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Oops! I Ordered a Treasure Chest at barmini will set back drinkers $250.
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

D.C.’s Most Expensive Cocktails

D.C. bartenders are whipping up big-ticket drinks around town

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Oops! I Ordered a Treasure Chest at barmini will set back drinkers $250.
| Rey Lopez/Eater DC

It wasn’t that long ago that paying $15 for a cocktail in D.C. bordered on unthinkable. Now, though, that price point has become a frequent sight on drink menus across town. It hasn’t ended there, either. A hand full of bars and lounges across the city are enticing ritzy customers with cocktails north of $20 a pop — with a few approaching $100 or more.

Hotel bars are natural environments for these indulgent drinks, with a steady flow of tourists and business travelers passing through with vacation budgets and expense accounts. And cocktail bars are playing around with barrel-aged drinks and rare spirits, which come with prices to match their effort and exclusivity.

The following cocktails are the designed for those in the mood to sip and savor top-shelf tipples — without worrying about the tab.

This post has been updated.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Jack Rose Dining Saloon

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2007 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 588-7388
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The city’s quintessential whiskey bar offers two $23 cocktails made with Jack Rose private barrels from esteemed distillers. The Perfect Manhattan uses Wathen’s Single Barrel, Cocchi di Torino, Carpano Antica, Dolin dry vermouth, and barrel aged bitters. The other option is a Sazerac with Peerless Rye, Copper & Kings Port Finished Absinthe, Peychaud’s bitters, and sugar.

jackrose
Perfect Manhattan at Jack Rose
Camille S./Yelp

2. Service Bar DC

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926-928 U St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 462-7232
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This buzzing U Street bar offers up a study in contrasts with a $25 boilermaker of Johnny Walker Blue whiskey (one of the brands highest-level offerings) served with a beer on the side. The deal is available all day as a pumped-up version of the standard $7 beer and a shot offering.

3. Masseria

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1340 4th St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 608-1330
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A $75 vintage negroni is most premium cocktail at Nicholas Stefanelli’s Italian restaurant, which counts a Michelin star among its accolades. The classic is made with Sipsmith gin, Contratto Rosso vermouth and circa 1970 Campari.

4. Bourbon Steak

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2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 944-2026
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Aged steaks aren’t the only reason to head to this Georgetown power spot. The elaborate cocktail menu includes the $21 Scottish District, a Manhattan riff that goes over the top with 15 year old Glenlivet whisky, Dolin dry vermouth and Amaro Nonio. Say hi to new head bartender Sarah Rosner — the first woman to helm the Four Seasons glitzy lounge’s cocktail program in its 10-year history.

Scottish District at Bourbon Steak
Bourbon Steak/official photo

5. The Rye Bar

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1050 31st St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 617-2424
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Settle to this leather adorned Georgetown lounge with a tasty $22 barrel-aged Manhattan. Dropping a Jackson on a cocktail is a power move that fits the sophisticated vibe.

6. Claudia's Steakhouse

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1501 K St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 838-3219
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Claudia's steakhouse offers customers its Perfect Martini for $125. The 3 ounce high-roller drink is made with Nolet's Reserve Gin (only 500 bottles are released each year), saffron bitters, and dry vermouth.

7. Mirabelle

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900 16th St NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 506-3833
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This posh French dining room saw a relaunch in July, which included an updated cocktail menu. For a classy start to a meal, try the Embrasse de la Terre ($22), a blend of Rutte Old Simon Genever, Dolin dry vermouth, Yellow Chartreuse, and The Bitter Truth celery bitters.

8. MXDC Cocina Mexicana

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600 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 393-1900
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The Millionaire Margarita is $40 a glass at Todd English's tequila-heavy joint, and comes with Don Julio 1942, Grand Marnier, agave, and fresh lime. Make it a pitcher for $240.

9. barmini by José Andrés

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501 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 393-4451
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Those with some extra gold lying around can tackle the Oops! I Ordered a Treasure Chest at this inventive José Andrés bar. It’s a concoction of Jamaican rum, cachaca, guava, banana, passion fruit, vanilla, and champagne. The shareable cocktail runs $250 and serves two to six.

