Decoding the Cocktail Menu for Cook’s Cook + Where You Should Be Drinking: Hank’s on Capitol Hill

Posted on Nov 9, 2017


How to Read a Cocktail Menu on Cook’s Cook

We’re excited to announce that our main content for the day is actually over at Cook’s Cook, an international collection of food writers, chefs, and recipe testersWe’re excited to be in the company of such an eminent collection of food experts, where we hope to occasionally pitch in something about the right cocktail to match with your amazing dinner. In our first installment, we give a few tips on how to helpfully interpret a cocktail menu. We had fun writing it, and I hope you’re helped by reading it.

For you readers of Roberts and June, we have a little bonus content. We, of course, needed some photos to accompany our article, specifically photos involving a menu. We snap photos of the menu of pretty much everywhere we drink, but those are just to remind us of what we ordered; they’re not what you would call magazine worthy. We needed a good place for a cocktail menu photo shoot. We have several good cocktail places near our apartment, but for photo shoot purposes there’s really only one option: Hank’s. All the other places are of the darker, moodier variety; but Hank’s is brightly lit and brightly painted, and they have a flair for presentation in their drinks. Sure, we’ve just written about Hank’s on the Wharf, but Hank’s on Capitol Hill is in a completely different neighborhood, and has a significantly different cocktail style, one which you should definitely come to Eastern Market to try for yourself.

Where You Should Be Drinking: Hank’s on Capitol Hill

What We Ordered

Let’s Not Put a Label on It, Let’s Keep It Fun: mezcal, hibiscus, lemon, St. Germain foam

I Know What Boys Like: bacon-washed rye, blended Scotch whiskey, burnt sugar, bitters, orange

On Wednesdays We Wear Pink: vodka, watermelon, basil, ginger beer

What We Thought

For photo purposes, we had to order drinks in each of the three types of mixed drink glasses, and we weren’t sad about it. We ended up with three great drinks, one of which we never would have ordered otherwise. We mostly avoid vodka drinks, and we generally prefer our drinks straight up or old fashioned to highball, but On Wednesdays We Wear Pink made us think we may be overly prejudiced on both counts. This complexified mule was lovely and refreshing.

Let’s Not Put a Label On it, Let’s Keep it Fun was indeed fun. Smoke and flowers is not a combination we see often, but we’ll be on the lookout for it from here. The drink was light very well- integrated. To whatever extent there was a primary flavor, it was the flowers, the mezcal blending in a gentle bitterness. The overall flavor tasted something like a lemon and hibiscus incense would smell. An especially nice touch, adding interesting texture and a dose of floral sweetness up front, was the St. Germain foam. We’ll have to try that ourselves.

The aptly named I Know What Boys Like was somehow wonderfully smooth, even while it still noticeably tripled down on what we might call acrid elements. While there wasn’t any discernibly bacon flavor to the rye, the bacon somehow did draw out the flavors of the rye itself, making it more intense while, again, at the same time buttery smooth. Flavor-packed, but going down easy, I Know What Boys Like was the perfect drink to play the part of Old Fashioned in our photo shoot.