Best Signature Cocktails in Washington, D.C.

By: Laura Catherine Hermoza

Every establishment has its own signature cocktail. From tart, tangy, mild or even bitter, house-exclusives can vary greatly. The diverse D.C. scene is known for producing some of the best signature cocktails around. Here are just a couple examples and where to find them.

The Rickey
Teddy and the Bully Bar
1200 19th St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 872-8700
www.teddyandthebullybar.com

The story goes that this longtime official cocktail of D.C. was created at Shoomaker’s Bar during the 1880s. Bartender George A. Williamson and Democratic lobbyist and loyal patron Col. Joseph Kyle Rickey are credited with inventing the drink. The Rickey is made using lime, carbonated water/club soda, little or no sugar and either gin or bourbon (the original recipe called for bourbon, and lime was added later). The cocktail has reached international popularity in recent years, and many bars deliver their own spin on the Rickey, including Teddy and the Bully Bar with Sheeny’s Rickey. The Bully Bar reflects the Golden Era of Cocktail History by featuring handcrafted classic and modern cocktails inspired by Roosevelt’s time.

Pisco Sour Remix Edition
Bar Charley
1825 18th St. N.W.
(202) 627-2183
Washington, D.C. 20009
www.barcharley.com

Bar Charley offers its own signature take on the Pisco Sour with its Pisco Sour Remix—a blend of clementine and lavender, maca, Oloroso sherry, honey, lemon bitters and egg whites. In fact, you count on Bar Charley for a wide range of other distinct offerings as well, from “tiki taps” to old school favorites, and even variations on Manhattans. In addition to the Pisco Sour Remix Edition, other Charley signature originals include TNT, Tweed Jacket, Charley 76, Ruby Red Crush, Happy Ending and several others. The Stepdad is another unique exclusive you will find here, infusing flavors of cedar smoke, Kelt VSOP, Cynar and pipe tobacco bitters.

David’s Washingtonian
Off the Record
800 16th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 942-7599
www.hayadams.com

No drink signifies the diverse Washingtonian experience better than a cocktail of the same name, and that’s what you’ll find at Off the Record. David’s Washingtonian is a unique combination of vodka, limoncello and Chambord shaken together with a sour blend that’s both frothy and balanced. Off the Record presents many other signature cocktail offerings as well, including the recent addition of election exclusives like Hillary’s Last Word, the Trumpy Sour, Pence’s Tea Party and the Kanehattan. But folks may stop by the bar and request the Washingtonian at any time. Located within the Hay-Adams Hotel, Off the Record was named one of the “World’s Best Hotel Bars” by Forbes for its stylish though relaxed setting and overall originality in both experience and drink.

Related:  Best Bourbon Cocktails In Washington, D.C.

LINCOLN’S Emancipation Punch
LINCOLN Restaurant
1110 Vermont Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 386-9200
www.lincolnrestaurant-dc.com

Free your taste buds with this honestly delicious signature blend at LINCOLN Restaurant. Emancipation Punch combines good old American dry gin with a fusion of Cuca Fresca, Cachaca, lemon and lavender bitters, chamomile and cloves to pack a punch that is both crisp and tart. The inspired herbs used in this blend pay tribute to herbal farming methods used in Lincoln’s day. This cocktail, available as a punchbowl serving two to eight drinkers, makes for a perfect party special.

Doubting Duck
Columbia Room
124 Blagden Alley N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 316-9396
www.drinkcompany.com/bars

You’re never in doubt with the Doubting Duck—a signature offering by nationally renowned spirit and cocktail expert Derek Brown of the Drink Company. For this drink Manzanilla sherry, dry vermouth, orange bitters, yellow Chartreuse, kelp water and oyster leaf combine to create a one-of-a-kind, original flavor. The Doubting Duck was even featured in Food & Wine (Cocktails) 2016 along with Salad Days Sour—another of Brown’s creations. Brown owns and operates four D.C. establishments—the Columbia Room, Mockingbird Hill, Eat the Rich and Southern Efficiency.

Related: Best Cocktail Bars In Washington DC

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