Oops! I Ordered a Treasure Chest
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

10. Benjamin Bar & Lounge

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1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 695-1100
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The plush Trump International Hotel bar boasts a signature cocktail named after Benjamin Franklin and his belief that “there can’t be good living where there is not good drinking.” The Benjamin contains Belvedere rye, Chopin potato vodka, Elyx winter wheat vodka, raw oysters, and caviar—and costs guests $100.

1. Jack Rose Dining Saloon

2007 18th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009
jackrose
Perfect Manhattan at Jack Rose
Camille S./Yelp

The city’s quintessential whiskey bar offers two $23 cocktails made with Jack Rose private barrels from esteemed distillers. The Perfect Manhattan uses Wathen’s Single Barrel, Cocchi di Torino, Carpano Antica, Dolin dry vermouth, and barrel aged bitters. The other option is a Sazerac with Peerless Rye, Copper & Kings Port Finished Absinthe, Peychaud’s bitters, and sugar.

2007 18th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

2. Service Bar DC

926-928 U St NW, Washington, DC 20001

This buzzing U Street bar offers up a study in contrasts with a $25 boilermaker of Johnny Walker Blue whiskey (one of the brands highest-level offerings) served with a beer on the side. The deal is available all day as a pumped-up version of the standard $7 beer and a shot offering.

926-928 U St NW
Washington, DC 20001

3. Masseria

1340 4th St NE, Washington, DC 20002

A $75 vintage negroni is most premium cocktail at Nicholas Stefanelli’s Italian restaurant, which counts a Michelin star among its accolades. The classic is made with Sipsmith gin, Contratto Rosso vermouth and circa 1970 Campari.

1340 4th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

4. Bourbon Steak

2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Scottish District at Bourbon Steak
Bourbon Steak/official photo

Aged steaks aren’t the only reason to head to this Georgetown power spot. The elaborate cocktail menu includes the $21 Scottish District, a Manhattan riff that goes over the top with 15 year old Glenlivet whisky, Dolin dry vermouth and Amaro Nonio. Say hi to new head bartender Sarah Rosner — the first woman to helm the Four Seasons glitzy lounge’s cocktail program in its 10-year history.

2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

5. The Rye Bar

1050 31st St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Settle to this leather adorned Georgetown lounge with a tasty $22 barrel-aged Manhattan. Dropping a Jackson on a cocktail is a power move that fits the sophisticated vibe.

1050 31st St NW
Washington, DC 20007

6. Claudia's Steakhouse

1501 K St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

Claudia's steakhouse offers customers its Perfect Martini for $125. The 3 ounce high-roller drink is made with Nolet's Reserve Gin (only 500 bottles are released each year), saffron bitters, and dry vermouth.

1501 K St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

7. Mirabelle

900 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006

This posh French dining room saw a relaunch in July, which included an updated cocktail menu. For a classy start to a meal, try the Embrasse de la Terre ($22), a blend of Rutte Old Simon Genever, Dolin dry vermouth, Yellow Chartreuse, and The Bitter Truth celery bitters.

900 16th St NW
Washington, DC 20006

8. MXDC Cocina Mexicana

600 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

The Millionaire Margarita is $40 a glass at Todd English's tequila-heavy joint, and comes with Don Julio 1942, Grand Marnier, agave, and fresh lime. Make it a pitcher for $240.

600 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

9. barmini by José Andrés

501 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Oops! I Ordered a Treasure Chest
Rey Lopez/Eater DC

Those with some extra gold lying around can tackle the Oops! I Ordered a Treasure Chest at this inventive José Andrés bar. It’s a concoction of Jamaican rum, cachaca, guava, banana, passion fruit, vanilla, and champagne. The shareable cocktail runs $250 and serves two to six.

501 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20004

10. Benjamin Bar & Lounge

1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

The plush Trump International Hotel bar boasts a signature cocktail named after Benjamin Franklin and his belief that “there can’t be good living where there is not good drinking.” The Benjamin contains Belvedere rye, Chopin potato vodka, Elyx winter wheat vodka, raw oysters, and caviar—and costs guests $100.

1100 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004

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