H Street Martini Lounge

Reason number one to visit H Street Martini Lounge: The Caramel Candy Apple Martini comes with a lollipop. If you need a second reason, come for bartender Chris Babor. He’ll be the one mixing three martinis at once, dashing from table to table to make sure everyone’s happy, all while finding time to strain fresh pineapple into your Belvedere-Grand Marnier-Chambord blend.

“We were one of the first bars on this block,” Babor says proudly before scurrying back to shake another few drinks. Since opening in 2005, the lounge has established itself as a low-key H Street hotspot: At 7 on a Thursday night, the first floor is hopping as much as four tall tables and a few sofas can hop. House music plays while a live band sets up. Happy hour ends at 7 PM, but stick around to try one of the bar's 63 types of martinis.

The winners are the Caramel Candy Apple, an adult version of the green-wrappered Caramel Apple Pop; and the Bermuda Triangle, a fruit-punchy blend of Grey Goose, Chambord, Amaretto, orange, and pineapple topped with finely crushed ice; both are $10. Go classic with a dirty martini or spice up the night with the Cajun, which has Absolut Peppar vodka and a jalapeño-stuffed olive.

New on H Street: Triple Threat Sundays, an attempt to blend Champagne and Cognac bottle service with NFL games. We’re not sure if the Redskins crowd will snap up $195 bottles of Rémy 1738, but hey—if gin, rum, tequila, and bourbon can work together (try it in a drink dubbed the Zoo), then anything’s possible.


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