Cosmopolitans—those pink-hued drinks have become as classic a symbol of the TV series Sex and the City as Carrie’s beloved Manolo Blahniks. Though the drink has fallen out of fashion since the show went off the air, fun specialty cocktails are still all over Washington and ready to be enjoyed.
In celebration of the release of the Sex and the City movie, we’ve put together a list of favorite spots to break out the swizzle sticks and sip that are (relatively) near area movie theaters showing the film. Put on your favorite dress, gather the girls, grab a drink at one of these places, and then take in the movie. Leave your recommendations of spots to drink fun cocktails in the comments.
Happy hour at PS7’s sleek lounge is packed with suited young professionals who flock here before 7 PM for discounted drinks and appetizers including tuna sliders and miniature half smokes. Even at full price, the innovative cocktails created by bar manager Tiffany Short are worth the trip to the restaurant, just a block away from the hub of Penn Quarter.
777 I St., NW; 202-742-8550
If you can get past the near-constant lines of folks waiting to get seated for a chance to nibble on Matchbox’s delectable pizzas, you should try out its extensive list of martinis. There’s everything from a crantini to a saketini to the somehow still-ubiquitous neon-green appletini. Some of Matchbox’s concoctions may be a tad too sweet for the discerning martini drinker, but you can’t beat the prices—from 5 to 7 on weekdays, a selection of martinis is just $4.
713 H St., NW; 202-289-4441
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 juice into your Belvedere/Grand Marnier/Chambord blend. Also try the Bermuda Triangle, a fruit-punchy blend of Grey Goose, Chambord, amaretto, orange, and pineapple topped with finely crushed ice; or go classic with a dirty martini or spice up the night with the Cajun, which has Absolut Peppar vodka and a jalapeño-stuffed olive. The lounge may be a bit off the beaten track, but you can easily hop on the X2 bus back to the movie theater; it’s about a 15-minute ride to Gallery Place.
1236 H Street, NE; 202-397-3333
If you’re planning on seeing the Sex and the City movie at the Gallery Place theater, in terms of convenience you can’t beat Bar Louie for a premovie martini—it’s in theater’s lobby. There you can order a Cirrus martini, made with Virginia-based Cirrus vodka, which has a slight vanilla aroma and a faint citrus finish. Or try the Dirty CEO martini—vodka with bleu-cheese-stuffed olives. Martinis start around $10; during happy hour from 4 to 7, they’re just $6.
701 Seventh St., NW; 202-638-2460
Even if you’re wary of cocktails with cute “-tini” suffixes, Poste’s Basil Lemontini will change your mind. Basil-infused house-made lemonade is mixed with Ketel One Citroen and a splash of sparkling wine for a light, refreshing drink that still packs a little punch. Served in a frosty glass, it’s the perfect libation for a summer evening on the restaurant’s shady patio. Plus, Poste is right near the Regal Cinema Gallery Place, so you can enjoy one of these and stroll over in no time for a SATC screening.
555 Eighth St., NW; 202-783-6060
If you’re headed to Alexandria’s Regal Potomac Yard 16, a stop by PX is almost required. Modeled after a 1920s speakeasy, the spot has no sign—just a blue light beside a plain door around the corner from the restaurant Eamonn’s. When the light is illuminated—and you’re dressed to impress (cocktail attire is requested)—a hostess will greet you at the door and lead you upstairs to what looks like a wealthy friend’s living room. Make sure to call 703-299-8384 before going; like a real speakeasy, PX has no number, but that’s the phone number of the adjance Eamonn’s, which should be able to reserve you a table. But PX is an intimate space, to say the least—if you’re with a large group, you’re probably better served heading elsewhere (especially considering that if the lounge is full, you’ll be turned away at the door).
728 King St., Alexandria
Is Tysons Corner your theater of choice? Then for prefilm drinks you may want to sit a the bar at La Sandia, the new Mexican joint from chef Richard Sandoval. The verdict’s still out on the food, but indulge in a mango mojito or other cocktail; most start around $8.50.
7852-L Tysons Corner Center; 703-893-2222
Young professionals flock to this club/lounge that describes itself as Washington’s first “boutique nightclub.” There are three bars, including an upstairs Martini Bar where mixologists serve flavors such as watermelon, passion fruit, and pomegranate, using fresh fruit in place of sugary syrups. Cocktails start around $10; if you’re under 25, beware, as you won’t be allowed in.
1206 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-965-4005
Mie N Yu
It’s not a sleek NYC-like lounge, but the exotic decor (reminiscent of a Turkish bazaar) at Mie N Yu and the speciality cocktails make this Georgetown spot a fun place to swing by for a drink. Try the Tunisian, a martini with ginger-infused vodka and cranberry juice; the Blushing Madame, with strawberry purée and Cointreau; and more, all starting at $10.
3125 M St., NW; 202-333-6122
Degrees Bar & Lounge in the Ritz-Carlton
This swank spot brings a little bit of New York to DC. Chic decor, a long, sleek bar, fabulously dressed patrons, and knowledgeable bartenders all make the price of a drink here ($12 or more) worth it. Try the signature Fahrenheit Five martini, made with Grand Marnier, rum, and fruit juice.
3100 South St., NW; 202-912-4111
Cavernous yet sleek, Gallery is your best bet for a lively premovie drink in Silver Spring—unless you’re in the mood for beer, in which case we really have to recommend Quarry House Tavern (8401 Georgia Ave.; 301-587-8350). Try Gallery’s Rude Boy Cosmo (tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, cranberry juice); most cocktails start around $9.
1115 East West Hwy., Silver Spring; 301-589-2555
Eleventh Street Lounge
This cozy and elegant lounge with chandeliers, red walls and velvet accents has a can’t-beat deal: Selected martinis are half-price Monday through Friday. This place has it all: appletinis, cosmotinis, pineappletinis, coconutinis, chocolate-pear martinis—oh, my!
1041 N. Highland St., Arlington; 703-351-1311
It’s no sleek NYC-like lounge, but the modern tones and warm feel of Liberty Tavern make it an nice spot for a premovie drink. The bar scene can get a bit raucous and frat boy, though, so be warned—but if you go, try the Blair Drink Project (pomegranate liqueur, vodka, white grape juice) or the Grapefruit Buck (Absolut Ruby Red vodka, elderflower, grapefruit juice, and ginger beer). Cocktails are $8 and up.
3195 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; 703-465-9360
The bar and back lounge at Tallula was transformed into EatBar in 2007, and now, with the recent addition of master mixologist Gina Chersevani, it’s one of your best bets for a great cocktail in the area.
2761 Washington Blvd., Arlington; 703-778-9951