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The Smoked Old Fashioned at Quadrant Bar & Lounge
Photo: Ritz-Carlton

D.C.’s Top Cocktails, Winter 2018

The single best drinks around

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The Smoked Old Fashioned at Quadrant Bar & Lounge
| Photo: Ritz-Carlton

There are endless options around town when it comes to scoring refreshing cocktails.

These dozen or so drinks stand out of the pack because they are either brand new, have a funky presentation (think: collectible bar ware), or the starring ingredients may just be the new trend to taste before anyone else.

For our guide to D.C.’s hottest new bars, check out this list. For a broader view of the drinking landscape, check out this list of essential bars.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Becky Just Got Her Hair Did at Hank's Cocktail Bar

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819 Upshur St NW
Washington, DC 20011
(202) 290-1808
Visit Website

Hank’s beverage director Jess Weinstein has concocted a drink that combines both summer and winter vibes. There’s Absolut elyx, lemon, pumpkin seed and nuts, nutmeg, cinnamon, and egg white.

Becky Just Got Her Hair Did cocktail at Hank’s Cocktail Bar.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

2. Bunny Slopes at Hazel

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808 V St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 847-4980
Visit Website

The comforting cocktail, great for guzzling while watching the Winter Olympics, is made with fluffy coconut eggnog, sherry, C&R Despacchino, and a coconut flake rim ($13). 

Bunny Slopes
Photo: Hazel

3. Opus 9, No. 2 at Nocturne

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1932 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

This Shaw newcomer, tucked below its sibling Sugar Shack, pushes a cocktail-tasting format (with a late-night a la carte option coming soon). This bright idea includes mezcal, avocado suze, honey, and lime.

Opus 9, No. 2 at Nocturne.
Photo: Nocturne

4. Sake at 600t

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600 T St NW
Washington, DC 20001

The new-ish subterranean cocktail lair, hidden from the hubbub of Florida Avenue NW, has a list of straightforward cocktails that pair well with the bar’s unpretentious wood cabin atmosphere. The simply-named Sake ($12) includes lemon, Hakutsuru Junmai Ginjo sake, plum wine, brut, Cynar, and Copertino Italian red wine.

Sake at 600t.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

5. Your Number at Left Door

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1345 S St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 734-8576

This sexy, secretive, and unmarked spot slings gems like this one, featuring Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye, Sfumato Amaro, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Underberg, and cacao ($16).

Your Number cocktail at Left Door.
Photo: Mickey Perrigo

6. Call of the Siren at Siren

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1515 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 521-7171
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The Robert Wiedmaier restaurant’s namesake cocktail is served with rosemary and basil-infused vodka, a splash of cava, lime juice, lavender syrup, and cucumber ($14). Also spot the drink on its new Sunday buffet brunch menu.

Call of the Siren cocktail at Siren.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

7. Does Ginger Make This Healthy? at the Fairmont

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2401 M St NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 429-2400
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Head to the recently-modernized hotel bar for a high ball will High West “Campfire” Whiskey, ginger honey syrup sourced from its rooftop bees, lemon, angostura bitters, and an orange peel ($16).

 

Does Ginger Make This Healthy?
Photo: Diana Bulger

8. The Smoked Old Fashioned at Quadrant Bar & Lounge

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1150 22nd St NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 835-0500
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This theatrical drink hits all the senses, made with handmade cherry bitters, Knob Creek Bourbon, and a smoked orange peel with a brandy cherry garnish. The dramatic prep work includes igniting a cedar plank and extinguishing the flame by placing the glass over it, allowing the glass to fill with smoke and absorb the taste.

The Smoked Old Fashioned
Photo: Ritz-Carlton

9. Apple Cobbler at Bourbon Steak

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2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 944-2026
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Head bartender Torrence Swain’s seasonal smash includes Rujero Signani, Laird’s applejack, apple butter syrup, and fresh lemon juice, served in a copper julep with an apple slice.

Apple Cobbler cocktail at Bourbon Steak.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

10. Ginger Blossom at Karma Modern Indian

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611 I St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 898-0393
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The new Mount Vernon Triangle eatery, which gives a portion of diners’ tabs back to charity, makes a dainty concoction of Cazadores Reposado, St. George Absinthe, Domaine de Canton, and Peychaund Bitters.

Ginger Blossom cocktail at Karma Modern Indian.
Photo by Joy Asico

11. Gin & Tonic at Del Mar

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791 Wharf Street SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 525-1402
Visit Website

The Spanish know their gin and tonics and this Wharf newcomer is no exception--serving up a trio of types mixed by impeccably-dressed bartenders. The Estrellas version comes with Tanqueray n.10, ginger, lime, tonic water, star anise, and cardamom ($15). The classic is $10 at happy hour.

Gin and tonic
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

12. Garam Masala Gin & Tonic at Rasa

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1247 First St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 804-5678
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This gin and tonic comes on draft and is the most inexpensive cocktail on this list ($7.50). Patrons at the month-old Indian fast-casual eatery can skip the booze via a young coconut, branded in the Rasa logo, for $5.

