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Best Bars In Washington DC

In Washington DC, the only thing that independents, Republicans, and Democrats can agree on is drinking. Since the beginning of this country, it’s been difficult to distinguish alcohol and politics. President George Washington even gave out rum and punch to voters in the court, and he operated a distillery when he left the office.

There have been tons of important people and sophisticated socialites that have passed in and out of Washington DC over the years, and they’ve done some of the best parties of anywhere in the United States, and what ties all those little get-togethers is alcohol. Whether they’re sitting down over a table with a Martini or out binge drinking at the beltway’s bars, there has been some of the most historic, pun intended, drinking ever in this town. If you’re in Washington DC, the cocktail culture is not to be missed. You’ll find some of the most awesome bartenders in the world there.

Over the last couple years, there has been a new group of drink enthusiasts that has emerged, the DC Craft Bartenders Guilder, and it’s helped raised the profile and quality of the Capital’s cocktail atmosphere. The guild recently hosted its second yearly Repeal Day Ball in December, and there were some special guest bartenders. Their work is displayed across town. Here are a couple of establishments to see the next time that you’re in Washington DC.


Bourbon is a little bar in the neighborhood, and it serves cocktails, simple food, and it serves a lot of whiskey too. It definitely serves up a ton of it. The establishment has more than 200 American whiskies, and there are another 30 whiskies from across the globe too. You can pick a whiskey, and the lead bartender will serve it up with just the right vermouth to give you a true Manhattan. He can make a great Sazerac too.

Bourbon Steak

Michael Mina has a lavish restaurant in the Hotel called the Four Seasons, and it has an amazing spirits collection with a great cocktail menu as well, and it’s filled with innumerable house originals and classics. One factor why the drinks taste so good is because the bar hand-picks and grows its herbs, and they make a number of syrups, bitters, and tinctures too.

Founding Farmers

Just like its name says, you can get just about everything here that’s made from scratch, and most of it is grown right on farms that are local too. There are a lot of pre-Prohibition cocktails as well. The drinks are made with a number of homemade syrups and fresh juices. You can try out the La Feria, and it has a mescal, yellow chartreuse, fresh lemon juice, and spicy chipotle-infused syrup.

The Gibson

DC has their very own speakeasy, and the Gibson has a number of cocktails that you can break apart into categories that are very creative like the Betrothed, Courting, and Smitten. They go from boozy, to savory, to light. This is an excellent bar to have a great drink in hand with.

The Passenger

The Passenger is named after the Iggy Pop song, and it’s the place where classic cocktail and rock ‘n’ roll meet. There are drink aficionados that sit next to beer nuts at this place, and it’s definitely become a hangout for bartenders that are off-duty. It was set up by Derek Brown, who was a major player on the cocktail scene in DC.




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