Photograph by Darrow Montgomery
Of all D.C.’s excellent cocktail bars, Barmini feels the most special. The José Andrés “cocktail lab” is the kind of place that can impress even the biggest cocktail snob. The menu is an ambitious 100 drinks long, ranging from classics (a damn good old fashioned) to the zany (a shochu, orange liqueur, and butterfly pea drink that turns from blue to purple when lime juice is added with a pipette). The bar has all sorts of fancy tools from Japanese ice carving saws to smoke guns to a rotary vacuum evaporator, and unique antique glassware make each drink look extra pretty. Even the furniture looks like it came from a Dr. Seuss book. But ultimately, it’s all about a well-crafted drink. And maybe the foie gras–filled waffle.