Young and Hungry

South of the Boredom: One Lounge’s Jalapeño Margarita

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

  • Josh W

    Dickson Wine Bar on U St. has what they call a "Jalarita." Basically a margarita that they muddle with jalapenos and top with sparkling wine (I think?). It has a lot of kick, and all the ingredients are actually fresh.

  • jburka

    Uh, the classic cocktail does NOT include sour mix.

  • NovaNicole

    10 bucks for that? Thanks for the warning.

  • sarah

    I was also going to recommend the Jalarita! Ordered it the last time I was there and again last night, it's delicious, and it sounds a bit more up your alley.

  • THF

    Bummer about the drink. Great picture though!

  • megan

    Hahahahahaha that is AWESOME....."maybe that's what my little winged friend was for." Nothing like an overpriced, mediocre drink garnished with a bug. Thanks for the heads up.

  • Whitney

    Hill Country BBQ in Penn Quarter also has a variant of that drink, I believe.

    Went to One Lounge with a Groupon, would say I was very underwhelmed by the entire operation. Will be interesting to see if/how long they stay in business. Both food and drinks were low quality and priced ambitiously. No plans to go back any time soon.

  • dave

    Fly in the drink, don't want to think about what maybe in the food. If they can't keep the bar free of insects, whats running wild in the kitchen?

  • chef

    Forget the Fruit flies!

    I worked in the kitchen and they have the worst rodent infestation I have ever seem.

    That kitchen was the dirtiest kitchen I have ever seen in my career. It was disgusting!!!

    When I started in January 2011 the all of the owners of One Lounge told me that they refused eat at One Lounge, but they did not seem to have a problem with serving the public.

  • huh?

    I have had only incredible experiences at One Lounge. The drinks are awesome, they have a sick beer selection and the food is good. Not to mention is is the only place in Washington D.C. with a good looking crowd.

  • mark

    Hey "huh?" of course you feel that way, you own the place