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Oct 22, 2008 03:22 PM

DC Cocktails

I have read great things about the cocktails at Bar Pilar on Tuesday nights - are the rest of the nights not the same quality?

Where else can you go in DC to get similar quality drinks?

Thanks in advance.


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  1. Do you want classic or modern cocktails? And do you want them in DC proper, as the best are in Alexandria, they are Todd Thrashers concoctions.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ktmoomau

      I equally enjoy classic or modern - as well as they are well made from quality ingredients (For example in San Francisco - Range, Bourbon and Branch, Alembic, or Boston - eastern Standard). I have also read about the cocktails at PX which sound great, but would prefer DC proper. Thanks for any help.

      1. re: pablito1

        PS7 has great cocktails. Their lavender-lime gin martini is just as good as Eve or PX's cocktails IMO. Others have not been quite as good, but still my favorite in DC.

        1. re: dcfoodie13

          I was disappointed by that lavender martini at PS7, after hearing such good things. It's the only drink I've tried there and only once, though.

          Pablito -- Bar Pilar is always great. On Tuesdays the head bartender does a special drink menu, different every week. You have to sit at the bar to get them, and he's the only one who can make them (since he makes them up and they're high labor, you need to be patient) -- so that's why you hear about Tuesdays.

          I don't know if it's still on the menu, but the black pepper rickey at Central (I think it won the rickey contest this summer) is really good, so I'd guess other drinks are worth it there, too.

          When I went to Eve, the cocktails were the best part of the evening by far -- that's Thrasher right? A little precious for my taste, though, maybe what we ordered.

          Have you checked out that DC bartenders' guild, the one that was doing Hummingbird to Mars? Probably worth trying the bars of its members.

        2. re: pablito1

          For classic cocktails the Round Robin, or Off the Record does a good job.

          For modern cocktails Rasika and Oya both make very good cocktails. Rasika makes cocktails with unique ingredients, hand made simple syrups (their bartender moved to Tallula/Eat Bar and has won some nice awards, and they still make some of her old cocktails). Oya has a nice list of old and new, but stay away from their sangria which is terrible. I have had the lavender gimlet at PS7 which is good, but it isn't a legendary cocktails place in my book, but I just don't love that place like other people do. If you like very fresh, fruit, but clean cocktails Zaytinya is decent, they also have a rather nice high end tequila selection and carry a well stocked bar. Bourbon has a nice selection of bourbon for that, but not necessarily interesting cocktails.

          If you ever make it across the river PX is amazing, truly amazing. Tallula is also good, those are two award winning bartenders in the area.

      2. I had good cocktails at Poste last weekend. I had their version of the New Orleans Sazerac and my gf had a basil lemon martini drink that she seemed to enjoy. Also, the new Founding Farmers restaurant on Pennsylvania Ave. has a pretty extensive, handcrafted cocktail menu too. I must say the PX still has the best I've had in the area.

        1. Most of the high end hotels in town have good cocktails...Ritz Carltons in Foggy Bottom and G'town; Four Seasons; St Regis; and probably one with the most character, Off the Record bar in the Hay-Adams. They aren't cheap but for a good drink in a classy setting, it's a fun experience!

          1. I love the cocktails at Oya. interesting new combinations and the only good apple martini in DC.

            1 Reply
            1. re: HilkaryIC

              Do they do a carmel apple martini?? i love those!

            2. Where do people recommend on Capitol Hill? I work near 2nd and Independence. My co-workers pretty much all go to the Capitol Lounge, Pour House, or Hawk and Dove for beer. I'm looking for a place to go for drinks, not beer.

              2 Replies
              1. re: leslielj

                Charlie Palmer if you are at the bar has a pretty good bartender. And the sliders and fries at the bar won't break the bank and are very tasty. It is more of a classics place. There are lots of new places on the hill since I left though so maybe some of the new places will be good?

                1. re: leslielj

                  within a block or two? low scale 'round there - really can't recommend anything for more than basics in the area.

                  my advice - buck the trend, order boilermakers "and keep 'em coming!" - scare the co-workers and impress the barkeep.