General's Jigger

Drink Washington's own whiskey this summer

The fireworks may be over, but you can create sparks anew with a new batch of local spirits. Besides, we can think of few better uses for farmers' market berries than muddled in cocktails with local liquor:

George Washington Rye Whiskey Drink like a founding father with Washington's own white whiskey ($95). Mount Vernon just released 400 bottles, made at the neighboring distillery using the president's original recipe, which yields floral but earthy flavors. While you're there, check out a letter from the first president seeking rye for production. Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Alexandria; 703-780-2000 or mountvernon.org

Sloop Betty Vodka Named for a historic Chesapeake ship, this new small-batch wheat vodka ($32) hails from Maryland's first fully licensed distillery to open in more than 35 years. Owners and brothers Chris and Jon Cook use organic ingredients to produce a spirit smooth enough to stand on its own, courtesy of a hint of sugarcane. sloopbetty.com

Greenbrier Gin Produced by West Virginia's fledgling Smooth Ambler Spirits, this layered gin ($30) packs notes of pepper and citrus behind its easy juniper and mellow pine flavors. Less dry than many traditional gins, this spiced bottling is a sound addition to a summery Negroni or a simple gin and tonic. smoothambler.com