- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 11, 2016


Of course it was named for the song.

The Watergate Hotel — forever linked to the scandal that brought down President Nixon and lending the suffix “gate” to any brouhaha since — recently underwent a $200 million renovation to bring the iconic waterfront property up to date and lure in luxurious travelers to the District. As part of that major facelift, the Watergate now features The Next Whisky Bar, a ground-floor bar fully stocked with American and Scotch whiskies for every palate, and a mixology program to match.

The emphasis is on higher-end cocktails that nearly top the $20 range, in accordance with the clientele the Watergate is seeking to attract. Beverage Manager Gabrielle Clark has fashioned a ritzy menu to go along with the choice location that has rapidly drawn in a hip D.C. crowd. The “wall” of the establishment is composed entirely of whiskey bottles, so you know they mean business.

A definite elixir to keep your taste buds ready for is the MacBain, a mixture of Angel’s Envy and Carpano Antica Vermouth. Angel’s Envy is for the choosey whiskey drinker, and this stellar combo offers total bliss in a glass.

The Next Whisky Bar offers a fine selection of bourbons, scotches and other distilled beverages from as far away as India and Taiwan. Your tastes here are only as limited as your bank account. (If you have the scratch, the Pappy Van Winkle 23 yr goes for a cool half-thousand per pour.)

For something from closer to home, the Virginia Highland “Malt” 18 from Lovingston in Nelson County, sited to the far southwest of the District, offers a nose and taste that rivals almost anything imported from Scotland. And at $18, it’s a veritable bargain for such a smooth-tasting spirit.

The Next Whisky Bar is open 4 p.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday and until 1 a.m. Saturday evening. It’s a great place to pop in prior to a show at the Kennedy Center — or afterwards.

“Well, show me the way
To the next whisky bar
Oh, don’t ask why
Oh, don’t ask why”

— The Doors, “The Alabama Song”


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