BEST COCKTAILS (2001)
We debated what it meant for a bar to have the best cocktails. Does it mean the strongest drink for your buck? If that's the case, we recommend your local American Legion or VFW, where you can play pull tabs and drown your sorrows with vets and neighborhood drunks (who aren't always the same people) for a paltry amount of dough. Or, might "best cocktails" mean the place with the frilliest, fruitiest, most umbrella-laden concoctions with creative combinations of ingredients? Chino Latino would be a clear contender here, especially considering the cute little plastic-animal garnishes--but nine bucks? Twelve?! For one drink? We can't in good conscience call these the best cocktails. So, we've gone with a combination of bargain and froufrou factor, and settled on the already popular favorite, the Red Dragon. The best-known of the Dragon's short but excellent list of house cocktails is the "Wonderous Punch" ($6.95), a huge glass of rum (often of the 151-proof variety) and fruit juice--one of these is enough to knock most patrons on their asses. The Red Dragon Special ($5.50) is also a tasty choice, incorporating spiced rum to the mix. Our favorite, though, is the Hawaii Sunset ($4.75), another rum combination that looks exactly like its name; the stacked orange and red colors in the glass are so pretty you almost won't want to stir it up and consume it. Almost.