By Lisa M. Comento
These days people are more aware than ever of what they put in their bodies. They are reading the labels, asking questions, and avoiding ingredients like high-fructose corn syrup.
Role Iced Tea Blends based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region launched in November 2016. Role Iced Tea is satisfying DC’s thirst and demand for turmeric beverage as proven in Google trends analytics that graphically shows how many mentioned or desire a beverage made with turmeric. Role Tea is one of the first bottled iced tea made with water-soluble turmeric, which is absorbed easier by the body than fat soluble. This ancient spice is known to have a variety of health benefits including reducing inflammation.
“Role Tea started from a love of tea, and a desire to have a drink that provides a break from just drinking water. But we wanted a drink that included ingredients that may provide some wellness benefit without compromising on taste. Turmeric was the first ingredient we explored in our original blend based on its anti-inflammatory properties,” said Mike Johnson, the company’s Co-Founder and inventor.
When coming up with the right formula it took 60 iterations to develop their first three flavors. There are two original, “Tame the Flame” flavors that are each made with a green and black tea blend, turmeric, and ginger. The first is a peach flavored option with a balanced sweetness and only 80 calories per bottle. The second is virtually unsweet with a splash of apple juice with only 10 calories and 1 gram of sugar.
The peach tea reminded me of the Italian San Benedetto peach tea that I fell in love with when studying abroad to Florence, Italy. Role Iced Tea is not quite as sweet and the functional ingredients make me feel better about putting it into my body. I personally cannot taste the ginger but the turmeric is very subtle at the finish and pairs deliciously well with the peach.
Their third flavor, “A Spice of Life” is made with rooibos red tea, cinnamon and a splash of apple. Tastes like fall in a bottle with the amazing smells of a cinnamon apple pie. Cinnamon also has anti-inflammatory benefits. I highly recommend these teas for post-workouts.
The brand name derives from Johnson’s mission to ensure that every ingredient selected plays a “role” in perfecting the balance between flavor and function. You can find the list of where to buy their tea throughout the metropolitan area on their website. The teas are also available for purchase on their website.
For Rent DC’s newest “Speakeasy” with a Local Twist
What: For Rent – DC’s newest cocktail bar
Where: 1413 K Street, NW
When: Opened on Thursday, December 8, 2016
Why: Is there ever a reason for a new cocktail bar?
How: You can get there by foot, bicycle, hover board, bus, metro, taxi, uber or lyft
For Rent, Washington D.C.’s hottest new cocktail bar (formerly The Speak) located at 1413 K Street, NW, opened to the public on Thursday, December 8th. The bar has a speakeasy feel as you wander downstairs to the basement level directly below Vieux Carre restaurant. Once you reach the basement, open the sliding door that leads to the actual front “door.”
The cleverly named bar is a parody of what many of us have experienced living here in DC. If you are like me, you have lived in different apartments around the city. The cocktails are equally as clever and named for different DC neighborhoods. You will see hilarious fake ads tacked up on their cork board selling their cocktails.
At the bar I ran into a fellow blogger, Elaine Clayton, of Travelaine along with a friend I had met over a year ago, Christelle Siby Gorman.
The long narrow dimly lit space provides an intimate cozy feel. String lights line the ceiling at the far end making it seem like you are on a rooftop. We Washingtonians love our rooftops and I loved how they created that feel inside the quaint bar. The space allows enough room for small groups or celebratory events.
Beverage Director, Jesse Raines, will see to it that his cocktail menu is anything but ordinary. Bar Manager, Rico Wisner, formerly at Graffiato and Tico, is bringing his mixology talents to For Rent. Bartenders Ricky Levoie and Derrick Cauthers also join the talented cocktail team.
The creativity with the menu design is what took me so long to decide on my first cocktail. Designed to look like a page in Craigslist; each drink appears to be available for “rent.” I ordered The Anacostia after reading apple-ginger I knew it would be a good sale. The smell and taste of apples reminded me of fall.
For Rent offers a delicious cheese and charcuterie plate to nibble on while sipping their exquisite cocktails.
Bubbles are always a good choice. The Palisades was next. Poured into a saucer sparkling wine glass and topped with edible flowers. My pink flower appears to enjoy the drink more than I did. The elderflower intrigued me and could imagine it mixed well with Champagne. Light and crisp with the subtle floral notes from the elderflower. I love this one.
I felt in order to give For Rent an honest review I had to try a third cocktail. I chose The Capital Hill made with Maruda Rum, pineapple juice, Italian bitters, lime and simple syrup. There was nothing bitter about this drink as it was the sweetest of the three I savored that evening. My liquid dessert for the night.
