Cocktail Inspiration For Memorial Day And Beyond

With Memorial Day weekend in close reach, families and friends in Washington, D.C. gear up for a variety of festivities to honor the veterans and famous Americans who have served our country.   This holiday also marks the launch of the summer season, a stretch of many special ceremonies, concerts, festivals, performances, and much more!

At Capella Washington, D.C. I’ll be soaking up the long holiday weekend with a batch of warm weather-ready, refreshing cocktails prepared by my favorite bartender, Angel Cervantes!  To give you a brief background, Angel Cervantes began bartending in the late 1980’s at various restaurants in and around Georgetown.  In 1995 he took the helm as Head Bartender at Mark Miller’s “Red Sage”.  After some time he moved to be Head Bartender at “Shelly’s Backroom” in 2002 and then in 2004 took on the position at Michele Richard’s “Citronelle” where he continued to impress and enjoy the company of Georgetown locals until it closed its doors in 2011.  Angel has been at the Rye Bar at Capella Washington D.C. since spring 2013!

Angel Cervantes Picture

Angel and Food & Beverage Manager, Will Rentschler have created a brand new summer cocktail menu for guests to enjoy in the Rye Bar, The Grill Room, Rooftop Bar & Lounge, and the outdoor terrace on the C&O CanalCapella D.C. is truly my favorite place to be in Georgetown, not just because of the gorgeous location, but also because of the personalized service and the unique variety of offerings created each season.  A prime example is Angel’s signature Rye Bar Cocktail Series and workshop, where guests and locals have a chance to learn and craft fun, seasonal cocktails while enjoying a delicious dinner afterwards in The Grill Room.  The cocktail series continues this summer and I highly suggest you reserve your seat fast!

Rye Bar Summer Cocktails

I had a chance to get a sneak preview of the summer cocktail menu and wanted to share this exclusive recipe with you!

“Imperfect” Martini

Half Moon Gin 1 oz

Templeton Rye 1 oz

Pimm’s liqueur 1/4 oz

Lemon Juice 1/2 oz

Simple Syrup 1 oz.

Splash of Luxardo Cherry Juice

Splash of Champagne

Preparation: Combine each ingredient together in a pint glass with ice then stir with a metal bar spoon until chilled.  Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a Luxardo cherry wrapped in a lemon twist.  Cheers!

If you plan to visit Capella this spring & summer, I invite you to try our new cocktails at the Rye Bar, or partake in a Rye Bar cocktail class with our Head Bartender, Angel and create your own!  For more information and reservations please contact us at 202-617-2424, or send an email to the Capella Washington, D.C. Personal Assistants at

The Washington Ballet Presents Peter Pan

I love Capella Washington, D.C’s partnership with The Washington Ballet and Artistic Director, Septime Webre.  When I first learned that Septime was creating a new whimsical production of the classic fairy tale, Peter Pan, I could not wait to make my reservations!  With my companion’s birthday just around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to celebrate spring with an outdoor seafood dinner and ballet at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.

We parked our car at Capella Washington, D.C. for an early dinner on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in April.  Capella Personal Assistant, Donovan Trott, had already reserved our tickets and had them ready for us when we arrived.  Donovan made us reservations at Tony & Joe’s Seafood Restaurant located two blocks away at the Georgetown Washington Harbour waterfront.  We thanked Donovan and took a beautiful walk to Tony & Joe’s.  I love this restaurant not only for the tasty local seafood, but also because of the legendary location in Georgetown, looking over the Potomac River boardwalk, Kennedy Center, Key Bridge, and across the water to Virginia.


We started off with Steamed P.E.I Mussels simmered in a tomato, basil, and chili sauce as well as fresh Rhode Island Calamari, crispy fried and served with pickled chilies and a chipotle aioli.  I loved these dishes, and for our entrees, a simple but delicious Caesar salad with chilled jumbo shrimp, yum!

After dinner, I used my iPhone to request an Uber X car to take us to The Kennedy Center for the Peter Pan ballet, just a five-minute drive down Rock Creek Trail.  The Eisenhower Theatre is beautiful, and our seats were just seven rows back from the main stage!  The ballet told the story of Peter and the Lost Boys, based on the 1911 novel Peter and Wendy by Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie.  “The story of Peter Pan is a compelling one as it reminds us to live our lives cherishing the child within,” says Artistic Director Septime Webre, “ I thought the ballet was both clever, funny and heartwarming, incorporating flying ballerinas through the air on their way to Neverland, and visually enhanced sets to create a sense of dream-like land of fantasy.


