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When Cocktail Names Get Oh So Clever

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A rose by another name would still smell as sweet, so the saying goes. But a cocktail by any other name? Well, that makes all the difference. A clever, sassy title for a drink can elevate it — and spur imbibers to order it in the first place. Eater searched D.C.'s bars, pubs and speakeasies for cocktail names that rise above the fray (or elicited a chuckle).
—Dena Levitz

Have another favorite cocktail name from around town? Share it in the comments.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Jack Rose Dining Saloon

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2007 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 588-7388
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At this whiskey and bourbon hub, danger lovers might want to sip on a Surgeon General’s Warning named for the tobacco syrup that accompanies Old Bardstown bourbon, cherry heering, orange and lemon. Or there’s the spicy Mezcal-derived Jalepeno Face, which could double as a wise crack. And a Stoli vodka-based Walk of Shame — also featuring house-made grenadine, rhubarb bitters, lime and simple syrup — just might lead to a real one.

2. Jackie's Sidebar

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8081 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 565-9700
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Quirky meets gin in the concoction Tennis is Less Boring When You’re Drunk. John McEnroe may or may not approve, but the refreshing cocktail has Pimm’s, ginger, raspberry, cucumber and dolin blanc playing together with the Hendrick’s gin. For a darker, nerdier-sounding drink at the Silver Spring joint, there’s always The Tweed Jacket, showcasing rye whiskey infused with black raisins.

3. Sixth Engine

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438 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 506-2455
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Jesus, take note. The former firehouse-turned bar and restaurant is telling patrons — with Smith and Cross Jamaican rum, old overholt rye, honey and whiskey barrels bitters — to Get off Your Cross. Or, for fans of Milagro Posado tequila, there’s a Gold Plated Gun, which has Dolin blanc vermouth, orchard apricot and Cynar.

4. Green Pig Bistro

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1025 N Fillmore St
Arlington, VA 22201
(703) 888-1920
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The 1920s song about a hobo’s idea of paradise is the inspiration behind the Big Rock Candy Mountain at this Clarendon hot spot. So what if no song lyrics besides the chorus come to mind. The cocktail blends Old Overholt rye, Licor 43, lime juice tiki bitters and Blenheims ginger ale to hopefully create a drinkers’ paradise.

5. Co Co. Sala

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929 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 347-4265
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It should come as no surprise that this frequent date locale and chocolate boutique would play up a slightly risque sex theme in its drinks. Among the lustful selections on the Signature Sips menu are Allure (lychee, bubbly, rose water and fresh lime juice) and Fetish (chocolate-infused vodka, strawberry foam, chocolate-dipped berry).

6. P.O.V. Rooftop Lounge and Terrace

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515 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 661-2400
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The W Hotel’s rooftop destination is famously close to the president’s residence — and reportedly is watched over by Secret Service — which is why the lounge plays up its unique geographic proximity with its seasonal spirit Where is the White House combining rum, pineapple coconut and orange.

7. Hank's Oyster Bar

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1624 Q St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 462-4265
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The lineup of autumn libations at popular watering hole and eatery Hank’s is a playful set. Mad Men gets a nod with the Don DraperShiver Me Timbers says yo ho ho to patrons with Brugal Anejo rum, bacon, salt and maple syrup. And the classic Hanky Panky is a standby of citrus vodka, sparkling wine and limoncello.

728 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 299-8385

Over the years, mixologist Todd Thrasher has come up with some storied cocktails, both for their tasty contents and their witty titles. At PX, when chef Cathal Armstrong was trying to quit smoking the result was Smoker’s Delight with old Virginia tobacco and Virginia honey. After being disqualified from a bartending competition, he created I Cuddah Binnah Contendah (Barbancourt rum, Domaine de Canton, pineapple and cilantro) to poke fun at his blunder and reference the Marlon Brando classic “On the Waterfront.” And everyone remembers one drink from TNT's opening menu: the Slash-inspired Cocktail Left on the Nightstand

9. Ripple

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3417 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 244-7995
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On its menu of “Cocktails and Dreams,” Ripple’s bartenders mix up A Shrub is a Guy Who Thinks He’s Fly (charred grapefruit and toasted coriander shrub, soda and citrus). It’s non-alcoholic and a mouthful, but it might have enough attitude for the ladies of TLC and the busters calling on them. For a play on a more old-school song, courtesy of Irving Berling, try the Puttin’ on the Spritz with aperol and lemongrass juniper soda.

