crab-stuffed hush puppies, with local Maryland lump crab, served with Old Bay Aioli. We can’t get enough of Quench’s belly-filling upscale pub food and love that they use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible.
If that wasn’t enough gourmet grub, we had a few special guests arrive: the team from District Doughnut. The duo had brought with them boxes of their amazing doughnuts for us to share, and the sweet treat was a perfect way to finish off the day. One of their owners is Argentine, and as a result District Doughnut is known for its dulce de leche doughnut, which is unlike anything we’ve ever had.
Just when we thought we were done, the bartender invited each of us behind the bar—in groups of three—to concoct our very own cocktail. We had our pick of Quench’s arsenal of spirits, syrups, bitters, fresh produce and other fun ingredients. I called mine, the bomb made with prosecco (of course), grenadine, agave nectar, and a splash of vodka.
Sign up for your own cocktail class by calling the restaurant at 301-424-8650 or emailing Melissa ([email protected]). They normally charge $60 per person, but are offering a special Bitches rate of $50 per person if you mention us.
Single, small groups, or a buy-out (like we did) are welcome. They’re even happy to take the show on the road and host a class in your office or home!