The Washington Ballet is one of the pre-eminent ballet organizations in the United States with choreographers and dancers from around the world. For more information regarding exclusive upcoming events this ballet season, be sure to contact your Capella Personal Assistant by calling 202-617-2400 or emailing


Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt

Easter is a month away, and I am already looking forward to the festivities!  What is your favorite Easter tradition?  As a child and even now, I have always loved the Easter Egg Hunt and of course, the Easter Bunny.

The Easter Bunny legend began long ago in Germany with an egg-laying hare named Osterhase.  German children made nests and left them outside for the hare to lay her eggs in, which the children would collect as a prize.  Actual Easter Egg Hunting began in America when German immigrants brought their Osterhase tradition to Pennsylvania in the 1700s.  The festivity soon spread across the nation, and baskets replaced nests.  Eventually, the game evolved into a treasure hunt, and the prizes expanded from just hard-boiled eggs to include chocolate, candy, toys and coins.

After discovering the history behind this Easter tradition, my team at Capella Washington, D.C. felt it was only appropriate to establish our very own Easter Egg Hunt.  And not your average children’s hunt, but one especially for the adults.  Picture a city wide hunt with golden eggs, sensational prizes, Washington, D.C.’s most well-known landmarks, and of course, the unique Capella experience.

I am so thrilled to announce the launch our first annual Capella DC  Easter Egg Hunt!

Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt

The Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt Details:

  • One golden egg will be placed in a unique location in Washington, D.C. every weekend, the three weeks leading to Easter Sunday on April 20th, 2014.  Your mission is to keep a look out for the photo clue on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram the morning of, which will give you a hint to where the Easter egg will be.
  • Next, locate the golden Easter egg and take a photo at the location of you and the prize.  Share your photo with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and be sure to use the hashtag #CapellaEasterEggHunt and tag us @CapellaDC.
  • When you open the Golden Egg, you will find a contact phone number.  Once you call this number, one of our Capella service professionals will reveal your winning prize!  We are offering a wide variety of prizes – from Sunday Brunch at The Grill Room, to a luxury overnight stay at Capella Washington, D.C.

Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt Schedule:

Saturday, April 5th
Sunday, April 7th
Saturday, April 12th
Sunday, April 13th
Thursday, April 17th
Friday, April 18th
Saturday, April 19th
Sunday, April 20th

For more information on the Capella DC Easter Egg Hunt, be sure to contact our Easter events squad at 202-617-2429!  Keep a look out for the first photo hint on Saturday, April 5th at 9:00am!

Capella Constellation Series At Capella Washington, D.C.

Earlier this month I had the incredible honor to present the Capella Constellation Series to our CEO & Chairman of Capella Hotels & Resorts, Mr. Horst Schulze & our Board of Directors!  It was a bitter cold evening in February, but the night sky was gorgeous and clear.  The gentlemen met me in the Capella Living Room, where Mr. Schulze asked our guide, University of Maryland Astronomer, Alex McCormick, to give us a brief introduction of “what we [were] about to see.”  Alex explained that the Capella Constellation Series is a brand new experience for hotel guests and the public that includes an interactive three-course meal and wine pairing in The Grill Room, followed by an extraordinary stargazing experience on the rooftop lounge during dessert and beverages, all along learning about the universe from the guides themselves.

Capella Constellation & Dinner Series Rooftop

The stargazing experience begins with Alex identifying and discussing familiar objects in the night sky, first with the naked eye and then using astronomical binoculars.  Then, using Capella Washington, D.C.’s  magnificent research grade telescope, we observe the stars, planets, and moons in greater (and informed!) detail.

We arrived to the rooftop and Alex explained to each of us that there are specific stars in the sky that we can use to help us locate different constellations.  I won’t to give too much away, but let’s just say this activity left the entire group very impressed!  We were all excited to discover that once we located the North Star in the Northern Hemisphere, we were able to find the Capella Star, directly above the hotel!

Capella Constellation & Dinner Series Lamb

Capella is the brightest star in the constellation Auriga and the sixth brightest star in the night sky.  Capella also occupies one vertex of the Winter Hexagon, a pattern of bright stars connecting six different constellations.

To our unaided eye, it looks like one bright star, but Capella is actually a system of four stars.  The two brightest stars are similar in color to our Sun, but each of them is about 10 times the diameter of the Sun, and approximately 2.5-2.7 times the mass of the Sun.  At approximately 42 light years from Earth, we have a hard time separating these two bright stars even with a very large telescope.  In order to get their separation, astronomers used a technique called interferometry, which employs two points of view separated by some distance in order to provide better resolution.  Capella was the first astronomical object outside of our Solar System successfully observed with interferometry!

Mr. Schulze and our Board of Directors had a wonderful evening and were fascinated by the stars and planets that we were able to see through the telescope from Capella’s rooftop.

