The Perfect Cocktail for the Weekend

Finding the perfect cocktail in the D.C. area

In his book "The Hour: A Cocktail Manifesto" Bernard DeVoto writes, "When evening quickens in the street, comes a pause in the day's occupation that is known as the cocktail hour. It marks the lifeward turn. The heart wakens from coma and its dyspnea ends. Its strengthening pulse is to cross over into campground, to believe that the world has not been altogether lost or, if lost, then not altogether in vain.

"But it cannot make the grade alone. It needs help; it needs, my brethren, all the help it can get. It needs a wife (or some other charming woman) of attuned impulse and equal impatience and maybe two or three friends, but no more than two or three. These gathered together in a softly lighted room and, with them what it needs most of all, the bounty of alcohol. Hence the cocktail."

Well, it's been one of those weeks and you are now faced with the dilemma of cuddling up at home for a heavy dose of "Mad Men" re-runs, or venture out into the unknown searching for good conversation and just the right cocktail.

The Washington Post discovers some bars and mixologists who are shaking up the cocktail scene and making the search for the perfect cocktail a little bit easier.

No longer do just a handful of bars pour all of the extraordinary drinks in this town. Yes, we still bow down to the masters, but this year a spate of excellent young upstarts surprised us with cocktails that proved there's still plenty of room in our glasses for new perspectives in drink-making.

At Brown's bar the Passenger, Alexandra Bookless cooks up light, refreshing flavors on the fly to satisfy any customer request; JP Caceres has made an inspiring climb from would-be lawyer to busboy to Againn's charming, encyclopedic mixologist; and at Tryst (yes, that Tryst), David Fritzler is whipping up punches and twists on the classics good enough to make you skip your reservations elsewhere.

If you would rather stay inside but you still want to enjoy a cocktail that tastes like it is made by the pros, check out their recipes for an Old-Fashioned Paradise,William Tell Routine and Winter Solstice.

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