Fact: getting drunk is awesome. I’m not going to stand on ceremony here and become another mundane warning label in this ever-growing, politically correct diaper of a society we’ve become. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, chances are your circumstances could vastly improve (in terms of fun, not productivity) if you knew the right place to get hammered at.
So today, we’re dissecting Washington, D.C. The capital of the United States. The House of Cards and House of Bars. A recent list-topper for the largest consumer of wine per capita. Furthermore, the city of politics is one of the top 5 consumers of spirits, also per capita.
Rudy and Elie, got the chance to live out that American dream: getting shit-housed on their travel booze show, “Where’s The Bar?” . The two teamed up with GQ to find the best bars in Logan Circle in D.C., however they only remembered the first three. Thankfully, they somehow managed to take diligent notes while drunkenly dancing in the streets of D.C.
Perhaps there’s more to the correlation between inebriation and productivity than I previously imagined…
#1 The Jefferson Hotel
The Jefferson Hotel is a swanky, upscale hotel that houses some of the biggest names in entertainment and politics. While posh and elegant, Quill Bar will still fuck yo shit up, in a good, fancy and dignified way.
Why This Bar?
On their tour of bars in the city, Rulie (Rudy + Elie) thought it best to start at Quill. The upscale and swanky nature of this cocktail bar was essential in making sure they didn’t get too fucked up too fast. Translation: Quill is a great place to visit as a starting point for any night you plan on having, whether it’s a business meeting with a future employer or a jumping off point for your buddy Keith’s bachelor party.
Drink: The Lord Monti
This shaken cocktail served in a Martini glass is the type of drink that combines ingredients that make you take a step back and go, “Wait, the fuck? Seriously?” With a blend of Dewar’s Scotch, chocolate maple spiced syrup, Averna, egg whites and chocolate bitters, this is the type of drink will make you think back fondly on your warmest Christmas.
While a little more modern and a little less ritzy, the Lincoln Bar will provide a more friendly and open environment. While Quill emphasizes connecting within your inner circle, the Lincoln Bar is much more conducive to drinking and socializing with others. At this point, Rulie is starting to get pretty tipsy, so a quality low-key socializing bar is a good place for round two.
Why This Bar?
Their master mixologist and creator of the “these drinks are so fire that I’m just waiting to hear their mixtape” menu is highly accomplished, and has a particularly special touch when making spicy drinks. If you like Bloody Mary’s, then I highly suggest you stop here, since it’s the home of the world famous and aptly named…
The Drink: Bloody Mary Todd
For those of you who were too busy feeding your Tamagotchis during history class, Mary Todd was the former First Lady and wife of 16th President, Abraham Lincoln. The Bloody Mary Todd gets its solid reputation from its main and most important ingredient, the cherry tomato-infused vodka. The drink is also garnished with celery, onions and roasted red peppers. So if you were looking for a salad-y drink, well…there you go.
#3 Compass Rose
Dude. This place is TOO dope. While considered a restaurant first and foremost, this quaint and cozy home-turned-restaurant was a perfect third stop for Rulie. By this time, the booze was starting to turn them into monsters, so suffocating any internal alcoholic uprisings with Compass Rose’s armory of multicultural snacks and meals was essential to keeping all the other people in D.C. safe from these animals.
Why This Bar?
This warm little house was supplanted by a restaurant and bar yet maintained the feeling of a home, making it feel more welcoming than any other place Rulie visited. Their menu boasts a wide variety of shit you’ve never heard, but after trying once, you’ll damn sure never forget. Try their khachapuri, a Georgian bread dish shaped like a gondola and filled with cheese. It makes Pizza Hut’s Cheesy Bread look like breadsticks with gonorrhea.
The Drink: The Compass Rose
The drink, named in unison with the restaurant, is made of Georgian sparkling wine and pomegranate liqueur, all mixed in with rose water to give it that robust chlorophyll taste that people so desire. On top of being fun and delicious, the Compass Rose is one of those drinks that almost looks to pretty to drink. Of course, Rulie DGAFs about things like that and chugged them anyways.
#4 Bar Pilar
Despite the fact that this bar is named after Hemingway’s The Old Man And The Sea, this bar manages to be way more exciting. I know that doesn’t say much, since TOMATS is a very boring and nerdy book, but Bar Pilar managed to take the best parts of the story and make a bar out of it. Besides, how many boring bars do you know anyways?
Why This Bar?
If you’re a fan of either nautical themes or Hemingway things, then this is the bar for you. Adorned with a ton of cool ocean-related shit (that Rulie probably knocked off the walls), Bar Pilar has a tendency to get a bit loud, although all for the right reasons. It’s loud and fun, the drinks are strong, and Rudy ripped his jeans. It’s exactly the kind of bar we’d all love and Hemingway would hate.
The Drink: The Hemingway Daiquiri
The Hemingway Daiquiri, more commonly referred to everywhere else as the “Papa Doble”, consists of rum (Hemingway’s fave), lime, grapefruit and maraschino, the liqueur made from the small, semi-bitter cherries. Hemingway would hate this too, but we love it and he’s dead, so we win.
You know that bar you and all your coworkers go to after one of those really long, shitty days at work? Where all you wanna do is drink some beer, eat some hot wings and talk about how jealous you are of Rulie for getting to get drunk in D.C. during the day on a Wednesday? Then Stoney’s is the place for you. Even the bar’s logo screams, “I just got off of work and hate everything, beer me.”
Why This Bar?
Stoney’s has had a longstanding love affair with the city of D.C. This bar is home to many of our nations legends, most notably a certain journalist (who both fears and loathes things) named Hunter S. Thompson. On top of its short but vivid history, Stoney’s is the bar on the list with the rowdiest crowd most hellbent on having fun. Almost to the point of feeling forced, but not quite there, Stoney’s is the perfect last hurrah on your mission to get wasted. Rulie doesn’t remember shit about this bar, except that they ate a lot of wings.
The Drink: Err’thang
At this point, you don’t really give a shit what you’re drinking, as long as you’re drinking. That kind of vibe is what Stoney’s goes for. There aren’t really any fancy or pretentious drinks here, and that’s the way they like it. This is the kind of place where you say “fuck it” and just order a bunch of Budweisers and a round of Fireball. There are no bars after this, just go home. It’s time.
Honorable Mention: Le Diplomate
Le Diplomate, while a very popular name for French-American cafes, stands alone in the sea of the Le Diplomates in America. This is the sort of restaurant and bar that makes visitors say “damn, this reminds me of home.” Assuming, of course, that your home is in Paris, France. With the type of setting that pairs well with any occasion or any meal of the day, Le Diplomate brings that French fire to an otherwise all-American corner of D.C.
Why This Bar?
Le Diplomate’s interior alone would be worth the trip. With the walls covered in French antiques and art, customers could spend hours and hours (ok maybe just one hour) perusing the entirety of the restaurant. While primarily known for its food, the cocktail program is “phenomenal” according to one Le Diplomate bartender. Based on how drunk Rulie got, she’s not wrong.
The Drink: Libation Without Representation
This drink was so bomby that Elie looked up and said, “Oh, that’s fantastic,” before swallowing it whole like the whale swallowed Jonah, or if you prefer a more modern comparison, it’s like how (insert porn star) swallowed (insert male porn star). Either way, he was very much into it. Using apple and cherry infused Bombay Sapphire and garnished with a cucumber slice carved to look like a tiny American flag, this might be one of the most patriotic drinks you could order in this country, despite being served up in a French cafe.