Superchef José Andrés owns several of the hottest restaurants in Washington, D.C., like the always-fun Zaytinya, but it’s Minibar that holds the greatest allure, with foodies making reservations months in advance to enjoy a tasting menu of 30+ mindblowing dishes created using inventive ingredients and ultramodern techniques. The same philosophy goes into the drinks at Barmini, which just opened at the same address. Cocktail hour will never be the same.
It’s the bleeding edge of mixology as applied to classic cocktails courtesy of drink wizard Juan Coronado. Think "airs," barrel aging, infusions, and a few ingredients and techniques we’ve never even heard of. Since you’d best have some food in your belly during an evening of drinking on this level, a few light bites are also on the menu, like Butternut Squash Meringue with Yogurt and Honey, but they play second fiddle to the sublime artistry in the antique glass in front of you. There are precisely 100 cocktails to choose from, one of which is the weird and cool Scandinavian Cup, with coriander aquavit, white vermouth, grapefruit bitters, absinthe and Viking syrup, a blend of chamomile, citrus peel, cloves and brown sugar made popular by the Vikings. Yeah, ain’t that some stuff.
The small, er, mini bar is likely to be just as popular as its restaurant counterpart, so be sure to get reservations (through the website) well in advance. Drink prices range from $14-$20, which is the same you’d pay for a vodka tonic at some overhyped velvet rope spot, so, on some weird level, they’re a bargain.
[Related: BlackBook Washington D.C. Guide]