What: Star Ferry with Corsair Spiced Rum, yuzu and fermented plum tonic, lemon peel, and a fermented plum
Where: Tiger Fork, 922 N St. NW; (202) 733-1152; tigerfork.com
What You Should Be Drinking: Based on holistic recipes found in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), beverage director Ian Fletcher’s cocktails at the bustling Hong Kong hotspot in Blagden Alley cure what ails you, from fatigue to low libido. This yuzu and spiced rum drink—named for the fleet of boats that shuttle passengers from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon—is topped with a siphon-dispensed tonic made from cinchona, gentian, angelica, Chinese licorice root, and umeboshi. The umeboshi (fermented salt plums) are believed to aid digestion, prevent nausea, and cure hangovers. It’s garnished with a bamboo skewer of a whole fermented plum and a lemon peel.
Why You Should Be Drinking It: A heavy hand with the cloves and cinnamon sticks can make many spiced rums off-putting, but the version from Kentucky’s Corsair Distillery is vanilla-forward with just a moderate dose of baking spices. Chinese licorice in the tonic boosts the drink’s anise flavor, and yuzu gives it zest. And don’t fear that brown, wrinkly, fermented fruit like so many others guests do—it adds an addictive salty-sour flavor that draws you back in. Bright and semi-sweet with a mildly intense bitter finish, the cocktail works with Chef Irvin Van Oordt’s spicy smashed cucumber salad with garlic, chili, and sesame.