Where: Darlington House, 1610 20th St. NW
Bartender Response: “Congratulations.”
What We Got: A margarita with Milagro Silver tequila, agave, and lemon juice, served with salt on the rocks
How It Tasted: The agave and lemon rendered this margarita more grown-up than the standard sour-mix version.
Improv Points (1–5): 1. Margaritas echo our freshman year, when pregaming a night out after a big test often started with tequila. At least this tasted a tad more mature.
Where: Tryst, 2459 18th St. NW
Bartender Response: “I can make something celebratory.”
What We Got: A Velvet Bean with Sobieski vodka, crème de cacao, absinthe, espresso, and heavy cream
How It Tasted: Like dessert. While espresso martinis are too often heavy-handed with the vodka, here the trio of liquors was subtle beneath the mixers.
Improv Points (1–5): 4. The Velvet Bean resides on Tryst’s bar menu, but it was an enjoyable, indulgent cap to all that studying.
Where: Rasika West End, 1190 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Bartender Response: “So, like, scotch?”
What We Got: Indian whiskey, cognac, Bénédictine, sweet vermouth, bitters, and a sliver of lemon rind
How It Tasted: Smooth, herbal, and smoky
Improv Points (1–5): 5. This variation of the Manhattan included Indian whiskey, an exotic, flavorful answer deserving of extra credit.