Trying New Things at Hanks Oyster Bar

A fun little Capitol Hill outpost, Hanks offers some wonderfully unique and creative drinks and a relaxing atmosphere.

Ambiance: ****

Decor: ****

Service: ****

Cocktails: ****

Overall Rating: 4

I think it’s important when you get into cocktails that you constantly jump out of your comfort zone.  I can’t count how many spirits or cocktails I thought I’d hate going in but then developed an appreciation for.  I had this approach in mind last weekend when I visited Hank’s Oyster Bar in Capitol Hill to try their brunch drinks – my adventurism was was very much rewarded!  Hanks cocktails were good drinkers with some really goofy and creative presentations.  I mean look at, it’s a bowl of cheerios….but it’s a cocktail!  That’s the “Cheerios” cocktail which includes Amaretto, honey, scotch, and milk.  Now I’ll be honest, I don’t usually like dairy cocktails, but this one won me over – the experience of eating the cheerios was a bit strange to the taste but also pleasurable – the honey evened the contrasting sensations of scotch and milk out for me.

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The next two experiments were also somewhat unusual — again I went dairy with the “Iced Irish Coffee” served well in a Jameson mason jar.  Including coffee, vanilla crème, and brown sugar, this was a great drink although I didn’t get much of a kick out of it.  But maybe that’s the point, and only degenerates like me are looking for a strong smack of Jameson with their coffee at 11 am 🙂  Next up was the brilliantly named “The Illusion of Making Good Choices” which is a cocktail that Jack Lalanne would love — vodka and everything else that makes you healthy, including kale.  I’m not a fan of “super green” and all the veggie juice concoctions, so this one didn’t work for me as the veggie flavor overwhelmed any trace of the vodka.  Still, glad I gave it a whirl.

Rounding out the delightful brunch was a more conventional choice, the “Bitches Who Drink” made of vodka, raspberry lemonade, and beer.  Really loved this one, as the beer gives it more of a heartier and not overly sweet kick than you’d expect in this sort of citrus drink.  All in all it was a good day of testing your boundaries at Hanks, which also has a really great beer list.  I’ll definitely make a point to visit them on normal (you know, past noon) drinking hours.

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