This Week’s Drinks: Cookies, Beer & Cocktail Brackets

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Girl Scout Cookies And Beer – This weekend only, swap milk for milk stout at The Black Squirrel, where they’re pairing complimentary Girl Scout cookies and beer. (2427 18 Street NW; 202.232.1011; blacksquirreldc.com)

Cherry Blossom Pop Up Bar (PUB) — After the massive success of the holiday-themed Miracle on 7 Street pop-up experience, Drink Company returns this Spring with the Cherry Blossom PUB (Pop-up Bar), where James Beard Award-nominated Mockingbird Hill (1843 7 Street) and Southern Efficiency (1841 7 Street) will take on Japan with a cherry blossom-inspired transformation debuting March 1. The two bars will roll out new decor and exclusive menus. Draped in pink, Southern Efficiency will feature an origami crane chandelier and an impressive collection of maneki-neko, Japan’s world-famous lucky “waving cats” against a beautiful backdrop of cherry blossom art by iconic DC artist Maggie O’Neill. At Mockingbird Hill, nostalgia will reign supreme with an ode to the beloved Super Mario Brothers, featuring an entire room dedicated to the Mushroom Kingdom and a special corner reserved for super villain King Koopa. Cocktails and food include drinks like the King Koopa Cup, a mix of Japanese whiskey, Genmaicha “popcorn” tea and ginger syrup with a lemon “crown” and What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Smaller, made with vodka, mandarin orange, pomelo and apricot soda. Classic Japanese bites like gyoza, seaweed salad and a katsu sandwich will also be on the menu, alongside Japanese sake, beer and whiskey offerings. Plus, expect a Mario Kart contest and bartenders wearing red caps and overalls for the duration of the Cherry Blossom PUB, which will stick around through April 15. (1841-1843 7 Street NW; facebook.com/drinkmoresherry/)

New Happy Hour — Coastal Italian restaurant Casolare offers a weekday happy hour from 3:00-6:00 p.m. at the bar. The menu features a wide selection of antipasti and pizzas, including a crudo of the day, the chef’s beloved polpetto a la Pugliese with spicy tomato sauce and four different pizzas. As for beverages, choose from house white, red and sparkling wine or five different versions of the restaurant’s signature Campari cocktails on draft (Americano, Negroni Sbagliato, classic Negroni, Old Pal and Boulevardier). Two local beers are also available. (2505 Wisconsin Avenue; 202.625.5400; casolaredc.com)

Raise A Glass & Funds For American Heart Association — February is American Heart Month, so City Tap Penn Quarter is partnering with PULSE, the young professional’s committee of the American Heart Association/Greater Washington Region to support heart disease research and awareness. When you visit City Tap Penn Quarter throughout the month of February, purchase a 3 Stars Brewing keepsake glass for $10, with all glass proceeds benefiting the American Heart Association, and enjoy $5-$7 beers and wines during your entire visit. (901 9 Street NW; 202.644.9443; dc.citytap.com)

Drink To Women Who Rule — James Beard Award-nominated Columbia Room will pay tribute to the women who have shaped the culinary world–Alice Waters, Ann Tuennerman, Julie Reiner and many more–with cocktails and dishes inspired by a distinguished group of iconic female bartenders and chefs. From special ingredients, to gilded glassware, to new spins on the classics, the winter menu is teeming with inspiration from a diverse array of powerful women, including the Columbia Room’s version of The Hanky Panky, created by Ada Coleman, the legendary head bartender at The American Bar at London’s Savoy Hotel in the early 1900s. Spirits industry leaders Ivy Mix and Lynette Marrero also get the Columbia Room treatment with Speed Rack Roulette, a nod to the nationally known, all-female speed bartending competition they co-founded in 2011. Can’t choose? Spin the wheel for a cocktail, with options such as an espresso martini, the Chartreuse Swizzle and the Champs Élysées. (124 Blagden Alley NW; 202.316.9396; columbiaroomdc.com)

Sweet Baby Java – DuClaw Brewing Company has released Sweet Baby Java, a new, coffee-infused variation of their flagship beer, Sweet Baby Jesus! Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. Sweet Baby Java is the first ever bottled variation of DuClaw’s iconic Sweet Baby Jesus. Kegs and cases of 12oz bottles will become available through Spring of 2017. “We spent a lot of time searching for the ideal bean and roast to transform Sweet Baby Jesus into Sweet Baby Java. From there we were able to scale up and leverage our giant contact infuser, the Hop Gun, using coffee beans instead of hops, and now we have Sweet Baby Java,” says DuClaw founder Dave Benfield. (7000 Arundel Mills Circle, Hanover, Maryland; 410.799.1166; duclaw.com)

Happy Birthday Espita Mezcaleria — This March, popular Southern Mexican-inspired restaurant Espita Mezcaleria celebrates one year of service. Stop by the restaurant for a congratulatory toast as beverage director Megan Barnes brings back five “fan favorite” cocktails from Espita’s first year. Look forward to the return of favorites such as the Joya with La Venenosa Raicilla Sierra de Jalisco, chartreuse and sweet vermouth, served with a lemon peel; Oaxacan Sour with excessive Angostura bitters, espadín mezcal, lemon and pineapple; Smiling Rabbit made with Siete Misterios Doba-Yej, Suze, lemon, pineapple and cinnamon, served on the rocks with a pineapple leaf; The Beatriz, a play on a dry martini with Sotol, Cocchi Americano and elderflower; as well as The Guajillo Mango Highball, a bartender favorite and made from a combination of house-made soda from Guajillo chili peppers, fresh pressed mango juice and mezcal. Cocktails range from $12 to $16 each. (1250 9 Street NW; 202.621.9695; espitadc.com)

February At McClellan’s — Romance abounds all month long at McClellan’s Retreat with the February Love Is In The Air cocktail menu, which includes Rust Belt Date Night ($8, Peychaud’s aperitivo, apple bitters, orange bitters, Miller High Life, orange peel), Swipe Right ($11, Catoctin Creek roundstone rye, house made strawberry preserves, mint, strawberry-cinnamon syrup, lime juice), All You Need Is Love ($12, Old Forester bourbon, corrected OJ, crème de cacao, Amontillado sherry, chocolate bitters, shaved chocolate) and more. (2031 Florida Avenue NW; 202.265.6270; mcclellansretreat.com)

March Madness Cocktail Bracket – TAKODA celebrates NCAA March Madness 2017 with a cocktail bracket showdown. Stop by TAKODA and watch the tournament on the restaurant’s two flat-screen TVs while enjoying a selection of new cocktails created by the restaurants bartenders and management staff.  Eight cocktails will be available the first week, March 6 through 12, and the top four selling cocktails will advance to the next round. Four cocktails will be available March 13 through 19, and the top two selling cocktails will advance to the championship round and will be available March 20 through 26.  The top selling cocktail from that week will then be placed on TAKODA’s permanent cocktail list. Cocktails include Cucumber Diablo, Negroni Royale, Hemingway Daiquiri and more. (715 Florida Avenue NW; 202.525.1252; takodadc.com)

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