Typically, slurred or unintelligible speech is the reddest of flags for bartenders — if you can't properly enunciate your drink order, it's probably time for you to go home.
But there are always marble-mouthed exceptions, such as the new cocktail list at Twenty Manning Grill (261 S. 20th St.), specifically calibrated to knot up the tongues of drinkers, whether they're sober or not.
The mischievous lineup, which falls under the seasonal, experimental "261 Labs" section of the drink menu, was developed by GM Jillian Encarnacion and bartender Resa Mueller.
"It's always kind of a great moment when you start to say something with confidence and end up completely butchering the words as they come out of your mouth," says Mueller.
So why not come up with libations that dramatically increase the likelihood of this happening? That's the spirit behind their tricky-talking new tipples, "dedicated to verbal stumbles and inarticulate fumbles."
Whiskey fans will likely gravitate toward the "Irish Wristwatch," somehow more difficult to say than "arm accessory one consults when the question of punctuality arises in County Cork" — it's Irish whiskey, lime and tart tamarind, served tall with soda.
The "Toy Boat Toy Boat Toy Boat" is a zingy island-inspired drink with Caribbean elements like delicate Rhum Clement Créole Shrubb, allspice dram and ginger beer. (No discount if you say it three times fast.)
The "Sunshine City," another spring-friendly pick, is built around gin and Art in the Age's SAGE the bar infuses with Meyer lemons.
Encarnacion and Mueller's television fandom is on tap, too, via the Mezcal-centric, 30 Rock-inspired "Rural Juror" and the vodka-based "Bob Loblaw," named after Scott Baio's classic Arrested Development attorney. Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else noticed?
These tongue-twister drinks are available at Twenty Manning from now until the end of this summer. Don't even bother practicing before you order.