Ari and Micah Wilder, mixologists, brothers and partners of newly opened Japanophile hotspot Zeppelin are upping the bubble game with their highball cocktails.
Situated in Shaw, Zeppelin is home to a sophisticated cocktail program with a focus on Japanese spirits, bubbles, ice and simplicity.
By stimulating and enhancing the effervescence, the Wilder brothers have successfully been able to turn this classic Japanese beverage into a libation that can be enjoyed for a longer duration with lasting bubbles.
A traditional highball is a deceptively simple cocktail, requiring a few basic ingredients, whiskey, bubbly water and ice, yet its perfect preparation is scientific. Zeppelin’s cocktail program showcases a finely tuned Toki Highball Machine that cools the whisky and water to near freezing, ensuring less dilution from melting ice and greater retention of carbonation.
The modernistic ÒHI-BALLERSÓ on Zeppelin’s menu blend Japanese spirits, which aren’t commonly found locally, with a new line of cocktail vinegars and other signature mixtures created by the imaginative Wilder brothers.
Pandan, passion fruit, stone fruits, fermented Yuzu Kosho and Sansho increase the bubbliness of the brew, bringing out the flavors of the base spirit. The ‘Champagnification’ of the baller bubbles is boosted by acidity, sodium, vinegars and fermented paste resulting in tiny bubbling flurries which tantalize the taste buds and tickles the nose while not being overly boozy.
Zeppelin’s HI-BALLERS are priced at $12 each. Their sushi chef, Minoru Ogawa, offers an omakase experience, along with sushi, yakitori and other Japanese menu items.
Zeppelin. Address: 1544 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001. Phone: (202) 506-1068.