Megan Singleton finds the best places to grab a drink in Washington DC.
1. POV Lounge
Pass through the lobby of the W Hotel right off the Mall (keeping your eyes open for celebs) and go to the 11th-floor rooftop terrace to POV Lounge. The point of view here is the White House lawn. It boasts it's the closest hotel to the President and although this trendy yet casual bar could have more fun with the names of its cocktails, I did enjoy my Marion Berry.
If you haven't been told about this place you'd never find it, hidden behind an unmarked metal door in the hipster U St corridor. Open it to be met by a couple of preppy-looking guys who will check to see if your name is on their list. Tip: Call earlier to get your name on the list. If it's not and there is space, you'll be ushered through a side door into a groovy, low-lit lounge with a cocktail list the size of a phone book.
For an elegant experience, try the lobby bar at the Fairmont Georgetown on M. It has a colony of beehives on the roof and is working with several local schools to help replenish the bee population in DC, so it's only right to ask the barman with the Kiwi wife for a Beetini, which comes with a skewered wedge of oozing honeycomb.
4. Dram & Grain
One of the newest bars in the evolution of hidden drinking dens in DC, the Dram & Grain is in the basement of the Jack Rose Whiskey Saloon. The head barman is gaining a following for his clever drinks that morph into something else once flavoured ice is added. They have three seatings on a Saturday at their 20-seat bar, but you need a secret phone number to text your reservation. Good luck!
5. Ri Ra Georgetown/Whiskey Room
I've learned to enjoy the odd dram, so this bar is my nod to whiskey lovers. It's listed in several top bar reviews of DC, so you won't go wrong at The Whiskey Room, above Ri Ra Irish Bar. It has over 200 whiskeys, including rare bottles, and it pairs its small plates menu with a whiskey.