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Posted at 12:35 PM ET, 04/15/2005

Brother, Can You Spare A Nickel?


During yesterday's Got Plans? discussion, someone asked where to find the cheapest happy hour in Washington. Last night, I found it -- at the Jefferson Hotel.

Dimly lit, decorated with Civil War prints and full of men in suits reading the Financial Times and sipping liquor from snifters, this clubby lounge is the last place I'd expect to find bargain-basement drinks. But through May 13, you can get a martini for a nickel.

I thought five-cent cocktails went out with the Great Depression, but the hotel decided to create a special martini in honor of the nip-tuck our third president received on the newly redesigned nickel. Made with Grey Goose vodka and Arrowood Riesling wine and garnished with a strip of lemon peel, the Jefferson Martini is reminiscent of a French aperitif -- dry, slightly citrusy and well-balanced. (The ingredients were chosen because of Jefferson's Francophilia and his experiments with wine-making at Monticello.)

There are catches, of course:

  • You can't pay with any old nickel -- the bar will only accept the new 2005 nickels with the larger portrait of Jefferson on the front and a bison on the flip side.
  • You have to order the drink between 5 and 5:55, Monday through Friday.
  • One nickel martini per customer, per day. All subsequent drinks are full-price.

As at most of the old-school hotel bars, service is excellent and attentive -- and the cocktail nuts are free, but overly salty.

Start checking your pockets and asking co-workers if they have change for a quarter. This cocktail is worth every cent -- and then some.

-- Fritz

By  | April 15, 2005; 12:35 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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What a great idea. By the way, I love the gogblog.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2005 12:25 AM | Report abuse

"...and then come."

And then come?


Posted by: Anonymous | April 16, 2005 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Obviously meant to say "and then some." it is just a typo. Clearly making a joke about the fact that the cocktail is priced in cents rather than dollars. Speaking of english, writing a sentence entirely in capitals also violates grammatical rules.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 17, 2005 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, it was a typo. Sorry about that.

Posted by: Fritz | April 18, 2005 10:38 AM | Report abuse

What is the tip for a five cent martini? One cent?

Posted by: Duponter | April 21, 2005 9:41 AM | Report abuse

A tip to anyone who plans to go... the deal isn't REALLY until 5:55. Unless you are there early, don't expect to pay 5 cents. I ran from work to get there before 5:55, only to have the bartender inform me that it was already past 6:00 (it was 5:50 according to my watch). Huh?!?! Apparently they have their clocks set fast, because my friends said they had been telling people that since 5:40. What a scam, the old bait and switch.

Posted by: Angry patron | April 25, 2005 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks. I took a bunch of coworkers before we went to the movies. Great deal. But it was tough finding those nickels.

Posted by: :) | May 10, 2005 4:19 PM | Report abuse

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