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What: Hipnos with Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, Averna Amaro, Kona cold-brew coffee, and an absinthe rinse.
Where: Dino’s Grotto, 1914 9th St. NW; (202) 686-2966; dinoinshaw.com
What You Should Be Drinking: In Greek mythology, Hypnos is the spirit of sleep, but beverage director Ric Newton is trying to keep customers awake with his cocktail by the same name. Newton—admittedly neither a coffee freak nor a hipster—purchased a cold brewing system and was inspired to tap into the trend of using a cup of joe behind the bar. He thought the chocolate notes gleaned from Hawaiian Kona beans worked well with classic Old Overholt Rye and broodingly deep Averna Amaro. Newton rinses a rocks glass with St. George Spirits’ absinthe (Dino’s shows love for small distillers) to add a whiff of anise to the drink, which also contains a barspoon of simple syrup to round things out.
Why You Should Be Drinking It: Java heads’ morning enthusiasm for single-origin beans, pour-overs, and cortados typically wanes after the sun sets, so coffee cocktails can be a hard sell. But since the cold-brew process cuts coffee’s acidity by nearly two-thirds, this libation is smooth and easy-drinking. The combination of a caffeine jolt and a kick of booze will have you swapping barista for bartender. Old Overholt touts spicy characteristics that mix well with Kona’s sweet cocoa flavor and the Averna’s bitter characteristics, while the California absinthe lends punchiness. Definitely take this “coffee” with dessert. This drink’s a natural pairing with the Gianduia Nico, featuring luscious, creamy layers of chocolate and hazelnut gelato, chopped hazelnuts, and chocolate sauce.