Straw Poll

Peregrine excels with alternative beverages

Dripped, poured-over and cold-processed, coffee arrives in the cup by many methods.

But Peregrine Espresso doesn't stop at a variety of preparations. Instead, the new 14th St. shop and its original Eastern Market location add to coffee's buzz through boundary-pushing monthly drink specials that feature new flavors and combinations.

At the 14th Street location, the Phantom Mullet ($3.25) blends Boylan Cane Cola with two shots of Counter Culture's sturdy Espresso Apollo. The soda adds a caramelized sweetness to the shot's slightly bitter dark-chocolate notes. Capped with a twist of lime, the fizzy beverage has the tart, sweet appeal of sober sangria for the Sanka set.

At the Hill outpost, the monthly special is Kingdom of the Dinosaurs ($3.25), a drink of iced, spiced cascara, or brewed coffee "cherries." Steeped like tea leaves, the typically discarded cherry offers a light, fruity and tealike alternative to iced coffee.

Past hits included fruit reductions, cayenne-spiced espresso, and infusions with dark Askinosie chocolate. Up next, look for the BaughBaugh, an espresso drink flavored with bourbon-peach syrup and ginger-infused coconut milk.

Peregrine Espresso, 1718 14th St. NW (at R St.), 202-525-5127; or 660 Pennsylvania Ave. SE (entrance on 7th St.), 202-629-4381; peregrineespresso.com