What: The Retired Stripper with tequila, rhum agricole, melon cordial, lime, Licor 43, and Peychaud’s Bitters
Where: Archipelago, 1201 U St. NW
What You Should Be Drinking Archipelago co-owner Owen Thomson had a (neon) light-bulb moment while testing recipes for the new tiki bar. “The citrus and the melon cordial reminded me of when I used to work at nightclubs and had to make stripper shots. This is the older version of a stripper shot,” he says of the aptly named “Retired Stripper” cocktail. “They’re the fruity shots that came up a lot in the ’90s, like all the kamikaze variants.” Thomson suggests this drink’s popularity hasn’t skyrocketed because imbibers are wary of simultaneously sipping rum and tequila, even though tiki is the home of split-base cocktails. He uses rhum agricole, a type of rum made from fresh-pressed sugarcane, because it shares the earthy, grassiness of an agave spirit like tequila.
Why You Should be Drinking It For starters, it’s fun to say, and anything goes at Archipelago. “You can get away with stuff that you don’t normally get away with,” Thomson says. “If you come into a tiki bar, you’ve already resigned yourself to drinking something on the ridiculous side out of a big pink flamingo straw, so saying a dumb name is already easier here.” More importantly, the Retired Stripper is sweet, luscious, and everything you’d expect from a well-made tiki drink. The double dose of earthiness is palpable, creating more complex flavors than your average tropical cocktail.