Donovan House near Thomas Circle changes its rooftop deck every summer. This year's modifications include poolside cabanas (free, on a first-come, first-seated basis), more greenery and a menu of cocktails crafted by Zentan bartender Josh Berner, most recently of Ripple. I wrote about his tea-infused cocktails in my summer drinking guide, but on a return visit, I was intrigued by two different drinks, both of which were half-price during happy hour.
The first was a Pimm's Cup on draft: gin, Pimm's and a spicy, full-bodied house-made ginger ale, served from a tap. Very refreshing on a 80-something degree day, and $6 during happy hour.
I was more impressed with Dancing in Botafogo, a frozen take on a caipirinha. Berner drew on his visits to Brazil for the name and the recipe. The combination of lime juice and the Leblon cachaca, which is aged in cognac casks for a sweet, light fruit flavor, is fantastic, with a little basil added for body. It's one of the best brain freezes you'll have all summer, and $6.50 at happy hour.
Frozen cocktails, punches, sangrias and draft Pimm's are $6 to $7 between 5 and 7 p.m. every weekday. Draft beers -- currently a choice of Sapporo or Estrella Damm -- are $5.