DC’s “Dos Mamis” Name the Best Snacks to Pair With 6 Summer Beverages
From rosé to G&Ts, here’s what you should be serving at your next cookout
Even those familiar with the charming, tight-knit neighborhood of Petworth may not know it was actually established more than two centuries ago. What they probably do know is that the area has been going through a transformation over the past decade thanks to a slew of bar and restaurant openings, especially along the lively Upshur Street, which has been dubbed by some as D.C.’s “future of dining.”
One of the latest additions to the neighborhood is Dos Mamis, a new cocktail bar on Upshur by Himitsu’s Carlie Steiner and Taqueria Del Barrio’s Anna Bran-Leis. “We basically wanted to be the bar that you could come to for any occasion, and especially for no occasion,” says Steiner. “The focus is on really quality cocktails, and everything we do is made with all-fresh ingredients, but we serve it in a way that’s quick and affordable and want to make it a super approachable space. It’s taken time to find that balance of approachability and quality (without any of the attitude).”
Expect Steiner’s signature approach to cocktails, which includes fun and funky flavor combinations and even better names. The space is splashed with bold color and a long bar with ample seating, and if you’re willing to endure the heat, you can even head to the back and enjoy a frozen beverage or soft serve in their wine garden.
Despite the emphasis placed on their beverage program, Dos Mamis also serves a selection of cheeses chosen by both Steiner and Bran-Leis, ranging from a lavender-wild fennel goat cheese served with caramelized onions to an “xxxtra sharp cheddar” with whole grain mustard and cornichons. Considering these wild and delicious flavor combinations, we thought it’d be in our best interest to consult with Steiner on ways we can amp up our own wine-and-cheese game at home — the best way to impress without actually cooking anything yourself.
Below, Steiner’s top tips on pairing and six foolproof combinations of booze and hors d’oeuvres guaranteed to make you and your summer houseguest(s) very happy.
“As far as pairings go the easiest thing to remember is that acid is going to cut through cream and fat, and so will tannins,” explains Steiner. “That’s why you see a lot of higher tannin red wines paired with fatty meats. Also, if you have something really spicy it’s always fun to play with a wine that has a little residual sugar, like a Riesling — it’ll help hold down the palette (calm it down when you’ve had a bit too much spice).”
- A Summer Red: “If it’s a chilled red then I’d go with a raw tuna application. Try something like a tuna tartare or slices of sashimi. My recommendation is a bottle of Love You Bunches, a carbonic Sangiovese from Stolpman Vineyards in Santa Barbara, California.”
- A Crisp White: “A crisp white would be super yummy with any sort of Gruyere or Swiss cheese, and a spiced dish if you’re cooking, like a coconut curry. Nutty cheeses and more tropical fruits like mango would pair really well with it. As far as the bottle goes — I’m choosing a Uvairenda ‘1750’ Torrontes from Bolivia.”
- A Sparkling Rosé: “I’m probably cutting up a watermelon and tossing it with some feta and basil to pair with a sparkling rosé. I’d go with a surefire classic like Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé or Moet and Chandon. It has to be dry and high quality. There’s also a canned rosé from Oregon called Underwood that’s really good.”
- A Gin & Tonic: “I spent a lot of time in Spain, so I think about the classic, aromatic ‘Gin Tonic’ that they serve there, and how well it pairs with olives, Manchego cheese and boquerones — little anchovies served in vinegar, a classic Spanish tapas. When I’m having a dry, crisp, bitter cocktail then I want something to combat that dryness, which is why oily fish or olives work perfectly. For a bottle I’d recommend Nolet Silver Dry Gin from the Netherlands, which is very fruit forward.”
- An Old Fashioned: ”I honestly wouldn’t pair it with anything except for a cigar and another old-fashioned. Just kidding. It’s good with charcuterie, whole grain mustard, some crusty bread, maybe some spiced nuts — those deep wintery party foods. My bottle of choice would have to be I.W. Harper 15 Year Bourbon, a sweet and corn-rich bourbon from Kentucky. The cool thing about that distillery is they were one of the 10 still allowed to make medicinal bourbon during the prohibition.”
- A Spicy Margarita: “Pair it with a trio of salsas: a salsa verde, a pico de gallo and a fruit salsa like mango to play with the balance of acidity and sweetness. Don’t forget the chips and guacamole. My choice bottle is the Uno from 123 Tequila, which is a blanco and the only type of tequila you ever want to use in a margarita.”