Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Ambar Taps Rico Wisner as Brand Mixologist

Mixologist Rico Wisner joins Ambar (Photo: Calypso Digital)

From our friends at Ambar...

Owner Ivan Iricanin of Ambar is pleased to announce the appointment of Rico Wisner as brand mixologist of the nation’s capital’s first Balkan restaurant, located at 523 8th Street, SE, 20003.  In his new role, Rico will spearhead Ambar’s beverage program, which boasts over 40 different varieties of Rakia, an alcoholic beverage produced by the distillation of fermented fruit popular throughout the Balkans. He will be responsible for the beverage focus for Ambar both nationally and internationally as the restaurant expands its presence in the near future. Guests can anticipate Wisner’s menu to be highly innovative and complementary to the Ambar’s innovative Balkan fare. Two of Wisner’s most recent additions include the G&T, grappa Rakia with herbs, handmade tonic and lime, and the Grappa Smash, grappa Rakia, lemon and mint. Wisner just returned from Belgrade where he developed the cocktail list for the new Ambar location in Serbia, which will open later this summer.

Prior to joining the Ambar team, Rico Wisner served as the bar manager for Graffiato by Mike Isabella. A presence in Washington, DC for a number of years, he was previously a bartender at BLT Steak, and a lounge manager and mixologist with Kimpton Hotels, serving as bar supervisor the company’s Poste Moderne Brasserie. Wisner also worked managing the bar at McCormick & Schmick’s in Bethesda, Maryland.

During Wisner’s tenure at Poste Moderne Brasserie, the restaurant’s bar was recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Best Bar” in 2009. He was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2010 Cuca Fresca "Shake Your Way to Brazil" cocktail contest, and took second place at the Absolut’s Best Martini in DC contest in 2009. Rico is ServSafe-certified and an active member of the DC Chapter of the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) and the DC Craft Bartenders Guild. This August, Rico Wisner will speak at the Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History series at the National Archives.

Ambar is located at 523 8th Street, SE, 20003. It is just steps from the Eastern Market Metro, accessible on the orange and blue lines. The restaurant takes limited reservations and walk-ins are welcome. It is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday, from 4-10 PM, and Friday and Saturday, from 4-11 PM. Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 AM to 3:30 PM. For additional information please call (202) 813-3039 and visit www.ambarrestaurant.com.