Over the past few years, vintage-obsessed haute couture has not been exclusive to the runways of Milan and Paris. Permeating through the food and beverage industry, Prohibition-era cocktails grace the menus of established restaurants and modern speakeasies alike. In order to stay warm in this arctic weather, I threw a few drinks down that hatch during a recent visit to PX Lounge in Alexandria, VA.
For those not in the know, speakeasies were covert establishments where thirsty folk could indulge in a libation or two during the days of the Prohibition. After pressing the doorbell near the random blue light on Columbus Street, a hostess opened a small window within the door to confirm a reservation for the 38-seat lounge. Then, she led patrons up the stairs and into another era of American bar history.
Located just above Eamonn’s on King Street, dim lights and décor from the early 20th century set the mood at PX Lounge. Superstar mixologist Todd Thrasher and staff have composed a menu of diverse high-end cocktails featuring their homemade bitters and sodas. The Norkfolk Dumpling is composed of duck sauce, pisco, tequila, and homemade bitters garnished with a shrimp cracker. Having an affinity for rye and bourbon whiskey, I opted for the classic Old Fashioned with a herbal twist provided by the digestif, Cardamaro.
With new creations bearing funky names and the flawless execution of classic cocktails, PX Lounge is the perfect place to take a date and bathe in the ambiance or expand your knowledge of cocktail couture.
- Bitters – a bitter alcohol-based elixir that has been infused with a combination of special herbs, spices, roots, and fruits. At one time, bitters were thought to be medicinal in nature.
- Pisco – a grape brandy that is exported from Chile and Peru.
- Cardamaro – an Italian wine-based digestif flavored with cardoon (artichoke family), blessed thistle, and other herbs and spices.