We all reach a point of #adulting when we’d rather make a cocktail and sip at home than step foot in a bustling bar scene. Building your home bar can seem overwhelming, but once it’s assembled you’ll be glad to reap all the benefits of having your favorite beverage at a moments notice. Plus, you’ll dazzle and amaze your guests with mixology skills and spirits knowledge.
If you want the best of the best for your barcart, look no further than your own city. DC has tons of local spirit producers that are must-haves if you love to shop and support local as much as we do! Make your bar stand out among the crowd with smaller-batch, DC-born liquors and accessories! We’ll walk you through the shopping list, so you can get to compiling the perfect DC home bar.
One Eight Distillery
- One Eight, named after Article One, Section 8 that gave us the District of Columbia, is Located in Northeast DC and instills its local pride in every step of its distilling process. They use local ingredients and take no shortcuts. That means being part of the entire process, “from grain to glass.”
- While they produce whiskey, gin, vodka, and more when the small staff is asked to name their favorite product, District-made Rye and District-made Bourbon top the lists. One Eight is the first company to make rye or bourbon whiskey in the district since prohibition!
#FrayLifeTip: If your whiskey tastes are a little more advanced, pay a visit to One Eight for their untitled series, creative and extremely rare batches often created only once for your sipping pleasure.
- Republic Restorative is DC’s newest distillery, and their CIVIC Vodka was their first offering. That quickly made it it’s staple- and for good reason. CIVIC Vodka is distilled exclusively from North American corn and produced in DC. It’s monochromatic bottling makes it a decor piece in itself, but the flawless crisp finish is pure art.
- Oh, and did we mention that Republic Restorative is 100% women owned? We’re all about feminism, especially when it’s mixed with great cocktails.
Cotton and Reed
- DC’s first rum distillery was conceived when two NASA employees turned best-friends left their day jobs to pursue a life dedicated to changing attitudes and creating quality rum. They keep 4 core rums fully stocked, as well as small-batch limited releases. Their White Rum brags about it’s versatility: light enough for a mojito, yet fruity enough for a sweet summer daiquiri. Their Mellow Gold, Dry Spiced, or the darkest, Allspice Dram, would also make vibrant additions to your bar.
#FrayLifeTip: Check out their website to learn about bottling parties: in exchange for your bottling labor you receive free, delicious cocktails. Win-win.
Jos A Magus
- Another DC distillery that mixes up a variety of spirits, the star of the show at Jos A Magus is the Whiskey- They’ve mastered their art in mimicking a 112 year old bottle of whiskey that Joseph Mangus himself stumbled across in 2007.
- A kind of unsung hero of this fab distillery, however, is the Gin. The Navy-Strength Gin, to be exact, clocking in at 114 proof. It’s “gin with a backbone.” Made with harissa, figs, fresh mint and lemon, and dried 4-year old italian juniper berries, they cut no corners in distilling the perfect gin for sipping or mixing.
- Beyond liquors, you’re going to need some accessories to finish off your at home DC-based bar. And there are plenty of high quality mixology shops to help you with these finishing touches.
- Our favorite might be The Hour Shop in Alexandria. The selection alone is worth the journey across state lines. They can provide anything from bitters to shakers and glassware. They boast “Vintage” designer barware that is sure to make your style pop.
Where are your favorite boozy spots in the district? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to tag us on socials using #DCFray and #FrayLife
Need some cool places for happy hour dranks? Check out our waterfront happy hour guide!
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