Toward the end of the evening I met two ladies who are originally from North Carolina where I had lived prior to moving to Washington, D.C. Writer, Heather Mahoney, with Bisnow asked to take our picture for their The Scene section and our picture turned out to be the feature picture for the article.
For Rent is additionally available for private parties and events.
Mondays – Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Fridays from 5:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Saturdays from 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
DC Beer Week in Washington, D.C. kicks off every August, and this year is scheduled for August 9th-16th. The D.C. metropolitan area has exploded over the past few years with new breweries opening up in and around the city. In order to appreciate today’s beer scene, it’s important to learn about the men who paved the way for present-day breweries.
Shortly after the country was being founded, breweries were also making a mark. Dr. Cornelius Coningham from England made history when he opened the first brewery in 1796 called the Washington Brewery, located southwest of the White House on what is now Constitution Avenue. Coningham partnered with James Greenleaf to run his brewery that was housed in a two-story stone building. An ad was found that they posted in the Washington Gazette advertising their table beer, strong beer, hops, grains, and whiskey. In those days, with only 1% alcohol, table beer was a common drink to wash dinner down.
After Greenleaf went bankrupt in 1797, the partnership dissolved and Coningham moved his operation near Navy Yard to an 8-story brick building that had originally been built as a sugar refinery. This was the second brewery location, and operated from 1805-1836.
The district’s most famous early brewer is Christian Heurich, who founded the Christian Heurich Brewing Company in 1872. Heurich’s first location began in DuPont Circle until a fire in 1895 forced him to move his brewery to Foggy Bottom, where the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts now stands.
Modern-Day Breweries in D.C.
Fast forward to 2009, when DC Brau was founded by CEO and Certified Cicerone Brandon Skall and President, Head Brewer, and Certified Cicerone Jeff Hancock. DC Brau was the district’s first operating brewery since 1956 when Heurich’s brewery closed. Since 2009, more breweries are emerging in the area, like Capitol City Brewing Company, District ChopHouse & Brewery, 3 Stars Brewing Company, Atlas Brew Works, Bluejacket, and Right Proper Brewing Company, along with others opening in nearby Virginia and Maryland. The newest addition being Hellbender Brewing Company, which opened last October.
DC Beer Week 2015
In honor of DC Beer Week, a collaboration of nearly 20 nearby breweries came together at the District ChopHouse back in June to discuss the recipe for a beer called The Solidarity. They then each brewed the beer 16 days later. The Solidarity is an over 70% wheat, 5.8% ABV, 25 IBU, 2 SRM Saison with fresh-pressed lemon juice and three citrusy varieties of hops.
On Tuesday, August 4th, Hellbender opened its doors for a media preview tasting of their Solidarity.
Head Brewer and Co-Owner Ben Evans took us on a tour of the establishment and let us taste their newest Australian hopped IPA called the Chazzwazzer, named from a Simpson’s show reference. The subtle crisp notes of dried mango and pineapple were impressive.
“For me, home brewing started as both a creative outlet and a way to save money. On a production level, I love creating new recipes while still applying my scientific background to keep batches consistent,” Evans said.
Now with DC Beer Week underway, Suburbia located outside Union Market will officially kick off the week on Sunday, August 9th, hosting the region’s top 20 breweries, cideries and meaderies. Day-time events will include tastings, music from DJ-59, as well as a ribbon cutting ceremony for the 7th Annual DC Beer Week.
DC Brau is teaming up with Quarterdeck to host a crab fest on Monday, August 10th, from 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., with all-you-can-eat crabs, $1 DC Brau beers, and $5 pitchers. (Tickets for the Crab Fest Extravaganza have already sold out.)
ChurchKey will make history on Thursday, August 13th at 4:00 p.m. by devoting all 55 of their draft and cask lines to local brews. This will be the largest and first-ever single tapping of DC craft beers. There is even talk of the local brewmasters being present for this historic evening.
Chris Van Orden, Co-Editor at DC Beer, began writing and promoting the D.C. beer scene in 2012. He has been an integral part of promoting the local beer scene and enjoyed being part of the growth. Each year, DC Beer partners with Scion in DuPont for their Blind & Bitter tasting that will include dozens of local brews.
“I’ve been really impressed how quickly people have become well-versed in beer,” said Van Orden. “Not everyone needs to be an expert or obsess over every pint, but knowing even a few of the fundamentals — the basics of style, the importance of freshness — makes a huge difference. Also, the role that local breweries have played is fantastic. The public has rallied behind their hometown favorites, and the brewers never take that support for granted.”
For more information on upcoming DC Beer Week events, check DC Beer’s events page.