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What: Monito del Monte with Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch, lemon juice, and syrup infused with rocoto, ginger, and juniper berries
Where: China Chilcano, 418 7th St. NW; (202) 783-0941; chinachilcano.com
What You Should Be Drinking: This kicky whiskey sour is named for the colocolo opossum or “little monkey of the woods” indigenous to Argentina and Chile. (Primates also appear at José Andrés’ Peruvian-Asian fusion restaurant via yellow neon ceiling lights that evoke designs carved by the ancient Nazcas in southern Peru to communicate with the gods.) ThinkFoodGroup cocktail innovator Miguel Lancha shakes Monkey Shoulder Blended Scotch with lemon juice and a syrup infused with ginger, juniper berries, and rocoto—an apple-shaped red chili pepper native to South America.
Why You Should Be Drinking It: One glance at the list, and it’s obvious that the beverage program is loyal to Peru’s native spirit of pisco. Spotting a Scotch cocktail is about as difficult as catching a glimpse of one of those cagey little monkeys who hide out in dense forests and camouflage themselves with moss. The drink is woefully overlooked, according to general manager Mario Bernal. But lemon adds tang to the whisky’s malty cocoa notes, while juniper, rocoto, and ginger offer heat and flavor that keep the sip from being a one-dimensional sour. Pair it with lomo saltado, a stir fry with beef, tomato, soy sauce, aji amarillo peppers, and shoestring potatoes.