I was in Washington D.C. recently for the cherry blossom festival – it was one of those spur of the moment things that I decided needed to be done. I went without making any concrete plans or having an itinerary of things I wanted to do while I was in D.C. If you know me at all, this is the complete opposite of how I generally function. I like to have maps, to-do lists, and read reviews when I travel so that every hour of my day is neatly laid out. It was a nice change of pace to just wing it and take things as they come. I arrived in D.C. on Saturday around noon and met up with my college roommate, Jessie, who was kind enough to join me for the last minute trip, and we ended up going to Oyamel for lunch.
Here’s a fun fact before we start talking about drinks – an oyamel is a kind of fir tree native to Southern Mexico. Oyamel fir forests are most notable for being the destination of the annual monarch butterfly migrations. The trees literally become covered in butterflies until the tree is barely visible. These are the most endangered types of forests in Mexico right now, and wow are they beautiful! This explains the butterfly motif that was everywhere in the restaurant’s decor.
Oyamel is a Jose Andres restaurant. Jose Andres is apparently a bit of a D.C. celebrity chef, which I didn’t know until about 15 minutes before walking into Oyamel. I am usually not a huge tapas fan, because I end up spending too much money and still hungry. Oyamel had pretty hearty portion-sizes, however, and I left feeling satiated but not stuffed. But I am not here to tell you about the food – the only things that I generally like about brunch are seeing my friends and Bloody Marys.
Oyamel has named theirs the “Bloody Maria” which is mezcal or tequila based, the glass is rimmed with Sal de Gusano (more on that in a minute), and topped off with a dash of lime juice and a lime peel twirl on top. Sal de Gusano is an Oaxacan spice made out of salt, chili, and ground up agave worms. That’s right, the little worms at the bottom of tequila bottles! If I had known this before I ordered, I might have hesitated, but I’m glad I didn’t. There was a nice heat to the drink, but I was a little lime-d out by the halfway point. I would have liked the drink to have been a little thicker as the lime juice really watered down the tomato sangrita, but overall, it was a very refreshing and nice take on the Bloody Mary.
Liquor Base: Tequila
Viscosity/Texture: It was a little more watery than I would have liked
Spice: There was a good heat added by the sal de gusano, but by the end, the lime juice washes out the spices
Fixin’s: A lime garnish, nothing too fancy. I’m a big fan of celery in Bloody Marys
Overall Rating: 2.25 out of 5
Oyamel is located at 401 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20004. http://www.oyamel.com
So wow – the end of my first blog post! Thank you for bearing with me while I figure out how to make pictures of Bloody Marys more fun, and stay tuned! I’ll be introducing the Bloody Mary club and writing about ABC Cocina next week.