Raise a Glass

Our guide to the best cocktails of 2011

Cocktail culture has shaken this city into a liquor-infused frenzy.

More restaurants than ever are elevating their drink offerings, whether through excellent products from local distillers or creative combinations.

With so many options, it isn't easy to know where to go and what to order. So here's a handy reference guide to crave-worthy cocktails: Tasting Table D.C.'s Best Cocktails 2011.

This cluster of 10 cocktails showcases the best drinks from several excellent new restaurants, along with a few newcomers on the lists at now-classic spots.

Each drink comes with a recipe so that you can go out on the town or stay in and try it at home. Learn to make a flaming Negroni in the style of the venerable Occidental, or indulge in the effervescent, citrusy Smashing Pumpkin from new favorite Graffiato.

These cocktails tweak classics (Rogue 24's Sparkling Manhattan), go in entirely new directions (the Maple Snow at Hank's Oyster Bar), and play with often-overlooked booze (the sherry-based Mono Medio at Estadio).

These are 10 reasons to create a stir.