Petal power

No. 3, Empress Tavern

illustration by serene lusano

The No. 3 ($11) on Empress Tavern's short cocktail menu is a simple stunner in a tall crystal-cut tumbler filled with Spirit Works gin and a hibiscus-honey-lavender syrup. The ruby red drink is topped off with a gorgeous hibiscus flower petal that floats on the surface like a corsage. But it's not just all good looks and floral-spiked sweetness. In Iran, hibiscus is used to regulate blood pressure, and in parts of Africa it's steeped into jams, jellies and teas to use as a diuretic. So, you know, drink to your health and all that. 1013 K Street,