by Tim Regan December 21, 2015 at 10:20 am 0

A Dupont bar named for armed uprising has plans to add a speakeasy called The Armory in February.

Rebellion, which is located at 1836 18th St. NW, held a naming contest for its new basement speakeasy and cocktail room over the weekend, and announced the winning name last night.

“The voters have spoken, ” reads the Facebook post. “The basement speakeasy and cocktail Room will be referred to as The Armory.”

A representative for the bar said the new cocktail room is set to open in February.

Rebellion opened last May. A look through the bar’s menu reveals a long list of bourbon and whiskey, craft beers and pub fare such as burgers, mac and cheese and ribs.

Photos via Facebook / Rebellion

by Andrew Ramonas December 3, 2015 at 5:00 pm 0

The Sheppard (Photo via Twitter/JMorrisSheppard)(Updated at 6:25 a.m. Friday) The owners of a now-shuttered bar in Dupont are scrapping the green light and “other gimmicks” of the faux speakeasy in its Shaw reboot, a representative of the new cocktail destination said this week.

Like The Sheppard in Dupont, Morris is named after Senator Morris Sheppard, author of the 18th Amendment, which established Prohibition. But unlike The Sheppard, Morris will have a sign on the door when it opens in street-facing retail space at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, said the representative, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

“There will be no secret to finding Morris,” the representative said. “Co-owners Vinoda Basnayake and Spike Mendelsohn want guests to focus on the cocktail bar and product rather than any other gimmicks.”

Morris is slated to begin slinging drinks in early 2016.

The Sheppard has been closed since a “light renovation” began in July, according to its Twitter account. The building that housed The Sheppard at 1337 Connecticut Ave. NW came under new ownership in November, according to the Morris representative.

Photo via Twitter/JMorrisSheppard

by Andrew Ramonas November 16, 2015 at 3:00 pm 0

DC Cocktail Week (Photo via Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington)

Want to drink a “Catcher in the Rye” with a side of smoked ham or sip a “Love Buzz” while eating a steak sandwich this week?

More than a dozen restaurants in the Borderstan coverage area are offering food and drink pairing specials until Sunday as part of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s “DC Cocktail Week.” Most of the combos are between $12 and $18.

From RAMW’s website, here are some of the participating restaurants:

B Too
1324 14th St., NW | Washington, DC 20005
(202) 627-2800

Enjoy our fall cocktail Vanilla Pear Gimlet made with Grey Goose Pear Vodka, vanilla simple syrup, vanilla string bean, and pear puree. Paired with traditional Belgian Boudin Blanc sausage served with seasonal apples, finished with popped sorghum for only $13. The special is available during the dinner service, Fri and Sat only at the bar.

Bar Dupont
1500 New Hampshire Ave., NW | Washington, DC 20036
(800) 423-6953

Bar Dupont buzzes after dark as guests and locals rub shoulders with Washington’s hip crowd. Sip and savor in this modern playground over handcrafted cocktails from our dedicated bartenders or tempt your taste buds on tantalizing dishes to compliment your cocktail. Crafted with playful intensity, the ‘Love Buzz’ cocktail is the perfect drink: blending Cynar, Rum and Honey Blossom Liquor to bring the perfect balance of sweet and savory. Paired with our bite of Steak Sandwich recipe of skirt steak with crispy onions, truffle aioli and aged cheddar on a toasted ciabatta roll. $14.00 for the pairing per person

Beacon Bar & Grill
1615 Rhode Island Ave., NW | Washington, DC 20036
(202) 872-1126

The inspiration behind our pairing are two traditional southern staples, shrimp and grits and the Sazerac. Shrimp and grits is a rich, comforting, smoky fall dish. The Sazerac is light yet boozy. Instead of rye whiskey, our bartender uses DeLeon Resposado. DeLeon is finished in French Oak barrels, bringing the interpretation of the traditional French NOLA Sazerac full circle. The Mexican Sazerac, combined with shrimp and grits, creates a filling, savory, boozy experience! $15 for the pairing per person


by Tim Regan October 12, 2015 at 11:40 am 0

Left Door sign

Left Door, the forthcoming cocktail bar from Tom Brown of The Passenger and Hogo fame, is set to open at 1345 S Street NW next month.

Though the bar appeared to have hit some roadblocks after “sneak attack” opposition from the Shaw Dupont Citizens Alliance in mid-September, it was able to reach a settlement agreement with help from ANC 1B Commissioner John Green, 1B-12, last week.

“We reached an equitable agreement that was able to satisfy all parties before the roll-call,” Brown said by e-mail this morning. “Commissioner John Green was instrumental in the negotiations and we are happy to be moving forward!”

Brown added that he hopes to start slinging cocktails by early November.

