Brother, Can You Spare A Nickel?
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.
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