Assorted food and drinks at Rasa.
Photo: Rasa

1. Becky Just Got Her Hair Did at Hank's Cocktail Bar

819 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC 20011
Becky Just Got Her Hair Did cocktail at Hank’s Cocktail Bar.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

Hank’s beverage director Jess Weinstein has concocted a drink that combines both summer and winter vibes. There’s Absolut elyx, lemon, pumpkin seed and nuts, nutmeg, cinnamon, and egg white.

819 Upshur St NW
Washington, DC 20011

2. Bunny Slopes at Hazel

808 V St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Bunny Slopes
Photo: Hazel

The comforting cocktail, great for guzzling while watching the Winter Olympics, is made with fluffy coconut eggnog, sherry, C&R Despacchino, and a coconut flake rim ($13). 

808 V St NW
Washington, DC 20001

3. Opus 9, No. 2 at Nocturne

1932 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Opus 9, No. 2 at Nocturne.
Photo: Nocturne

This Shaw newcomer, tucked below its sibling Sugar Shack, pushes a cocktail-tasting format (with a late-night a la carte option coming soon). This bright idea includes mezcal, avocado suze, honey, and lime.

1932 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

4. Sake at 600t

600 T St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Sake at 600t.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

The new-ish subterranean cocktail lair, hidden from the hubbub of Florida Avenue NW, has a list of straightforward cocktails that pair well with the bar’s unpretentious wood cabin atmosphere. The simply-named Sake ($12) includes lemon, Hakutsuru Junmai Ginjo sake, plum wine, brut, Cynar, and Copertino Italian red wine.

600 T St NW
Washington, DC 20001

5. Your Number at Left Door

1345 S St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Your Number cocktail at Left Door.
Photo: Mickey Perrigo

This sexy, secretive, and unmarked spot slings gems like this one, featuring Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye, Sfumato Amaro, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Underberg, and cacao ($16).

1345 S St NW
Washington, DC 20009

6. Call of the Siren at Siren

1515 Rhode Island Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005
Call of the Siren cocktail at Siren.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

The Robert Wiedmaier restaurant’s namesake cocktail is served with rosemary and basil-infused vodka, a splash of cava, lime juice, lavender syrup, and cucumber ($14). Also spot the drink on its new Sunday buffet brunch menu.

1515 Rhode Island Ave NW
Washington, DC 20005

7. Does Ginger Make This Healthy? at the Fairmont

2401 M St NW, Washington, DC 20037
Does Ginger Make This Healthy?
Photo: Diana Bulger

Head to the recently-modernized hotel bar for a high ball will High West “Campfire” Whiskey, ginger honey syrup sourced from its rooftop bees, lemon, angostura bitters, and an orange peel ($16).

 

2401 M St NW
Washington, DC 20037

8. The Smoked Old Fashioned at Quadrant Bar & Lounge

1150 22nd St NW, Washington, DC 20037
The Smoked Old Fashioned
Photo: Ritz-Carlton

This theatrical drink hits all the senses, made with handmade cherry bitters, Knob Creek Bourbon, and a smoked orange peel with a brandy cherry garnish. The dramatic prep work includes igniting a cedar plank and extinguishing the flame by placing the glass over it, allowing the glass to fill with smoke and absorb the taste.

1150 22nd St NW
Washington, DC 20037

9. Apple Cobbler at Bourbon Steak

2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Apple Cobbler cocktail at Bourbon Steak.
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

Head bartender Torrence Swain’s seasonal smash includes Rujero Signani, Laird’s applejack, apple butter syrup, and fresh lemon juice, served in a copper julep with an apple slice.

2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

10. Ginger Blossom at Karma Modern Indian

611 I St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Ginger Blossom cocktail at Karma Modern Indian.
Photo by Joy Asico

The new Mount Vernon Triangle eatery, which gives a portion of diners’ tabs back to charity, makes a dainty concoction of Cazadores Reposado, St. George Absinthe, Domaine de Canton, and Peychaund Bitters.

611 I St NW
Washington, DC 20001

11. Gin & Tonic at Del Mar

791 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024
Gin and tonic
Photo by Tierney Plumb / Eater DC

The Spanish know their gin and tonics and this Wharf newcomer is no exception--serving up a trio of types mixed by impeccably-dressed bartenders. The Estrellas version comes with Tanqueray n.10, ginger, lime, tonic water, star anise, and cardamom ($15). The classic is $10 at happy hour.

791 Wharf Street SW
Washington, DC 20024

12. Garam Masala Gin & Tonic at Rasa

1247 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Assorted food and drinks at Rasa.
Photo: Rasa

This gin and tonic comes on draft and is the most inexpensive cocktail on this list ($7.50). Patrons at the month-old Indian fast-casual eatery can skip the booze via a young coconut, branded in the Rasa logo, for $5.

1247 First St SE
Washington, DC 20003

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