Mt. Vernon Triangle
Morris American Bar takes cocktails seriously, but it’s no traditional speakeasy. Its cheery atmosphere starts with the bold marquee and extends to the bright interior, styled with pastel blues and playful lighting. Morris’ bartenders hand-carve ice, and pay attention to every drink detail -- from glassware to temperature. The menu changes seasonally, and bartenders are always helpful to mix up something for any taste or preference from the extensive bottle selection. There’s no standing room, so be prepared to wait if you’re with a large group or visiting at peak times.
Some cocktail bars focus on pre-Prohibition and Civil War-era cocktails, but Round Robin Bar doesn’t have to pretend -- it’s been in operation since 1850. It may not be the buzziest spot in town, but it’s tough to compete with the genuinely old-school feel of sipping a mint julep surrounded by decades of political history. The bar’s age hasn’t stagnated innovation, though. The cocktail list has plenty of nods to current trends, such as the No Borders, with reposado tequila, mezcal, pineapple, ginger, and habanero tincture. If you get hungry, turn to bar fare like crab cake sliders or truffle oil and Parmesan fries.
Serenata sits at the center of La Cosecha, the ambitious Latin American food and retail hall nearby Union Market. The cocktail menu is one of the most diverse in the city, organized by country and highlighting indigenous spirits and ingredients wherever possible. A good pick is the Duende Tango, a Dominican-inspired blend of aged rum, Mama Juana, Aperol, Scotch, orange bitters, and olive. Classics make an appearance, too, so feel free to enjoy a Ti Punch or Cuba Libre while snacking on bar bites that include rum chicken liver mousse or avocado toast with charred chorizo.