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Matchbox Unveils New Infusions & Plans for 14th Street

Though most Washingtonians think of pizza and sliders when they think about Matchbox, the area mini-chain has always had a fun selection of cocktails (appropriately categorized as “girly martinis” and “manly martinis”). Now the restaurant is adding a collection of house infusions into the mix, all of which will become available over the next two weeks alongside a selection of new summer menu items.

This is the first time Matchbox has experimented with barrel-aged spirits, an endeavor explained by one bartender in this way: “Because we can!” The cocktail menu is a collaboration among the head mixologists at each of Matchbox’s three area locations (Capitol Hill, Chinatown and Rockville). When the group got the urge to experiment with mint bourbon and pineapple rum, restaurant leadership was more than accomodating.

Two of the flavorful new spirits are already available; the jalapeno-infused margarita is, as you might imagine, a spicy refresher (inspired by the joint’s punchy meatballs or tomato sauce, perhaps?) while the cucumber-infused gin and tonic is like adult spa water (meaning: cool, crisp and alcoholic). Within the next two weeks, expect three others to join the menu: the barrel-aged Prince Edward, the barrel-aged vanilla vodka and tea, and our favorite: the barrel-aged vanilla bourbon with lemonade.

While the infusions and new summer menu items have kept the Matchbox team busy, there’s much more going on behind the scenes — owner Perry Smith revealed that the fourth area location of Matchbox, at 14th and T Streets NW, could open as soon as this August. What’s more, this location will boast the largest bar yet, big enough to accommodate three stories and 250 seats. But that’s not all; the team is also hard at work on the second location of Ted’s Bulletin, the retro-esque Barracks Row diner beloved for its homemade baked goods, alcoholic milkshakes and new focus on cocktails. The second location is set for 14th and Swann Streets NW and will feature an expanded bakery — so you can get your pop tarts and eat them, too.

Top photo by Lauren Sloat; bottom photo courtesy of Matchbox

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