View our full portfolio, submit orders and connect with us on Sevenfifty at sevenfifty.com/Craftws

Industry News

Frank Jones: Front and Center at the Gibson

Frank Jones, bartender extraordinaire at The Gibson in Washington, D.C., is quick to list star mixologist Gina Chersevani among his first mentors in the business. Chuckling at the memory of her early tutelage, he recalled, “Gina would always tell me that I was messy and slow! What she was trying to get me to see was, as a bartender, you are constantly on display. You don’t really think of yourself as being part of the atmosphere, per se, but you are. Unlike a server at a table, you can’t leave your post. You’re stuck there, you’re in a fish bowl, and they’re watching you. So, in turn, I’ve learned to be much more neat. It’s very important to always be aware of the fact that you are being watched and to bring some degree of elegance to the job.”

Winner of last year’s Artini competition at the Corcoran Gallery, Jones has been tending bar in the Washington metro area for a decade now. He started at the Poste Moderne Brasserie in the Hotel Monaco. From there, he went to Ardeo + Bardeo, the Belga Cafe, and the Jack Rose Dining Saloon. “Now I am very happy to be at The Gibson,” he stated, “where I pretty much manage the cocktail program.”

Jones describes The Gibson as a “speakeasy-style cocktail bar,” which is located on 14th and U Streets in the District. He and his staff specialize in pre-Prohibition-style cocktails, as well as craft cocktails. “My favorite part of the job,” he stated, “is coming up with the drinks and then seeing the guests interact with them, seeing them surprised and happy with what has been set in front of them. Few Spirits are especially great to work with. I have two favorites. One is the Few Rye and the other is the Barrel Aged Gin. I think the gin, in particular, is just amazing.”

He continued, “The most challenging part is consistently coming up with something that you haven’t seen already. Once you get the idea, you’re good to go. You can work it out. I usually just sit at the bar and ask myself, ‘What haven’t I put in a drink?’ And then I’ll think about things that might go well with that. Or, I’ll look at a liquor that I don’t necessarily care all that much for, that I’ve kind of avoided using, and I’ll force myself to use it in some obscure way. I also get a lot of inspiration from food and things that I like to eat.”

One question he doesn’t spend much time obsessing on is which ice to use. Cubed, crushed, shaved, an ice wedge — he just doesn’t care. “I might catch a lot of Hell for this, but someone once said to me when asked about ice, ‘You just better not run out of it!’ I, myself, am the same way. The different types of ice are great. They definitely do have their purposes. However, for me, I tend not to get caught up too much in the ice. At the end of the day, people want a cold drink, and they want it fast.”

Jones also doesn’t have a lot of time on his hands to go to other bars and taverns and see what they’re doing. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a few pet peeves. “What drives me up the wall is shaking martinis,” he exclaimed, “or shaking any cocktail that doesn’t need to be shaken! Other than that, I pretty much avoid going to other cocktail bars. I try and go somewhere I can actually shut my brain off. I’ll go to dive bars where I don’t expect anything.”

Customers have come to expect a lot from The Gibson, and Jones and his colleagues are always looking for fun promotions to keep them coming back. On the horizon, for instance, is a first-of-its kind April Fool’s Wedding. “One of my co-workers and I have decided we’re going to get married on April 1st,” Jones laughed. ” We’re actually very good friends. She has a boyfriend, and he’s going to ‘give me away.’ It’s going to be a relaxed party, very different from what the Gibson is normally like.”

Other than that, Jones just wants to continue having fun and keeping a level head. “Don’t ever be too cocky,” he concluded. “Nobody likes a cocky bartender. Be confident, but understand that there is a line between confidence and cockiness. And definitely understand that no matter what you know, there is always more to learn. Every day, somebody is doing something different and something new. The moment you think that you know it all, you’re already behind.”

FAVORITE MOVIE: “Little Shop of Horrors”

CAN’T MISS TV SHOW: “Scandal”

FAVORITE HOLIDAY: Halloween

PERSON HE WOULD MOST LOVE TO SERVE A DRINK TO (living or dead): Janet Jackson.

SPECIAL INTEREST: “I like to draw and paint. No particular style. Whatever strikes me in the moment.”


Publication: Beverage Journal
Author: Edward "Teddy" Durgin


Kopper Kettle Virginia Whiskey
Belmont Farms Distillery

The newest addition to our family of whiskey is our Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Virginia Straight is your assurance that we make this Bourbon from grain to glass right here on our Virginia farm! Aged for at least 2 years in charred oak barrels, this is a rich, full flavored whiskey. Notes of cacao, vanilla, and even caramel with a slight spice on the finish make this a great drink no matter how you enjoy it most!

Black Draft Bourbon
Black Draft Distillery

Black Draft Distillery proudly presents our Straight Bourbon Whiskey to the ranks of an American classic. Because bourbon is one of the most recognized American spirits, we spent over two years developing the perfect levels of taste, smoothness, and drinkability. Painstaking craftsmanship led to the emergence of what has become one of our most popular products.

Boulder Peated Malt Single Malt Whiskey
Boulder Spirit Company

A forthright representation of a traditional pot distilled malt whiskey combined with American aging techniques. Using 100% malted barley, a slow mash, fermentation and distillation; our malt whiskey is aged in virgin American Oak barrels for aminimum of 3 years.

Casa Marrone Appassimento Rosso
Casa Marrone Winery

Our Casa Marrone Appassimento has a powerful and intense flavour, while remaining soft and approachable on the palate. Produced from hand-picked grapes, it has a balanced oak character with notes of mature dark cherries, plum, chocolate and Madagascan vanilla and spices.

