Twelve bucks is a bargain for an Old Fashioned at Shaw newcomer, Declaration. Hold up, eye-roller, and keep reading: this variation on the classic contains Dad’s Hat Rye, savory syrup made from DC Brau’s Penn Quarter Porter, a mezcal rinse (so hot right now), Angostura bitters, and a rye cherry. What makes it worthy of opening your wallet and making it rain plastic is that Declaration handpicked a proprietary rye on a cheesesteak-fueled trip to the Bristol, PA distillery. Of course, we had to tag along to watch the bar’s cocktail maven plant his flag in something special.
"The inspiration for the restaurant is the Declaration of Independence, so we tried to fold in elements that make sense, like serving a rye from Philly," says John Hogan, who is also the beverage consultant for Declaration’s sister restaurants -- Lincoln and Teddy & The Bully Bar. If you have a home bar worth a damn, you probably recognize his mug from the label of Bar Keep lavender bitters.