The first presidential debate is already next week, and there's one way to cool off during this heated political season: drink.
Participate in election-related drinking and get rewarded with a free stay at the Four Seasons Hotel or the submit a cocktail recipe to Bar Pilar for the chance to be its featured Inauguration Day cocktail. Bartenders around town are getting clever with names of cocktails, like The Side Sweep at Ottoman Taverna to the Deluded Little Manhattan at Bastille. It's not all about boozing, however; burgers and ice cream flavors have election-themed twists at Good Stuff Eatery and Blue Duck Tavern, respectively.
As election season reaches its peak, expect this list to be updated with details on viewing parties with food and drink specials, visits from the Washington Nationals' Abraham Lincoln mascot, giveaways and other live entertainment. Even 7-Eleven has visitors voting with politically-themed coffee cups. Here's an updated restaurant and bar specials around town:
The Oval Room
800 Connecticut Ave. NW
This posh restaurant whips up two election-themed cocktails (Build That Wall or Madam President) for $12 apiece through election night.
5 Cameron St., Alexandria, Va.
Taste test two election-themed cocktails at Old Town's waterfront eatery: The Righteous, with Deep Eddy Cranberry, or The Laudable, with Cruzan light rum, for $11 a pop.
606 N Fayette St., Alexandria, Va.
Also in Alexandria, check out a $10 cocktail for each candidate at Bastille. For Hillary, the #Crooked; for Donald, the Deluded Little Manhattan; for Libertarians, the Live Free or Die Johnson; and for the Green Party, the Paging Dr. Stein. For those wishing to opt out of the choices, pick the I Vote Canada (can you say "Hello Prime Minister Trudeau?").
Good Stuff Eatery
Spike Mendelsohn's burger joint, a favorite of the Obama administration, now has Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump-themed burgers. They'll keep a running poll of which burgers are ordered and update it daily.
1833 14th St NW
Taste a drop of history at Bar Pilar with four modern versions of cocktails inspired from the campaigns of Benjamin Harrison, President Taft, Teddy Roosevelt circa 1910, and the controversial Bull Moose party (priced $12 to $13). Submit an election cocktail recipe to firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 14, and the winner will be the special Inauguration Day cocktail in January.
1250 9th St. NW
The Southern Mexican-inspired spot in Shaw sells two election-themed mezcal cocktails: The Apprentice and the Madam Presidenta (served up) for $11 each.
The Grill Room/The Rye Bar
1050 31st St. NW
The deal: The Grill Room is offering "Red Plate" and "Blue Plate" specials beginning Sept. 6 in conjunction with the election, running through the big day Nov. 8. Diners can choose one along with a wine or dessert for $28. The dishes hail either from traditionally Republican or Democratic states (no purple plates). There are three themed cocktails served here and its neighboring bar, The Rye Bar: Thyme to Decide, Pacific Blue, and The Green Card.
The Graham Hotel
1075 Thomas Jefferson St. NW
The Graham will keep the festivities to one night (October 5) with a party featuring mock ballots, free drinks, Trump and Clinton impersonators, and more. The action kicks off at 4 p.m.
701 Pennsylvania Ave NW
The deal: This power spot also has two candidate-themed cocktails (the Make America Great Again and I'm With Her), priced at $12 each through Election Night.
101 Constitution Ave. NW
The deal: The politico favorite is featuring swing states "cuts of the week," featuring regional dishes from such states as Colorado and Iowa throughout different weeks before the election.
Blue Duck Tavern
1201 24th St. NW
The deal: American apple pie is for everyone, but diners can show their political preference by choosing the ice cream flavor that corresponds with their party (or vanilla for the undecided).
Off the Record
800 16th St. NW
The deal: Four different themed cocktails will be available at Hay Adams' bar, alongside political drink cartoon coasters.
Lincoln/Teddy & the Bully Bar
1110 Vermont Ave. NW / 1200 19th St. NW
The deal: PRG Hospitality's two patriotic-themed spots launched a cocktail poll to predict the next president based on sales of two cocktails: The Trump Tower (a summer twist on the Negroni) and Hillary's Inbox (with Absolut Elyx and lime juice). Both restaurants will keep score of the cocktails sold on the blackboard at the bar through General Election Day on Nov. 8. Daily after 4 p.m., $11 a pop.
Bourbon Steak at Four Seasons Hotel
2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
The deal: Drink, sleep, and eat like a president with the chance to win dinner and stay in a Presidential Suite. Starting Oct. 8, order one of the four specialty Presidential Cocktails below and toss a ballot into a "Democratic" or the "Republican" full-size whiskey barrel at the end of the bar ($5 of each $20 cocktail will be donated to Rock-the-Vote). After Nov. 8, the drawn winner will get a dinner for two and night in the exclusive suite next summer.
2401 M St. NW
The deal: This month the Georgetown hotel launched an unofficial "Presidential Cocktail Poll" to predict results, with the number of blue and red cocktails sold tallied weekly and posted in the lobby and on social media. Pick your poison: The DemocratBlue Curacao or the The Republican Chambord, priced $14 each in The Lobby bar and Loggia Lounge, open 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
425 I St. NW
The deal: The Turkish restaurant has two politically-themed cocktails. The Pantsuit, with vodka and peppermint shrub, represents Hillary Clinton, while The Side Sweep, with gin, basil, and blue raki, represents Donald Trump. The drinks ($14) are available starting September 6, and the restaurant will poll to see which is ordered more. They're also planning to do Turkish coffee readings to predict diners' futures.
The Renaissance Dupont
1143 New Hampshire Ave.
The deal: The hotel has complimentary blue and red-themed punches in the lobby, as well as themed cocktails and several sessions of "Debate Bingo" scheduled on debate days.
ENO Wine Bar
2810 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
The deal: From now until Inauguration Day, cast a vote with the wine bar's Clinton vs. Trump Wine Flights. Each $20 flight will include a lineup from locations significant to each nominee, like ones from New York where Clinton was senator. For each flight ordered, patrons will be entered to win a gift certificate to ENO for four people.