The Round Robin
May 11, 2018
Round Robin (or, to give it its full name, the Round Robin and Scotch Bar) is one of the most renowned hotel bars in America. Literary luminaries Mark Twain and Walt Whitman have imbibed here, and it was in this plush-carpeted room that Kentucky Statesman Henry Clay mixed the first DC mint julep, which remains the bar’s signature drink. The elegant, history laden bar in the prestigious Willard Intercontinental boasts, as the name suggests, a round mahogany bar from which impeccable drinks are served to local politicos, West Wingers, businessmen and those just curious to sip a cocktail in a bar once visited by Abraham Lincoln. The bar is open noon till midnight most nights and the Scotch Bar serves 4pm-11pm the latter, as the name suggests, stocks a fantastic range of malts including the classics you’ve heard of and some makes that might be unfamiliar, with tasting flights available should you need a steer. Other cocktails to try would be the Willard’s classics, such as the Monumental Mojito and the Granny Smith Appletini, with beers including local and imported brands as well as some craft brews. Snacks come courtesy of the Willard kitchen, including a range of small bites and sharing plates such as sliders and pizzas. With some 150 years of history behind it, the Round Robin can afford to trade on its reputation (and some would argue that it does) but, even so, it remains a real experience: grand and sophisticated, a bar in a class of its own. All this will cost you, of course, but each drink comes with a little glimpse into America’s political past.