Dark Spirits

Cocktails go wild at American Ice Co.

For those in search of a quiet, contemplative night of drinking, we'd likely point to Columbia Room.

But those who want frenetic, rock-star cocktails should head to American Ice Co. at 10 p.m. tonight for Spirits in Black, bar manager Patrick Owens' night of craft cocktails inspired by–and named for–heavy-metal culture.

Each month, Owens and cohost Ashley May partner with a guest bartender to dream up fiery, flavorful cocktails, set to music from a DJ. Tonight, Owens' collaborator is Paul Michel of Tabard Inn.

The Rye on Fire ($10), the sole monthly mainstay, floats a flaming peanut shell loaded with barrel-strength whiskey in a footed rocks glass filled with slightly nutty Rittenhouse Rye, Cardamaro, Hellfire bitters, grapefruit juice and yellow Chartreuse.

Another drink that occasionally appears is The Thing That Should Not Be ($10), a jet-black spin on salty Vietnamese soda. Owens combines summer plums, lemon juice, rum, Benedictine and Velvet Falernum, achieving the drink's striking hue with a dash of squid ink.

The rest of the menu will remain a secret until the event begins, but Owens promises irreverent, seasonal concoctions.

Spirit in Black is giving new meaning to ordering a cocktail on the rocks.

American Ice Co., 917 V St. NW (at 9th St.); 202-758-3562 or amicodc.com