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Willard InterContinental in Washington, D.C. has three bars. Enjoy a mint julep at The Round Robin & Scotch Bar, sip a cocktail alfresco at Le Bar at Café du Parc or sit on the stools of statesmen at the dark wood and mirrored bar at the Occidental Grill & Seafood.
The Round Robin & Scotch Bar specializes in classic cocktails — mint juleps in particular — but its location is most special. Though the structure has changed, the bar is in the same spot where Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses Grant once sipped drinks at the Forbes Travel Guide Recommended hotel. The space, which is open from noon to 1 a.m. Monday to Saturday, is adorned with photos of presidents and other luminaries who have tippled there, including Woodrow Wilson, Buffalo Bill Cody, Walt Whitman and Mark Twain.
The Round Robin also has an adjacent Scotch bar, open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday. The menu includes more than 100 bottles of whiskey from all over Scotland, including rare varieties aged 25 to 30 years.
Le Bar at Café du Parc features a cocktail hour from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Grab a table outside on Pennsylvania Avenue to enjoy blooming cherry blossoms, spring breezes and people watching as tourists come from the nearby National Mall and Capitol Hill workers head home or to happy hour. The cocktail menu changes seasonally, and features classic cocktails like mint juleps and Manhattans alongside French favorites like champagne cocktails flavored with wild hibiscus flowers.
Next door, the mirrored bar towers above the Occidental Grill & Seafood, the steak and seafood restaurant at the Willard. Order specialty cocktails here, including mixtures that are aged in-house in oak barrels. Like an aged whiskey or rye, these drinks take on the flavors of the barrel they are aged in. On our visit we tried a curiously strong Manhattan made with Maker’s Mark whisky, vermouth, bitters and brandied cherries.
The bar also includes a seasonal list of handcrafted cocktails. We complemented our meal with a mellow blood orange margarita and a maple Manhattan that augmented the classic with a sweet kick of Vermont maple syrup.
Willard InterContinental has the Round Robin & Scotch Bar and Lobby Lounge; Le Bar (Café du Parc); and the Occidental Restaurant.