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Cuba libre! 

Oscar Morales' eponymous restaurant pays homage to the glitz of New American cuisine and the glamour of clean lines and crisp white linens, but the new cocktail menu tips its hat to the exotic flavors of Cuba. Now including buzzwords like "mojito" as well as several signature concoctions, the restaurant has created the kind of destination drinking that attracts lifestyle requirements more than gastric needs. Though the diminutive bar and sleek white leather couches provide a pleasant resting place for aperitifs or a post-work tete-a-tete, Oscar's hardly aims to follow the lead of other restaurants that have become more loungey while masquerading behind a food menu.

Though peaches are a mainstay summer ingredient, the luscious fruit is getting a few extra moments to shine in the Peach Mojito at Oscar's. A pleasantly crisp counterpoint to fall's imminent foods, the cocktail tastes clean and fresh thanks to a base of Bacardi white rum (which, like Morales, originally hails from Cuba) and a dose of orange bitters that also serve to tone down the crunchy sugar granules lying sweetly beneath layers of alcohol. Thick stalks of mint muddled with fresh peach swim coolly in the cocktail glass, while a dash of peach extract keeps the drink lively with an intriguingly fruity aroma.

Cuban coffee delightfully satisfies the cravings of coffee drinkers and, thanks to its reliance on brown sugar, sweets-lovers alike. At Oscar's, it also forms the backbone of the Cuban Cafetini. Served in a martini glass with a (thankfully) bitter chocolate rim, the dark and murky mix looks more like hot chocolate than a cocktail. But at first sip, the cool beverage hits with subdued sweetness caused by the combination of coffee and Kahlua. A generous dose of Grey Goose vodka helps along the effects, though the vaguely chocolatey taste of quality coffee is a dizzying pleasure in and of itself.

Oscar's, 3725 Main St., College Park. 404-766-9688.

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