Explore Washington D.C.

Sips in the City

“It’s all about the details,” says Brendan Dorr, beverage director at downtown’s B&O Brasserie. This approach (plus inventive menus and an insistence on using fresh ingredients like flowers, herbs and citrus) has earned Dorr numerous awards including a “People’s Choice Bartender of the Year.” Dorr likens his bar to a candy shop with an endless array of flavors. “There’s chemistry behind it,” he says.

Baltimore chefs have long embraced the “farm to table” approach, but Dorr is one of several mixologists who extends that philosophy to the bar. Along with a group of like-minded bar pros, Dorr founded the Baltimore Bartender’s Guild dedicated to the city’s cocktail scene. In addition to monthly meetings (each held on a different member’s turf), the group holds tastings and teaches skills classes. They also work with a local fruit farm to inspire bartenders to plan around what’s in season.

“Ultimately, we want guests to expect the best in Baltimore,” says Dorr, whether ingredients or mixing techniques. It’s not about arrogance, he says, but about education. “We
want them to know the difference between a cocktail that’s stirred and a cocktail that’s shaken.” Cheers to that!