1. Jack Rose Dining Saloon

2007 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

At this whiskey and bourbon hub, danger lovers might want to sip on a Surgeon General’s Warning named for the tobacco syrup that accompanies Old Bardstown bourbon, cherry heering, orange and lemon. Or there’s the spicy Mezcal-derived Jalepeno Face, which could double as a wise crack. And a Stoli vodka-based Walk of Shame — also featuring house-made grenadine, rhubarb bitters, lime and simple syrup — just might lead to a real one.

2007 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

2. Jackie's Sidebar

8081 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Quirky meets gin in the concoction Tennis is Less Boring When You’re Drunk. John McEnroe may or may not approve, but the refreshing cocktail has Pimm’s, ginger, raspberry, cucumber and dolin blanc playing together with the Hendrick’s gin. For a darker, nerdier-sounding drink at the Silver Spring joint, there’s always The Tweed Jacket, showcasing rye whiskey infused with black raisins.

8081 Georgia Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910

3. Sixth Engine

438 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

Jesus, take note. The former firehouse-turned bar and restaurant is telling patrons — with Smith and Cross Jamaican rum, old overholt rye, honey and whiskey barrels bitters — to Get off Your Cross. Or, for fans of Milagro Posado tequila, there’s a Gold Plated Gun, which has Dolin blanc vermouth, orchard apricot and Cynar.

438 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

4. Green Pig Bistro

1025 N Fillmore St, Arlington, VA 22201

The 1920s song about a hobo’s idea of paradise is the inspiration behind the Big Rock Candy Mountain at this Clarendon hot spot. So what if no song lyrics besides the chorus come to mind. The cocktail blends Old Overholt rye, Licor 43, lime juice tiki bitters and Blenheims ginger ale to hopefully create a drinkers’ paradise.

1025 N Fillmore St
Arlington, VA 22201

5. Co Co. Sala

929 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004

It should come as no surprise that this frequent date locale and chocolate boutique would play up a slightly risque sex theme in its drinks. Among the lustful selections on the Signature Sips menu are Allure (lychee, bubbly, rose water and fresh lime juice) and Fetish (chocolate-infused vodka, strawberry foam, chocolate-dipped berry).

929 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004

6. P.O.V. Rooftop Lounge and Terrace

515 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

The W Hotel’s rooftop destination is famously close to the president’s residence — and reportedly is watched over by Secret Service — which is why the lounge plays up its unique geographic proximity with its seasonal spirit Where is the White House combining rum, pineapple coconut and orange.

515 15th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

7. Hank's Oyster Bar

1624 Q St NW, Washington, DC 20009

The lineup of autumn libations at popular watering hole and eatery Hank’s is a playful set. Mad Men gets a nod with the Don DraperShiver Me Timbers says yo ho ho to patrons with Brugal Anejo rum, bacon, salt and maple syrup. And the classic Hanky Panky is a standby of citrus vodka, sparkling wine and limoncello.

1624 Q St NW
Washington, DC 20009

8. PX

728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

Over the years, mixologist Todd Thrasher has come up with some storied cocktails, both for their tasty contents and their witty titles. At PX, when chef Cathal Armstrong was trying to quit smoking the result was Smoker’s Delight with old Virginia tobacco and Virginia honey. After being disqualified from a bartending competition, he created I Cuddah Binnah Contendah (Barbancourt rum, Domaine de Canton, pineapple and cilantro) to poke fun at his blunder and reference the Marlon Brando classic “On the Waterfront.” And everyone remembers one drink from TNT's opening menu: the Slash-inspired Cocktail Left on the Nightstand

728 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314

9. Ripple

3417 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

On its menu of “Cocktails and Dreams,” Ripple’s bartenders mix up A Shrub is a Guy Who Thinks He’s Fly (charred grapefruit and toasted coriander shrub, soda and citrus). It’s non-alcoholic and a mouthful, but it might have enough attitude for the ladies of TLC and the busters calling on them. For a play on a more old-school song, courtesy of Irving Berling, try the Puttin’ on the Spritz with aperol and lemongrass juniper soda.

3417 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

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