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I’ve always been a sucker for a strong margarita. It tastes like vacation in a glass. More like a “staycation” when it comes to the jalapeño margarita at One Lounge in Dupont Circle.

When I first heard of this spicy twist on the classic tequila-and-sour mix cocktail, I envisioned a big bowl-shaped glass, brimming with peppery tequila, rimmed with chunky salt, and garnished with a whole jalapeño wrapped in lime peel and skewered with a fancy toothpick. What I received instead was your typical run-of-the-mill rocks glass (sans salt and very few “rocks”) filled with your average rail liquor-sour mix combo and elevated only by what I suspect was the leftover juice from a jar of pre-sliced jalapeños.

I did, however, get two garnishes: a dry slice of lime and a fruit fly. Yummy.

After having a fantastic mango margarita, made with a glorious combination of fresh fruit purees and lime juices, while judging the City Paper-sponsored Smirnoff Mixer Cocktail Competition just a few days prior, my palate was undeniably disappointed.

The drink wasn’t really sweet or sour, just watery and only mildly spicy. For $10, I expected more bite. Maybe that’s what my little winged friend was for.

Trixie Tamerlane is the author of From The Other Side: Pourings from the Mind of a Bartender

Photo by Trixie Tamerlane