Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
What: Babalu with Bacardi Carta Blanca rum, passion fruit, lime juice, palo santo syrup, and palo santo dust.
Where: Colada Shop, 1405 T St. NW; (202) 332-8800; coladashop.com
What You Should Be Drinking: In the Afro-American and Caribbean religion Santeria, Babalú-Ayé is an orisha (deity) whose name translates to “Father, Lord of the Earth.” Partner and creative director Juan Coronado wanted to pay tribute to the Afro-Cuban heritage with an elegantly earthy cocktail.
He mixes white rum, lime juice, and passion fruit with syrup made from palo santo (“holy wood”), a mystical tree native to Peru, Venezuela, and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula that’s widely used in folk remedies. The drink is served up and garnished with palo santo dust. Coronado says the “mixability” of white rum makes it the best base for the ingredients included in the drink.
Why You Should Be Drinking It: Pray to the gods for a sunny day so you can sit on the Cuban cafe and bar’s inviting patio and taste your way through Coronado’s cocktails, all priced at $8. But sticking only with mojitos and piña coladas is sacrilegious when there are other amazing rum drinks on the list.
Palo santo—in the same family as frankincense and myrrh—is an unfamiliar ingredient in this part of the Americas. But its distinctive incense-like aroma and barky vanilla flavor form an irreverent holy trinity with tangy passion fruit and lime. Along with a basket of flaky empanadas, the sugarcane sipper makes for a divine late afternoon snack.