June 9, 2017Posted by Bethany Larson Bloch
Washington has a number of hideaways dedicated to the art of the cocktail, in rather varied aesthetics and neighborhoods.
The Gibson, the District’s first and premier secret drinking destination, transport you so thoroughly back to the 1920s that you’d swear you stepped into a time machine, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s modern hipsters behind the bar. This is certainly the place for the adventurous imbiber, as it serves up a huge list of refined drinks with kicky names, like the Frank Underwood (Malört, apple brandy, Kümmel, Campari and lemon) and the I Been Drankin’ (Laphroaig 10, Midori, lime and raspberry).
Harold Black might be small in size and in menu, but it’s a great place to stop after dinner on Capitol Hill. I dig the Lost in Translation, which includes bourbon and bitter grapefruit liqueur, but if bubbly is more your speed, the Cocktail #4 will do you nicely – chamomile- and pear-infused vodka with apricot liqueur, lime and Champagne.
Want to be at D.C.’s “it” spot? May we present Columbia Room – the brainchild of Washington’s famed mixologist Derek Brown – in Shaw’s Blagden Alley. Here, you can choose your experience based on where you’d like to sit. On the charming rooftop patio is a punch garden serving booze in elegant coupes; inside, lies the spirit library, where you can repose in a leather armchair among mahogany bookshelves with an Omar Khyyám, made with bourbon, mulled orange wine and black lemon bitters, or The Last Cup, mixed with Pimms #1, Yellow Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and verbena. For a more education night, book a seat in the tasting room, which provides an intimate, five-course libation menu, including food pairings. The offerings rotate seasonally, and sure are memorable.
For those wanting something more casual, belly up at Ivy & Coney. The hidden sports-loving dive – though similar to speakeasies in that it’s not easy to find unless you’re in the know – eschews fancy drinks and pomp and circumstance, opting instead for cold beers and straight-up shots, peanuts (the shells of which end up on the floor) and its famous hot dogs (all the better to soak up the liquor).
Whatever your preference, this city’s got you covered. Bottoms up!
About The HUNT Washington, D.C. Author: Cori Sue Morris loves nights out at great new restaurants, cocktails at the latest speakeasies, boutique fitness classes and bottomless brunches. A high-energy entrepreneur, she’s built a career out of exploring Washington, D.C. and sharing her experiences on bitcheswhobrunch.com, the website she co-founded. You can usually find her at the corner table of her favorite coffee shop or the best wine bar in town.
For more great insider recommendations to Washington, D.C., pick up the guide on gatehousepublishing.com.