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Where: Jack Rose, 2007 18th St. NW
Bartender response: “OK.”
What we got: Old Weller 107 bourbon, Cocchi Aperitivo Americano, bitters, and an orange twist served up.
How it tasted: Appropriately seasonal. The spice and citrus invoked the holidays; that orange peel, more pungent than the typical twist, lingered after each sip.
Improv points (1–5): 4. The addition of the Cocchi Americano took this libation from merely interesting to unusual. And the beverage was nuanced enough—and boozy enough—to take our minds off the impending holiday.
Where: Policy, 1904 14th St. NW
Bartender response: “Do you like sweet drinks?”
What we got: “Cocktail for the Cure,” Pomegranik Stoli, lime juice, Greek yogurt, and mint shaken over ice
How it tasted: Like the alcoholic equivalent of shoving a pack of Smarties in your mouth. While we’re not typically boosters of vodka-based cocktails, the Stoli’s offensive qualities were masked by the yogurt and lime.
Improv points (1–5): 1. The mix was interesting, but it resides on Policy’s happy hour menu (its name may have been in accordance with our prompt, but it really indicated that a dollar would be donated to breast cancer research). Given its candy-like qualities, this one’s better suited to Halloween than impending family crises. But, hey, it was cheap.
Where: Ripple, 3417 Connecticut Ave. NW
Response: “What flavors do you like?”
What we got: A take on the Sazerac with Old Overholt rye, St. Elizabeth’s Allspice Dram, and cherry bitters, in a glass rinsed with absinthe and rimmed with lemon oil.
How it tasted: Not too sweet, and very boozy. St. Elizabeth’s is hot right now, but we’re not complaining: it adds a delicious bit of spice reminiscent of pie. The cherry bitters and lemony nose made the drink a pleasant place to stick one’s face.
Improv points (1–5): 3. Alcohol-wise, this got the job done. And the combination of flavors echoed the best part of Thanskgiving: the food. —Alex Baca & Shani Hilton