City Cast

AAPI Cocktail Week

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on May 17   |   Updated on June 5
Nalee Kim playing Mahong while smiling

AAPI Cocktail Week co-founder Nalee Kim playing Mahjong (Nalee Kim/AAPI Cocktail Week)

AAPI Cocktail Week

D.C.’s first-ever AAPI Cocktail Week is kicking off on Monday. Bars across town will showcase Asian spirits and ingredients in craft cocktails to celebrate AAPI influence on the local bar scene.

Co-founders Nalee Kim of Sparrow Room and Thi Nguyen of Moon Rabbit say they want to use this week to highlight AAPI people who work in the local hospitality industry. “Representation matters. Only 3.7% of bartenders in the US identify as AAPI,” said Kim.

AAPI Cocktail Week co-founder Thi Nguyen mixing drinks. (Nalee Kim/AAPI Cocktail Week)

AAPI Cocktail Week co-founder Thi Nguyen mixing drinks. (Nalee Kim/AAPI Cocktail Week)

Dozens of AAPI-owned/employed establishments are participating, including Service Bar, Moon Rabbit, Anju, Sparrow Room, Cranes, Compass Rose, and Daikaya Group. And many of them will donate the proceeds back to local AAPI organizations.

Try out some of the craft cocktails at any of the participating bars or restaurants, or attend one of these events:

🥊 May 22 - Bartender Competition at Maketto

🍸 May 23 - Cocktail 101 Class at Moon Rabbit: Incorporating Asian ingredients into classic cocktails/mocktails

🎲 May 24 - Game Night at the Sparrow Room

🎤 May 25 - Karaoke night at The Game

One event you have to check out? “Definitely come to the bartender competition at Maketto,” Kim says. “It's some of the best AAPI talent in the city and the crowd will have a lot of incredible industry people to chat and mingle with.”

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