Drink This Now: Squid Ink Soda at Hank’s Oyster Bar

The Ursula's Revenge cocktail at Hank's Oyster Bar channels the sea with squid ink soda. Photograph courtesy of Hank's Oyster Bar.

Chefs make delicious squid ink pastas, so why not squid ink soda? That was Jessica Weinstein‘s thought when creating the Ursula’s Revenge cocktail at Hank’s Oyster Bar in Dupont Circle. The inky drink is a deep sea riff on a rickey, mixed with Edinburgh gin, grilled lemon, and the sepia sparkling. The drink was made especially for DC Rickey Month, but both the cocktail and soda are sticking around the bar for the foreseeable future thanks to positive feedback from brave drinkers.

Weinstein approaches the soda-making much like a chef might craft spaghetti di nero—using a sparing amount of fresh cuttlefish ink for color and a hint of brininess, and adding charred lemon for a citrusy flavor. Mixed with gin, Ursula’s Revenge tastes more like reward than punishment, and is surprisingly refreshing on a hot summer day. Try it as is for $12, or challenge the Hank’s bar staff to whip up another squid soda-based cocktail. Weinstein says the team is up to the challenge, no fear of revenge.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.