kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


Featured Cocktail: The Presidential

The Presidential at Quill was inspired by Jefferson's love of apples. For DC Magazine's January issue, I explored the idea of presidential cocktails: ones named for or inspired by presidents, as well as those that bartenders speculate they may have sipped if they were alive today. In the District, we have a bunch of bars named for and/or inspired by former presidents: Lincoln, Quill and Plume at The Jefferson, and the upcoming Teddy and the Bully Bar, just to name a few. On January 9, I appeared on Let's Talk Live to talk about and mix up a few of these presidential potables, including this great sip from head bartender Sofia Celasco at Quill. Though major oenophile Thomas Jefferson failed at winemaking on his estate at Monticello, he did have a thriving apple orchard. He had the staff include apples in many dishes on the menu, and was known to throw back a cold mug of cider with nearly every meal. This tipple gives a nod to his love of the crisp fruit.

You can read about all of the cocktails here, and check out the Let's Talk Live segment here.

The Presidential Courtesy of Sofia Celasco,  head bartender at Quill at The Jefferson Hotel, Washington, D.C. This drink gets its kick from both Bourbon and Applejack, an apple-based brandy discovered and brought to the colonies by George Washington. A cinnamon-infused simple syrup pairs nicely with the Bourbon's sweetness and Applejack's subtle apple notes. Feel free to play with the ratio of Bourbon to Applejack--I actually like to make them equal to coax out more apple flavor. Celasco garnishes the drink with a cinnamon-tinged baked apple slice; a stick of cinnamon works just as nicely

1.5 oz. Bourbon 1 oz. Laird's Applejack 1/4 oz. cinnamon-infused syrup (equal parts sugar and water and a few cinnamon sticks, boiled until sugar dissolves, and then removed from heat and left to steep until desired cinnamon flavor is achieved) 1/4 oz. lemon juice Few dashes whiskey bitters Cinnamon-coated baked apple slice, or cinnamon stick, for garnish

Add Bourbon, Applejack, syrup, lemon juice and whiskey bitters to a cocktail shaker. Add ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass that has fresh ice, and garnish with the apple slice or cinnamon stick.