The Drink: Tanqueray Taj
The Location: JoJo Restaurant and Bar, 1518 U St. NW, (202) 319-9350
The Price: $9
The Buzz: On a muggy fall night I step through one of the opened-up windows of JoJo (only later did I realize it was actually a window, and perhaps I should have used the door like a civilized person) and take a stool at the quiet bar. Only a couple of seeming regulars lounge about, some of them not even drinking. The cocktail menu is rum heavy, and while there should be an ocean nearby for this kind of weather, I’m in a city, and it’s a weekday, and I’m not in the mood for a fruity drink. I figure the Tanquery Taj has potential since its base is Tanqueray Rangpur, one of my favorite lime-infused liquors. The bartender shakes it with melon liquor and adds a splash of sour mix and sinks the dreaded maraschino cherry into the bottom. Despite my effort, I end up with a fruity drink. The Tanqueray is a waste in this drink where rail gin would have had the same effect. Beyond everything else, the melon flavor prevails, and it’s sickeningly sweet. That said, if you’re the kind of person who orders appletinis and wants to feel like you’re on a booze cruise at happy hour, this cocktail just might be all right. But I’d prefer to rescue the gin and put it straight up.