A sample menu obtained by Borderstan in August shows the bar’s menu may include Manhattans made with barrel-aged vermouth and Canadian rye whiskey; vesper cocktails made with potato vodka, gin and two types of aperitif wines; and a $55 spin on a French 75 made with vintage champagne, aged rye whiskey, lemon and honey.

by Tim Regan June 9, 2015 at 1:45 pm 0

drink composite

P Street hangouts and EatWellDC restaurants Commissary and Logan Tavern will each sell a Pride-themed cocktail this weekend.

Commissary’s Shut Up and Dance cocktail, a blend of pineapple-infused vodka, sage, mint, ginger, and lime will be sold all weekend for $8. Seven-drink pitchers of the cocktail will also be available for $48.

Logan Tavern will be serving a drink called the Stonewall Strawberry, an amalgam of strawberry infused vodka, mint, simple syrup, St. Germaine and soda. That cocktail will only be available on Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight.

Both Logan Tavern and Commissary are located along this year’s Pride Parade route.

Photos courtesy of Zest PR

by February 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm 0

From Jane Alonso. Her passion for food and spirits leads her on frequent excursions into Borderstan’s land of bars and restaurants. Email her at jane[AT] 


Looking for the perfect Oscar cocktail? Jane has some ideas and one involves the bubbly. (Rachel Nania)

Sunday is Oscars night, and if you are hosting a red carpet watching party, you may wonder what type of original cocktails you can serve to set your event apart from the rest. Here are five cocktails inspired by the top film nominees of 2013.

Happy drinking (and dress critiquing)!


We all breathed a collective sigh of relief for our American comrades upon hearing he words, “We have cleared Iranian airspace and alcohol can now be served” onboard the Swiss Air flight that evades the capture of the Ayatollahs at the end of the movie, Argo.

What better way to celebrate this victory than to serve a Persian Rose made with Canadian whiskey to honor Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor, who risked his life to hide the Americans for 79 days in his residence in Tehran?

The Argo Persian Rose

  • 2 oz Canadian Club Whiskey
  • ½ oz lemon juice
  • ½ oz cherry-flavored liqueur
  • ¼ oz rosewater
  • ¼ oz simple syrup
  • 1/8 oz of Pistachio liqueur (such as Dumonte Verdenoce)

Django Unchained

Quentin Tarrantino’s portrait of the brutality of slavery certainly erases any chivalrous fantasies of life on a Southern plantation. Part of the brilliance of the movie is how Tarrantino makes us realize that our preconceived notions of the period — fed to us by generations of films like Gone with the Wind — are not in keeping with the inhumanity of slavery.

For example, take the scene where Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio) sips a mint julep in debonair fashion (oh, how southern!) but moments later, watches with amusement as two slaves tear each other to pieces in the middle of his elegant living room.

As we root for the revenge that Django extracts from these despicable characters, consider sipping this mint julep with a fiery shot of habanero bitters that perfectly embodies the comeuppance doled out by this spaghetti western.

The Django Unchained Mint Julep

  • 2 oz. bourbon
  • 2 tsps of sugar
  • 8 mint leaves
  • 2-3 droplets of Bittermans Hellfire Habanerno Shrub
  • Crushed ice

Les Miserables

Who didn’t cry at the end of this tear jerker? Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen because I saw the play a gazilion times in the 90’s (and listened to the music for hours on end in high school), I still bawled my eyes out as Jean Valjean says his final words in this beautifully adapted film.

Such is the power of French-inspired melodrama to touch our emotions — and what better way to commemorate this beloved musical than with a French-inspired cocktail featuring champagne, cognac, and Grand Mariner?

The irony, of course, is that the impoverished inhabitants of Paris — the “Miserables” of the novel/film’s namesake — would not have a chance of ever sipping these luxurious ingredients.

The Not-So-Miserables Champagne Cocktail

  • 3 oz Champagne
  • 1/3 oz cognac
  • 1 tsp Grand Marnier orange liqueur
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

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by January 25, 2013 at 11:00 am 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]


Send winter away. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Winter is here and its reality is settling in. The sidewalks are covered with snow and the temperature has remained below 30 degrees for several days now.

Chunky cable knit sweaters no longer look “cute” and “comfortable” — everything just looks gray and drab. And, unfortunately, my bank account can’t support my strong desire to jet off to some warm Caribbean island and “recharge” for the last few months of winter.

So, I am stuck here. In my chunky cable knit sweater under gray, January skies.

Thankfully, I am still somewhat of a lightweight, so after a few sips of something summery, I don’t know where I am, nor do I care.

Plenty of bars in the Borderstan neighborhood serve up some nice tropical cocktails, year round, which are guaranteed to transport you (at least, mentally) out of the District and into warmer weather.

Here’s what I recommend for those cold nights where you just need to feel like there is hope for summer.

