A cocktail bar with more than 30 drinks opens for full service Oct. 26 below Sugar Shack Donuts in Shaw. By the looks of the Nocturne menu, you’ll need to find a magic decoder ring at the bottom of your cereal to discern how to read the menu that imitates a paint card at a hardware store.

Fortunately, there are measures in place to make ordering easier. Cocktail tasting flights of three ($35) and five ($50) drinks are available in three-quarter size pours. If you order a flight, you’ll be able to order drinks a la carte afterwards, also in three-quarter size pours. Another option: Order an all-inclusive food and drink pairing called the “Spectrum.” Got it?

Drink names reference pop-culture and many fold in ingredients from the kitchen like the “Fungus Amongus” with aquavit, porcini mushrooms, Granny Smith apples, tarragon, and bubbly. Bartenders make “Jockey Full of Bourbon” with bourbon, apple, butternut squash, lemon, and mole. Finally, there’s the “Rob Hates This” with Scotch, falernum, pear, blue cheese, and red wine.

Rob Krupika owns Nocturne as well as the Sugar Shack Donuts upstairs. He’s tested the cocktail bar, donut shop combo in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood (804 N Henry St.) where the dimly-lit Captain Gregory’s is set up like a speakeasy.

Food at Nocturne consists of bar snacks from Chef Brandon McDermott like an oyster combined with caramel and espresso ($6); pate with grape, peanut butter, and maltodextrin ($12); and brown sugar and clove dusted jerky ($7). 

Customers can make reservations on OpenTable. Seatings are available Tuesdays-Thursdays from 5:30-6:15 p.m., 7:45-8:30 p.m., and 10-10:45 p.m. On Fridays and Saturdays there is also a 12:15-1 a.m. seating.

Oh, and this bar has a FAQ page.

Nocturne, 1932 9th St. NW; nocturnebar.com