Last month, I wrote about how the bartenders at Hank's on the Hill were reinventing their cocktail menu around a new theme every week. So far, themes have included drinks inspired by slow jams and premium versions of '70s and '80s classics. This week's menu, though, is the best yet.
"College Spring Break" finds bartenders Jason Strich and Michael Saccone revisiting adult beverages consumed on trips to Daytona Beach and Cancun. There's one with tequila and sour mix dubbed Senor Tadpole's, and an extra-strong Hop Skip and Go Naked (vodka, tequila, beer and pink lemonade). There's even a trio of gourmet jello shots, with flavors of watermelon-cilantro and a spicy "dark and stormy."
But the real reason to go to the Hill this week: The bottled cocktails, which are grown-up versions of Smirnoff Ice and Mad Dog 20/20.
Strich's upscale take on Smirnoff - a mix of vodka, freshly juiced citrus and a little Miller High Life for carbonation - is a zesty, refreshing summer drink. At $13 per bottle, you might not buy a round to ice all your bros, but for pure novelty, it's a lot of fun. For pure flavor, though, I preferred his Mad Dog variation, which includes pressed grape juice, blackberry brandy and white wine. It is, as the menu states, "Not Your Gas Station's Mad Dog 20/20."
The bar will embrace the theme tonight during a late-night spring break happy hour. Deals include $3 Miller High Life, $1 jello shots and $1 oysters beginning at 10 p.m.
And yes, there will be an ice luge.
Hank's on the Hill, 633 Pennsylvania Ave. SE (Metro: Eastern Market). 202-733-1971.