  • The boozy milkshakes from Satellite Room (2047 9th Street NW) are just like the kind you find on a warm, beachy boardwalk…only they contain booze so they are better.
  • The Squealer from The Pig (1320 14th Street NW) is sure to transport you to a sandy hammock, overlooking the water. The refreshing drink is made of Green Mountain Vodka, Meyer lemon cordial, mint and seltzer.
  • Masa 14 (1825 14th Street NW) mixes a mean mojito, which also makes an appearance on the Happy Hour menu so you can save your pennies for a vacation next year.
  • The Green Monkey Cocktail from Level One (1639 R Street NW) is sure to snap you out of the winter blues. It’s a blend of Malibu Tropical Banana, melon liquor, sour mix and pineapple juice.
  • For something strong yet citrusy, try Honest Abe’s Moonshine at Lincoln (1110 Vermont Avenue NW). The drink is made of Whiskey, house made ginger syrup, fresh lemon sour and orange bitters.
  • Lauriol Plaza (1835 18th Street NW) and El Centro D.F (1819 14th Street NW) are both famous for their margaritas. Why island hop when you can bar hop?

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by December 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm 2,708 0


From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Email her at alejandra[AT] and follow her on Twitter at @frijolita.

New Year’s Eve. Synonymous with champagne, kisses and that scene from When Harry Met Sally.

For the cynics among us, New Year’s Eve is just another night — a night with unreasonably high expectations for merriment and finding someone at the bar to smooch with. Yet, for the hopeful, it’s about new beginnings, good times with friends and making memories. No matter which side of the coin you fall on, we can all agree on one thing: New Year’s Eve is all about the booze.

I mean, really people, those memories aren’t just going to make themselves, now are they!?

For starters, make sure you’re all set up and ready. The Bon Appetit Cocktail Party Manual has all the golden rules for throwing a boozy party — and more. Don’t forget food, Stephanie has you covered with tons of easy recipes to make, and, in some cases, make-ahead treats that you can serve. But now, on to the reason we’re all here.

Be Safe: If you are out and about for the evening, please drink responsibly and remember, you can even get free taxi rides (see our 2012 article on SoberRide). Whatever you do, please don’t drink and drive Borderstanis!

Punch Cocktails


Punch cocktails are the original big batch party drinks. You may poo-poo these at first glance, but don’t let rings of lemon slices frozen in water fool you.

These drinks pack a… no, I won’t say it. It’s just too cheesy. I like the idea of these drinks because (1) you don’t have to fiddle with recipes to make them for a crowd, and (2) they’re a nice way to ease everyone into a festive spirit.

Boozey, but not too much, so it’s not going to get anyone hammered in the first hour. This is a marathon, not a sprint, after all.


For the oenophiles among us, having a well-stocked wine counter, one featuring sangrias or mulled options even, is good for friends and family who don’t do hard liquor. Not everyone can love bourbon as much as I do, and I can respect that.


There’s no reason you can’t turn your favorite cocktail for one into a pitcher for 10. Just carefully convert the recipe to suit a larger crowd and provide the appropriate cooling option — ice cubes and a shaker for a shaken/stirred cocktail — at the table.

Also, if you like, you can always print out simpler cocktail recipes and leave them on a table with all the appropriate measures, liquors, mixers, bitters and garnishes. That way everyone can make the drink to their liking and get in on the mixologist fun. (Cause don’t we all have that one friend who used to bartend in college…)

Last but not least, some resources in case you need help or more ideas:


Oh! And how could I forget? Don’t forget the champagne! Bubbly and kisses. That’s what New Year’s Eve does! Julian Mayor, the sommelier at Bourbon Steak DC in the Four Seasons, contributed to this really lovely list of boutique champagnes. I have Julian to thank for a serious love for Pierre Peters — a champagne you should still be able to get at Cork & Fork on 14th Street. Many others on this list are easy to find as well — just give your liquor/wine store a ring and undoubtedly they’ll have an option for you.

This article was originally posted on December 27, 2011. But, it’s that time of year again, and we find that this type of advice remains true throughout the years (and especially around the holidays). So get out your glasses, put on your party hats and pour your poison of choice!

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by August 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,790 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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by June 1, 2012 at 8:30 am 2,632 2 Comments


All the secrets you want to know. (Alejandra Owens)

From Alejandra Owens. You can find her at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Alejandra also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita and email her at alejandra[AT]

You know when your friend is slicing cheese in this new, different way that somehow makes the cheese so perfect and the slicing so easy? And your mind is blown and you’re like, whoa! Why didn’t you tell me about that? That would have made my life so much easier!

Yeah. That moment. When you realize you’ve essentially been doing something wrong forever. Let’s try to minimize those moments, yes? I poked around on my favorite DC-based food blogs for top tips, guides and advice all geared toward doing *fill in the blank* better. In no particular order

What’s your favorite kitchen, baking, cocktail tip? Whether it yields perfect results, or makes you look like MacGyver in the kitchen, we want to hear them all!

P.S.: And just for giggles, here’s a French guy opening a bottle of wine with a shoe. Because sometimes you may forget a wine opener.

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