Mug Shots: Red or Blue, There’s a Bar for All Tonight

Posted November 3, 2008 at 4:52pm

After a year of listening to stump speeches and pundits, we’ve finally reached Election Day. Whether you vote red or blue, chances are you’re going to want a cocktail while you watch the returns. Luckily, the watch parties are plentiful at bars both on and off Capitol Hill.

[IMGCAP(1)]Capitol Lounge (229 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) gets more into the election spirit than your average bar. Not only will this House-side staple be offering blue and red beer, but it will also be handing out red, white and blue hats and tiaras. Kegs of Bud Light will be dyed blue, while the house amber will be red. The bar will also offer hot wings colored red alongside actually blue cheese. The lounge features more than 30 televisions, including plasmas that will be tuned to election coverage all night.

Sister bars Top of the Hill (319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) and 18th Amendment (613 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) will be hosting two very different parties. Top of the Hill will welcome those whose candidate is in the lead and will feature happy hour specials, while 18th Amendment will host a party for the trailing candidate and offer its own happy (or unhappy) hour. The bars’ Web site advertises free beer while it lasts and drink specials all night.

Did your invitation to the Democrats’ party at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill get lost in the mail? Never fear: The hotel’s bar, Article One (400 New Jersey Ave. NW), will be open all night for those who want to be close to the action. This new addition to the hotel has wasted no time diving into the election festivities and will be featuring candidate-themed cocktails. For $11.04 — representing, of course, Election Day — customers can drink their vote while watching election coverage on one of the many plasma TVs.

Those with a sweet tooth are sure to love the O’Bama Mama (Bacardi O rum, coconut rum, orange juice and pineapple juice) and the Palini-tini (Grey Goose vodka, peach schnapps and a splash of Chambord). If you’re looking for an old standard, the “Joe Biden” Collins is a nice take on the traditional Tom Collins, featuring Dewar’s Scotch, sour mix and a splash of Coke.

If campaign season runs you ragged, a McCain & Able may be just the thing. This drink of Mount Gay rum and Red Bull is sure to give you a buzz and keep you up until the last state is called.

Closer to the prize, Chef Geoff’s Downtown (1301 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) — a few blocks from the White House — has been in the election spirit for some time. For the past few weeks, diners have been asked to partake in a straw poll, choosing from “Barack Obama/Democratic Party,” “John McCain/ Republican Party” or “Chef Geoff/ Dinner Party.” Chef Geoff’s warns, though, that the poll is “unofficial, unauthorized and with a relatively high margin of error.” As of late last week, Obama was in the lead.

On election night, the bar will be hosting an all-night happy hour, which includes burgers for $5.95, pizza for $8.95 and super mugs of beer for $7.95. The bar is also serving specialty drinks. For $10, voters can indulge in the McCain Mojito (Zacapa rum, mint, lime and sugar cane) or the Cîroc O’Poma (Cîroc vodka, pineapple, lime and pomegranate).

Busboys & Poets (2021 14th St. NW) is also offering political cocktails. This bookshop/cafe/bar offers more than a dozen cocktails, including the Cindy and the Michelle, named after the candidates’ wives.

Sonoma (223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE), a few doors down from the rowdy Cap Lounge, will host a more low-key party. The wine bar will be featuring red-state and blue-state microbrews for $4 a bottle or draft. There will also be a “neutral” Italian wine by the glass for $6, as well as complimentary, unlimited cups of M.E. Swing coffee and a free nonpartisan champagne toast when the winner is declared.

A little farther afield, Enology (3238 Wisconsin Ave. NW) in Cleveland Park will also be hosting a watch party. Like many other bars in the city, Enology will be featuring red and blue cocktails in addition to a wide selection of vino. Here’s the fun part: The number of red or blue drinks will determine whether the large plasma screen TV is tuned to CNN or Fox News.