Best unique or oversized drink
Location: 1825 M St. NW
Readers’ pick: Super Margarita at Alero
Sign of the Whale is where you can find the best oversized drink, the famed Whale Pail. The Whale Pail certainly isn’t the best or biggest drink to quench the thirst of loyal District residents – after years of working in politics, they develop a higher tolerance than that. But the Whale Pail is The Hatchet’s pick because of students’ camaraderie around the drink.
In a plastic bucket about the size of a regular drink, my Whale Pail was fruity, bright blue and very well mixed. When I asked the bartender what was in the blue drink that I was already sipping, he responded, “whatever I want to put in it.” At the time, I couldn’t tell if he was kidding.
But apparently, he was serious. Sign of the Whale spokeswoman Kim Johnson said Whale Pails are “dealer’s choice,” meaning that the bartender mixes the drink however he or she sees fit. Johnson said the bartender might ask what base customers want and will try to accommodate their preferences, but the outcomes vary.
Sign of the Whale’s Whale Pail is the best bang for your buck with happy hour specials raffled off three times a week, which are often won by students. If you “say their name,” you receive a wristband for half-off drinks, but unfortunately the Whale Pail isn’t included in the deal and costs $14 – less than what most bars charge for oversized or unique cocktails.
Whether you’re at Sign of the Whale for your roommate’s happy hour promotion or to snap an obligatory 21st birthday Instagram photo, chances are you’re gulping down the mysterious contents of a Whale Pail.