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Review: Cocktail Demo Class at DC’s Via Umbria


We’ve all been there: After experiencing a long and stressful day at work, the only thing we want or need is someone willing to buy us a stiff drink alongside a satisfying plate of hearty grub. Lucky enough for diners living in the DC Metro area, artisanal food giant, Via Umbria takes it a step further by handcrafting cocktails and plates for hungry patrons during their new interactive table-side series.

A family of businesses built around a deeply steeped love for all things Italian, the market, cafe, restaurant, and event venue is conveniently located in the heart of Georgetown’s popular shopping district on Wisconsin Ave, NE. In an effort to familiarize and educate the D.C. community with Italian culture and fare, Via Umbria has introduced affordable, hands-on cooking classes featuring recipes for popular bar snacks, sips, and cuisines. All recipes utilize generous portions of fresh meats, veggies, spices, and spirits from both local and international vendors – many of which can be found and purchased in the store.

We were lucky enough to participate in the “Pub Snack” class led by house mixologist, Matt Demma, of True Syrups. He diligently walked an intimate group of us through three courses of simple drink and snack pairings including (but not limited to), a “Chocolate Espresso Old Fashioned,” hot nuts, and fried pickles!

Of the pairings featured during the demo, our favorite takeaways from the evening are below. We hope you try your hand at making one (or both) of these delicious recipes for your next party or event, and make sure you sign up to participate in one of Via Umbria’s upcoming demos (the next one is a Tagatelle pasta-making class so hurry before it’s full!
( Pre-tickets are required and walk-ins are not accepted.

Stuffed mushrooms

24 mushrooms, stems removed and washed
3/4 lb Umbrian sausage
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (plus a little or a lot extra!)
Olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Remove stems from mushrooms and clean
3. Remove sausage from stuffing, mix with breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup Parmesan (you can buy this in store!) Add olive oil as needed.
4. Stuff mushrooms with sausage mix
5. Bake for 12 minutes at 350.

6. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan and serve warm.

Chartreuse Spritz dubbed the “Professor and Mary Anne”

2 oz Aylesbury Duck Vodka
.5 oz lime juice
.5 oz pineapple-spice syrup
Ginger beer
Candied ginger slice or lime wheel
1. Shake vodka and syrups together for 30 seconds
2. strain into glass
3. Top with ginger beer
4. Garnish with ice and candies ginger or lime wheel
  1. Sarah says

    I LOVE stuffed mushrooms and those in particular look delicious! I’ve never made them myself though because they seem a little labor intensive. Maybe I’m wrong?

  2. hanna says

    I need to take some drink making lessons! Everything looks amazing!

  3. Amanda Mason says

    Yum! These look yummy! I’ve never made stuffed mushrooms but I’ll be trying these!

  4. hidemywp says

    Seems that you had a great time in Via Umbria. The handcrafting cocktails look great though 🙂

  5. Gillian says

    This sounds like it was so much fun. A great idea fo Mother’s day with older kids. I think we may do something like this at out nest gathering. I love cocktails and inventing them.

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