Side Car @ Carthay Circle Lounge

Price: $12.75

When: November 12, 2016, 2:15 PM

Reservations: n/a

Verdict? Recommended

It’s a Saturday afternoon at DCA. It’s hot. Crowds are thick. We’ve had a corndog and ridden a couple E-tickets. It’s time to take a load off, get a cocktail, and recharge. We head to the Carthay Circle Lounge, wait in the queue, and finally get a table.

I leaf through the Carthay’s extensive cocktail list, and finally settle on the Side Car.

Now, I’ve had The Side Car (with an intentionally capitalized “The”) at The Lounge at Steakhouse 55. I wasn’t wowed. That drink felt muddled and confused. It was searching for its purpose in life. It’s not recommended.

But today, I’m in a compare-and-contrast mood. Our corndog experience has me intrigued; it might be fun to try the “same” dish, served at different Disney restaurants. We now know that the Little Red Wagon corn dog is better than the one at Corn Dog Castle; maybe this applies to the Side Car, too.

So I order.

The drink arrives. Visually, it’s very similar to the version at The Lounge at Steakhouse 55. (No surprise there.) Sugared rim? Yes. Citrus peel for flavor? Yes. Light orange color? Yes.

But one key difference? This one is actually tasty.

Where the Steakhouse 55 version was muddled and weak, the Carthay Circle edition is delicious and refreshing. The core, citrus flavor of the drink is strong and confident. It’s not too boozy. The sugared rim is an enhancer, instead of a primary.

In short: this is a well-balanced, well-mixed, and well-made cocktail. I would gladly order it again. Recommended.