Where: Maple, 3418 11th St. NW
Bartender Response: “It was a dark and stormy night before Christmas.”
What We Got: A Dark and Stormy with dark rum and Fever-Tree ginger beer
How It Tasted: Generous with the ice, cold as a white Christmas, and heavy on the ginger
Improv Points (1–5): 3. Perfect if you’re celebrating Christmas in Bermuda, not Washington. The strong ginger taste was the only thing remotely Christmas-y about this drink.
Where: Room 11, 3234 11th St. NW
Bartender Response: “We have a bourbon and cider.”
What We Got: Bourbon, warm spiced apple cider, and allspice dram
How It Tasted: Behold allspice—the Three Kings of spices—bearing flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The apple and bourbon flavors were appropriately muted.
Improv Points (1–5): 5. Forget milk and cookies! A warm bourbon and cider is the perfect reward for the man who hurries down your chimney with presents. After a few sips of this drink, he’ll want to settle down for a nap on the couch.
Where: Cashion’s Eat Place, 1819 Columbia Road NW
Bartender Response: “Sure.”
What We Got: A fig Manhattan with house-infused fig bourbon, Dolin sweet vermouth, and bitters, garnished with half a fig
How It Tasted: Sweet, fruity, and complex
Improv Points (1–5): 5. This drink continues the long-running tradition of Cocktail Guess being presented with variations on a Manhattan. But we don’t mind; it’s often our go-to drink on off days. Though we can’t grant this considerable improv points, we did appreciate the unique and seasonally appropriate addition of fig-infused bourbon. (And the booze-soaked fig was better than any maraschino cherry.)