Cocktails are King: Sipping (and Gulping) Our Way Through Borderstan’s Bar Scene

by August 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,630 0


Cocktails are king in Borderstan’s bar scene. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Dan Segal. Email him at dsegal[AT] and find him on Twitter @segaldg.

It’s hot out there. Some people turn to A/C units, community pools, or cold showers; but I turn to alcohol in this time of need (I know this may not be the healthiest solution). Here’s a listing of some good spots to get your drink on in the Borderstan area along with my recommended drink selection (and even one extra cocktail to try just in case you’re picky).

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but captures a decent assortment of spots in the Borderstan area. Some are a huge “duh”, while others may surprise you. The point is: these are all places where you can go and have an enjoyable time (and isn’t that what it’s all about?)

Bar Pilar: Dark n’ stormy. A fitting drink for the recent derecho storms. Theirs is done right, with sharp ginger beer in a tall glass. Also try: Moscow mule.

Black Jack: It’s popular for a reason. Try the El Dorado. Jalapeno flavored tequila, mezcal, pineapple, orange bitters, and habanero make this drink fiery, which is perfect for a hot summer’s night. Also try: Pearl Cup.

Dan’s Café: A squeeze bottle. Not sure you can even call it a mixed drink. It’s a squeeze bottle of liquor and a bottle of coke (or other mixer). But, there’s something about it. Maybe it’s just the fact it’s 1 AM and everything seems better later in the night.  Also try: Another liquor out of the squeeze bottle.

Estadio: Slushitos. Just saying the word slushito makes you feel boozy. My current favorite is the Coconut, Rum, Lemongrass, and Lime one. Also try: Calimocho (red wine and cola). It is refreshing beyond belief.

Gibson: One of the best DC cocktail bars. I went last weekend and had a Mezcal old fashioned that blew me away. Like a classic old fashioned, only with mezcal for a smoky kick. Also try: Asking your server what they think you would enjoy. They will pick something good.

Hank’s Oyster Bar: Church Lady Punch. First off, there’s the name, which is just a gem. This punch is an ode to the brightly colored church social punches, but this one has been spiked. Also try: The Getaway.

Jack Rose: Known for its scotch selection, Jack Rose also does some nice cocktails. I go for the Gin Rickey. A true DC classic (it was invented in the city) that is like air conditioning in a glass. Also try: Trailer Park Bride (what a name).

Larry’s Lounge: Ok, Ok… I may have added this one in simply because it is my neighborhood comfort spot. Never too crowded, always has good service, and great prices. I like a simple gin and tonic. Also try: Something from the happy hour specials list. It has some of the best prices in the city.

Teaism: A tea shop? Ok, I snuck in one non-alcoholic beverage on this list (you can thank me later). Get the chai shake. You will thank me later. Also try: A ginger or mango margarita. That’s right, they also serve alcoholic beverages.

The Big Hunt: I like beer (see my previous post). Sometimes all you want is a cold glass of draft beer from somewhere that isn’t overly crowded or fancy. The Big Hunt is perfect for this.

Have some other favorite spots that I may have left off this list (there are probably many)? Post them in the comments section.

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