Food & Drink

Drink at DC's 8 best cocktail bars

Published On 12/05/2013 Published On 12/05/2013
BNOYL Cocktails DC
Laura Hayes
Jim Webb
Laura Hayes
Leo Schmid
The Gibson
Off The Record
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1. Columbia Room 1021 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Columbia Room is consistently one of the best cocktail bars in DC, pouring expertly crafted 'tails using their own cordials, bitters and tinctures, and using hand-carved ice. It's no surprise it has been voted as one of the best bars in America.

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2. PX 728 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314

This speakeasy might charge a bit extra than others in the area, but it's worth it after tasting their specialty cocktails that are handcrafted by some of the most seasoned expert mixologists in the city.

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3. Spirits Bar at Rogue 24 922 N St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Cheftender and former competitive ice carver Bryan Tetorakis holds it down at DC's smallest bar, Spiritsbar. You and three of your friends can sidle up to the four-seater (in the back of Rogue 24) while Tetorakis prepares creative concoctions with ingredients like Green Chartreuse and liquid nitrogen.

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4. Bar Charley 1825 18th St, NW, Washington, DC 20009

This Adams Morgan spot specializes in variations on cocktail classics, including 15 different Manhattan recipes. Many of the bar’s drinks cost $10 or less, including the rotating draft Tiki cocktails for under $8. While you wouldn't necessarily come here for the food, shareable bites like flatbreads and fries are worthy orders.

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5. The Gibson 2009 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20003

This multi-level cocktail bar has a serves a variety of craft cocktails that are constantly changing, allowing you to enjoy something new and exciting amidst the spot's warm ambiance every time. The drink list hovers in the $10-$15 range, and is organized by type of spirit, making it easy to find something you’ll like. The space has a speakeasy feel, with cozy seating and dim lighting.

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6. Off the Record 800 16th St NW, Washington, DC 20006

If you're across the street from the White House, head to Off the Record. Situated in the Italian Renaissance-style Hay-Adams hotel, this aptly named haunt looks like an over-the-top hideaway of the political elite. Don't be surprised if you noticed Frank Underwood sipping a Sazerac by the bar...

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7. POV Rooftop Lounge and Terrace 515 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20004

POV offers an assortment of seasonal cocktails and a small plate food menu in a chic, top-floor sky-lounge outfitted with oversized, Alice in Wonderland-style black & red couches and glossy, darkly lacquered walls. Floor-to-ceiling windows peek out onto Downtown DC; a wrap-around terrace provides great views of the mall and the White House lawn.

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8. Lincoln 1110 Vermont Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005

Lincoln reps the former head-of-state not only in name, but in taste as well, spotlighting some of his favorite eats, which apparently included oysters and gingerbread. Lincoln's small plate menu focuses on contemporary American cuisine sourced locally from farmers and fishermen in the region. Nothing says 'merica like infused bourbons and a full list of moonshines approved by honest Abe.