With Cheap Cocktails, You Get What You Pay For
I love sampling new drinks, but so many Washington area bars have made their cocktails prohibitively expensive -- hot spots like IndeBleu, Degrees and Blue Gin push and break the $10 barrier with alarming regularity -- that it's tougher on the wallet than it is on the liver.
That's why my ears pricked up when I heard that the M Street Bar and Grill offers $3.50 rail martinis all day, every day. In view of the competition, M Street may as well bill its special as a three-for-the-price-of-one deal.
But this goes against one of my cardinal rules: avoiding no-name rail spirits. Sure, Ruble Vodka was a lifesaver at college parties -- a giant bottle for just $6.99? Excellent! -- but once you've got a real job, do you really want bargain-basement alcohol that smells more like paint stripper than something you'd actually want to drink?
When you order one of those budget-busting $10 cocktails, you know you're paying for premium labels and inventive flavors. Put Hanger One vodka or Plymouth Gin up against lesser name brands like Smirnoff or Gordon's and you're going to see a difference. At M Street, they're smart enough to know that a classic martini -- straight gin or vodka with vermouth -- would be virtually undrinkable with sub-par ingredients, so they cover the unattractive bathtub-quality vodka with layers of fruit juice, sour mix and liqueur.
Thus the limited $3.50 menu is limited to a healthy pink Cosmopolitan, the standard day-glo-green Apple Martini, or the Blue Islander, a tropical drink with an exciting Windex hue. The latter was acceptable -- pleasant and orangey, garnished with a cherry, but tasting strongly of straight-from-the bottle sour mix. The Cosmo was a little better, but the glass smelled like it had come straight from the dishwasher. (Don't order from the regular drink menu or you'll find yourself paying $8 for a margarita.)
Still, I think M Street's onto something. On Thursday night, groups of young women -- literally, a 15-to-1 female-to-male ratio -- filled the attractive, high-ceilinged room, grouped around tables in front of a fireplace or in front of the huge plate-glass windows that face the street. Seats are tight at the marble-topped bar, but if you're looking to save a few pennies, it's worth a visit.
Posted by: Lite2shine | April 1, 2005 6:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Florafloraflora | April 2, 2005 11:16 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Juan Pescado | April 2, 2005 11:42 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Adam | April 5, 2005 11:34 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Joel | April 6, 2005 2:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Sack (DC) | April 22, 2005 2:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Concerned Citizen | April 27, 2005 9:47 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.