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The Drink: Bourbonesque

The Location: Westend Bistro, 1190 22nd St. NW, (202) 974-4900

The Price: $12

The Buzz: I decided awhile back that winter ’07-’08 is the winter of the Manhattan. Unfortunately, this is also the winter of my great disorganization, and I have not gotten my act together to buy a couple ingredients, like the sweet vermouth and the bitters. But it just so happens that I’ve been stocked with Maker’s Mark and maraschino liquor, so it has become the winter of the modified Manhattan. (Delicious, by the way.) The other night I finally checked out the swanky new Westend Bistro, and I couldn’t help but order the Bourbonesque. It’s Maker’s Mark, muddled strawberries, and maple syrup. Brilliant! I couldn’t detect the syrup (which is probably a good thing), but there was the perfect amount of sweetness to balance out the spice of the bourbon. And the strawberries were well pulverized so there was no mojito effect (you know, when you feel like you’re drinking chunks and left with souvenirs between your teeth). For such a young restaurant, Westend is nailing the cocktails; there wasn’t a loser out of the three (or four?) that I tried.