Deviation Citrus Rose Gin
Deviation Distiling

Like our American single malt whiskey, Citrus Ros? Gin begins with a 100% malted barley mash bill. Grapefruit, tangerine, lavender, and tarragon complement the delicate, floral flavor of the grain, yielding a bright ultra pre- mium gin that is delightfully pink.

Folkington's Indian Tonic Water
Folkington's Tonic

Folkington's Indian Tonic Water is made from a blend of natural quinine (from Indian cinchona bark) with citrus and floral botanical extracts made in small batches.

Delord Armagnac 25 Years Old
Heavenly Spirits

This superb blend displays flavors or cocoa, spices, vanilla, raisins, walnut and cinnamon. Its finish is long, silky and biscuity. 25 years old.

JM Salted Caramel
Jackson Morgan Southern Cream

Salted caramel is Jackson Morgan Southern Cream's?most requested flavor with a delectable balance of caramel and real dairy cream. Mix with blueberry vodka for Jackson Morgan's? signature cocktail, The Blue Mule. Best served chilled. Silver, 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Silver Outstanding, 2015 International Wine and Spirits Competition. Gold, 2015 Best Tasting Spirits.

JW Kelly Single Barrel Bourbon
JW Kelly & Company

Also born and raised in the scenic city of Chattanooga TN, J.W. Kelly?s original Single Barrel Bourbon was bottled at cask strength, creating a handmade style with its own unique flavors. Reborn in 2016, this unique single barrel, coming in at 109 proof, is hand bottled and double oaked. Every barrel is selected from barrels 5-8 years old. Once the barrel has been selected it is then transferred into a new American oak barrel and aged for another 8-12 months. Every barrel will be different and have its own personality. That?s the benefit of a single barrel, amazing taste, flavors and an amazing surprise with every glass.

Koloa Spice Hawaiian Rum
Koloa Rum Company

Koloa Spice Rum is produced from a proprietary spice blend, golden wheat in color, with hints of spice cake on the nose. It is extremely well-balanced with a hint of caramel and vanilla and a long, smooth finish. 2012 Silver Medal, San Francisco Spirits Competition. 2011 Bronze Medal, Miami Rum Renaissance Festival.

Leadslingers Fighting Spirit Rye
Leadslingers

As spirits connoisseurs ourselves, we wanted to bring a top-shelf rye whiskey to market for your enjoyment. After careful consideration and passionate distillation process Leadslingers Spirits is extremely proud to present ?Fighting Spirit Rye?. Much like the iconic marine so prominently displayed on the front of our bottle, we feel this will become a cornerstone in your liquor catalog for years to come. Be a leader in all things, especially a taste for quality.

Louthan Disitilling Oak Aged Corn Whiskey
Louthan Distilling

The first operational distillery in Baltimore since Prohibition, Louthan Distilling has been producing hand-crafted, deliciously smooth corn whiskey since October 2014. Founder and President Len Louthan harnessed 30 years of engineering expertise to design and fabricate a unique hybrid still and co-owner (and daughter!) Kelsey Louthan has been running it since day one. A passion for local ingredients and resources runs in the family, and every kernel of corn in our corn whiskey is sourced from Maryland's Eastern Shore, just outside of Salisbury. The corn is mashed, fermented, distilled, and aged on-site in Lauraville, a neighborhood in north-east Baltimore City.

Spice Rum
Maggies Farm

Maggie?s Farm Spiced Rum is unlike most spiced rums. Using only fresh ingredients, we infuse our Spiced Rum with a unique blend of eight different spices, including vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and freshly grated orange zest. The result is a distinctively spiced rum with a uniquely dry finish that?s neither syrupy nor overly sweet.

Cody Road Rye Whiskey
Mississippi River Distilling Company

Handmade from 100% local rye purchased from Dave and Jim Wherry in Fulton, Illinois. Our rye is a unique spirit that showcases the wonderful spiciness of this one-of-a-kind grain along with the delicate fruitiness that is often lost in rye whiskies. Rye is known for being a bold and spicy grain. We distill it very cleanly so you can experience a sweet fruitiness that is unexpected from rye. Then the signature spiciness will linger in the back of your mouth. Let it set in the glass for a few minutes and taste the complexities of rye as they soar from your glass.

Mucha Liga Reposado Tequila
Mucha Liga Spirits

Rested in white oak barrels, our reposado is unlike any tequila with a great balance among the immediate presence of caramel and the gentle flavours of blue agave. An untamed expression of tequila.

Rhine Hall La Normande
Rhine Hall Distillery

La Normande is an American-style Pommeau, a product native to the Normandy region in France. We mix our Apple Brandy with fresh pressed apple cider and age it in bourbon barrels for 9 months. The finished product is a rich apple cider with an Apple Brandy backbone. After we finish emptying the barrels, Goose Island and other local breweries have been using the bourbon barrels to age their beers.

Spey 18yr Old Single Malt
Spey Single Malts

The distillery is home to SPEY from Speyside Distillery ? a luxury, high-quality single malt. Although production at the distillery got under way in the very recent past, the history of the distillery and the dynasty behind SPEY spans more than two centuries.

Smokehead Single Malt Scotch
Smokehead Single Malt

Smokehead Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky is intensely rich yet subtly sweet. With immense smoke and notes of sea salt and spice, this is a vigorous whisky that stands out from the crowd. A whisky that?s uncompromising, unexpected and defiantly different, Smokehead embodies a wild spirit that?s custom built for outliers.

Thatcher's Elderflower Liqueur
Thatchers Spirits

Thatcher?s Organic Elderflower Liqueur features hints of elderflower reminiscent of a fresh spring dew. Best enjoyed in: vodka, champagnes, white wine

Tora Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2016
Tora Bay Winery

This medium-bodied wine's modest grapefruit aromas and flavors are largely submerged under a layer of leafy notes reminiscent of crushed tomato stalk.

Upcoming Events