The Dupont jazzy nightclub Eighteenth Street Lounge got a small refresh recently. We headed to 18th Street to see the new bar-within-a-bar, aptly named Addendum.
The Movers and Shakers
The concept is partly inspired by New York’s Amor y Amargo, which specializes in cocktails with bitter spirits. Here at Addendum, there is no beer, no wine, and only ten specialized cocktails on the menu. Each puts a spotlight on cordials and bitters to reimagine fresh flavors. In fact, there are no perishables used at all.
The project (don’t call it a popup!) comes from Farid Nouri, co-owner of Eighteenth Street Lounge, who offered its walled off Studio Bar to local cocktail minds J.D. Quioco and Lukas B. Smith for a new beverage program.
Addendum has the same dark, candlelit ambiance as Eighteenth Street Lounge, but a very different vibe. The tiny space holds up to 20 seats, and is walled off from the rest of the lounge, giving it a cool, intimate vibe. Located in the back of Eighteenth Street Lounge, it’s a bit tricky to find, but treasure seeks will be richly rewarded with carefully crafted cocktails is crystal stemware instead of well drinks and Bud Lights.
Is This Seat Taken?
We sat down with my old pal, mixologist Michael Barton (formerly of Dram & Grain), as he took us through the menu. Admittedly, the concept can seem a bit intimidating for novice drinkers, but Michael and his partner Jenny Feldt are happy to walk you through it. Just tell them you favorite flavors and see how they can recreate it in a way you didn’t expect.
Because of its location, some might be tempted to just stumble in while moving through ESL, but the small bar suggests a different occasion to visiting. Come with a date who loves to try new things, or if you’re in the mood for a creative night cap. Bring an open mind and a full stomach—these cocktails are mighty strong.
I was immediately interested in the Derby Hat, made with Jeppson’s Malört, Peychaud’s Aperitivo, Drambruie, Gran Classico, and grapefruit bitters.The wormwood is subdued by the tartness of the grapefruit bitters, so it still has that kick in the mouth that Malört offers, but doesn’t linger the same way.
Langley loves coconut so naturally she followed her nose to the Sand Dollar . Reminiscent of “cream soda on the beach,” this drink combines Cotton & Reed spiced rum, amaro Averna, Sheep Dip Islay, Broadbent rainwater Madeira, and coconut bitters. The Sheep Dip Islay (a malted Scotch) gives this cocktail a smokier taste, like a barbeque on the beach.
For variety, we also tried the Stirred Word. With Beefeater gin, green Chartreuse, Luxardo Maraschino, and Limon de Jerez, this bright cocktail was one of the easiest to drink.
We appreciate the use of local products like Cotton & Reed rums. As you might expect, the price points also vary from the rest of the house. These cocktails will run you anywhere from $11-17, but include tax.
If you’re looking to add some spice into your libation rotation, be sure to seek out Addendum. Open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, it’s a handsome spot for people who genuinely love cocktails.
Addendum in Eighteenth Street Lounge
1212 18th St. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036