This time around, a couple beers (including the Russian-made Baltika and North Coast Brewing’s Old Rasputin) made the menu. The cocktails, however, are also very much on-theme. “Every cocktail on the menu is made with vodka except for one,” Girard explains. The lone exception? That would be “This Cocktail Costs $29 At The Trump Hotel,” a comment on the price-hikes at Trump’s new DC hotel in the wake of their boss’s newfound notoriety. “On the Trump Hotel menu it’s called the John Willet,” says Girard of the bourbon-based drink. “We’re serving the exact same drink for less than half what they’re charging.”
Also of note is the Moscow Mole, which features “cooked down serrano pepper with fish sauce, vinegar, honey, sugar and fresh pureed ginger,” and packs a serious bite. “We really let it steep to get that bright ginger flavor,” Girard says. “Plus it’s got funk from the fish sauce along with bitterness and spice.” Hmmm. Doesn’t sound like anyone we know.
Girard simplified things this time around, after the success of his previous Trump venture took its toll. “It was really wonderful to see the reception the last menu had,” he explains, “but if it’s three deep at the bar, you don’t want to burden your bartenders with shaking egg white cocktails. We made 59 of those one night and I could barely move my arms the next day.”
Generally Girard shies away from vodka when designing drinks for Elixir. Until making this menu, he estimates he’s only created one vodka cocktail in the last three years. But when you go high concept you have to go all the way. “We wanted this bar to look like if you went to a Trump victory party in Moscow,” he says. As long as the party doesn’t include girls of loose morals, count us in.