Top Five D.C. Cocktails

by Joe Sevier
Will Blunt
December 2014


  • The Oval Room
    800 Connecticut Avenue Northwest #110
    Washington, D.C. 20006
    (202) 463-8700
  • Rogue 24
    922 N Street Northwest
    Washington, D.C. 20001
    (202) 408-9724
  • Kapnos
    2201 14th Street Northwest
    Washington, D.C. 20009
    (202) 234-5000
  • Rappahannock Oyster Bar
    1309 5th Street Northeast
    Washington, D.C. 20002
    (202) 544-4702
  • Mockingbird Hill
    1843 7th Street Northwest
    Washington, D.C. 20001
    (202) 316-9396

The D.C. bar scene can't be neatly defined. The nation's capital loves a classic cocktail, but there's also a strong contigent of culinary-focused bartenders who are stretching the definition of bar mise-en-place. And, thanks to 2014 Rising Star Restaurateur Derek Brown and his Mockingbird Hill, D.C. bartenders were ahead of the curve on carrying Sherry in the well. Combine all these factors, add ice, shake, and get a sense of the possibilities of drinking in D.C. Here are five of our editor's picks that represent the breadth (and best) of the city's drinks scene. 

At The Oval Room, Bartender Jeremy Ross is shaking up a Boulevardier variation. He subs rye for bourbon and counters the bitter notes not with vermouth, but with Crème de Pamplemousse Rose. At Rogue 24, 2014 Rising Star Bartender Bryan Tetorakis is prescribing the Cure, a carrot juice-based Bloody Mary—what he calls the perfect hangover remedy. Formerly of Rappahannock Oyster Bar in Union Market, Éamonn Fetherston poured us the Water of Leith, using Fever Tree for the bubbles and spicy, orange liqueur Bigallet China-China to make a Scotch highball inspired by the Edinburgh river. Taha Ismail transports tipplers to Greece at Kapnos with Lion’s Milk, his riff on the Ramos Gin Fizz. He starts with herbaceous Skinos Mastiha and adds house yogurt liqueur for its mouthfeel and tartness. And Chantal Tseng builds cocktail floats at Mockingbird Hill, pushing her passion for Sherry and drizzling Oloroso over gelato. No D.C. bar crawl is complete without a visit to these five watering holes (just remember to call an Uber).


Jeremy Ross of The Oval Room | Washington, D.C.

Bryan Tetorakis of Rogue 24 | Washington, D.C.

Lion's Milk
Taha Ismail of Kapnos | Washington, D.C.

Water of Leith
Éamonn Fetherston formerly of Rappahannock Oyster Bar | Washington, D.C.

Oloroso Float
Chantal Tseng of Mockingbird Hill | Washington, D.C.