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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

Price: $11

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

Price: $10

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

Price: $12

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.