For questions regarding upcoming Capella Constellation Series experience as well as to make reservations, please contact Elisabeth Thomas at (202) 617-2429 or e-mail

The Rye Bar’s Romantic Cocktail Tips

What are the secrets to creating a great cocktail?  This question came up during my chat with one of the Rye Bar’s signature & most well-known D.C. bartenders, Angel Cervantes.  “The liquor must stand out and the herbs and liqueurs must always come secondary.”   I wanted to get a deeper look into how our bartenders at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown create these unique, flavor punched cocktails, and what the basics are to create my own at home.  With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I asked Angel for his best romantic cocktail tips:

Valentines Day Cocktail

One of my favorite words of recommendation from Angel is, “It doesn’t matter what you’re making, it matters who you’re making it with.”  Creating cocktails involves letting loose and being creative.  To make it romantic, try tasting new flavors with your significant other to experience what you both like.  “Play with flavors of liqueurs, juices, sweetness, and acidity and decide what you are in the mood for.”  First, you must choose your liquor that will be the main focus of the drink.  Then think about what to add to your cocktail- herbs like lavender, rosemary, basil (infused in simple syrup), and citruses like lemons, limes, and oranges.  Once you both develop your favorite ingredients, fixings, and liquors, you will have an easier and more pleasurable time crafting cocktails.

Some of Angel’s suggested staple bar ingredients are:

  1. Lime or Lemon
  2. Sugar infused with an assortment of herbs or fruits
  3. Bitters, a liquid, often an alcoholic liquor, in which bitter herbs or roots have steeped, used as a flavoring

Will this Valentine’s Day be bitter or sweet for you? Regardless, here’s a great cocktail recipe that you can try out for yourself at home in case you’re not able to be here with us this year!

My Bitter Valentine

1.5 oz. Boyd & Blair Vodka
Dash of Hum Herbal Liqueur
.75 oz. St-Germaine
1 oz. Luxardo
Top with 3 dashes Boston Bitters
.25 oz. Lime juice

Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a dried rose petal.

For a more hands on learning experience, The Rye Bar is hosting a Couple’s Cocktail Class on Valentine’s Day weekend, which is all about enjoying quality time with your significant other while developing romantic craft cocktails and learning essential bar techniques.  Guests will also delight in canapés and small bites, followed by a 3-course meal with cocktail pairings.  At the end, each couple will receive a signature take home gift from The Rye Bar!  For reservations, contact Elisabeth Thomas at (202) 617-2429 or email

A Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown Wedding

With February being Romance Month at Capella Hotels & Resorts, love is in the air and I’m excited to share with you an insider look into the recent marriage of Michael & Kym at Capella Washington, DC!  I can’t think of a more romantic destination to exchange wedding vows than during a rooftop sunset in the heart of historic Georgetown.

Georgetown WeddingFor the full story, I arranged to sit down with our Wedding & Event Specialist, Elisabeth Thomas.  Her insight and storytelling captivated me and I couldn’t help but to share it with you all!  The bride to be arrived at Capella D.C. without any idea that her fiancé had planned an intimate wedding ceremony on the rooftop with their immediate family, followed by a catered reception in our luxurious Presidential Suite.  She thought the two of them were just exchanging vows with an officiant on the rooftop.   Instead, the groom surprised her with some of his and her favorite things; family, friends, Calla lilies, champagne and layered vanilla & chocolate cake!

Elisabeth worked exclusively with the groom to make sure every detail came together perfectly.   One of Elisabeth’s favorite moments was the mother-of-the-bride surprise arrival as Kym was getting ready.  Elisabeth mentioned that the best time to organize a surprise like this is always before the bride puts on her makeup – there will certainly be tears!  Another special moment were the Calla lily bouquets, Kym’s favorite flower, which were arranged around the Presidential Suite reception along with canapés and cocktails that made for a scrumptious celebration.  I get the chills just thinking about how special and loved Kym must have felt upon discovering these details.

Georgetown Wedding 2This story is dear to my heart because it marks the first rooftop wedding love story at Capella D.C since opening in March, 2013.  If you happen to be planning your anniversary, birthday celebration, Valentine’s Day, or your own Georgetown Wedding, I know you will love and appreciate the outstanding attention that Elisabeth and our service professionals will provide to you every step of the way.  In fact, for those of you considering a romantic getaway in the Nation’s Capital, I would like to invite you to review our specials and experiences available Valentine’s Day Weekend!   Might I also suggest a romantic dinner for two at The Grill Room on Valentine’s Day, featuring a secret love potion intermezzo to kick off the 4-course menu?

For more information about weddings and romantic celebrations in February and beyond, be sure to contact Elisabeth Thomas directly at or by calling (202) 617-2429.