Cocktail Guess: Make Me Something Southern
Where: Eatonville, 2121 14th St. NW
Bartender Response: “Uh, a mint julep?”
What We Got: We asked for something a bit more creative—Eatonville specializes in Southern cuisine—and got the Hurricane Zora with Pyrat Rum XO Gold, passion fruit, orange juice, and grenadine garnished with a cherry and an orange slice.
How It Tasted: Very sweet, but not sweet enough to drown out the taste of the rum.
Improv Points (1–5): 3. The Hurricane Zora hit the spot. The drink was sweet, but the rum was strong enough that, after a few sips, our eyes were watching God.
Where: The Gibson, 2009 14th St. NW
Bartender Response: “Anything with bourbon.”
What We Got: Creole bitters, Old Weller bourbon, and Bénédictine with an orange peel garnish
How It Tasted: Bitter and slightly herbal—like cough syrup, but more delicate.
Improv Points (1-5): 5. Bourbon is a staple of southern drinks, and the addition of bitters and Bénédictine created the best trio since the Tennessee Three.
Where: Tryst, 2459 18th St. NW
Bartender Response: “We have a drink I think you’d like.”
What We Got: A Peachy Keen julep with Jim Beam whiskey, peach purée, fresh mint, and Fee Brothers Peach Bitters, garnished with a peach slice
How It Tasted: This updated julep was refreshing, flavorful, and nailed the expected Southern signifiers: peaches, bourbon. But we would’ve liked a bit more of the latter.
Improv Points (1–5): 3. The purée made our beverage a little viscous; the peach bitters combined nicely with the chopped mint.