Fruit Bat — the latest cocktail spot from Erik Holzherr, the award-winning mixologist behind Wisdom — will be officially open to the public tomorrow, but we were invited to take a sneak peak last night.
Located on H Street NE in the space formerly occupied by the H Street Martini Lounge, Fruit Bat differentiates itself from the other bars in the neighborhood by offering a variety of house-infused spirits and letting you work with the bartender to come up with your own combinations or choosing from a list of cocktails with names like the Colombian Necktie or the Dirty Sanchez.
Juices are squeezed while you watch and herbs are grown behind the bar. The house shot is aguardiente — literally, fire water – in this case, the Colombian version, which is an anise flavored liqueur that tastes a lot like Sambuca.
I tried the Colombian Necktie, which featured aguardiente and fresh squeezed OJ, and then went with a couple of my own concoctions. First up was the smoothie of the week, Honeydew and Banana, spiked with pineapple and cardamom infused rum. One sip and I was looking around for a hammock. Next up was the cherry, cucumber and sake infused vodka that I opted to mix with cucumber water. I’m hoping we’re done with the crazy heatwaves for the year, but if not, this is a great antidote to a hot summer day.
We were also treated to samples of the South American inspired menu. A taco with pork and chorizo and a pickled slaw and a queso blanco pupusa for the vegetarians were given out to try. Both were excellent (although, the pork and more pork approach of the taco is going to win my heart every time).
Fruit Bat is located at 1236 H Street NE and opens to the public this Friday, August 20.