This patio season, barman David Strauss is reaching back into cocktail history for inspiration. Earlier this May, he opened the new outdoor terrace as his Morris American Bar as the Fix Bar. As the name suggests, the space offering a menu of fixes –old-time creations that rival any glass of frosé as a way to cool off and unwind on a summer afternoon.
If the term "fix" is unfamiliar, think of them as riffs on snowcones – with liquor included. Fixes came to popularity in the 19th Century and refer to nontraditional sour cocktails with citrus, booze, and sweetener served under crushed ice.
“It’s one of my favorite categories of classic cocktails,” Strauss says. “They are the most refreshing and the fastest drinks.”
That speed means more drinks will get out to more customers more quickly. It makes life easier on the bar staff, too.
“The thing that we grade cocktails on is temperature and dilution,” Strauss says of his meticulous quality-control process. “For all the shaking and stirring that bartenders put into making a cocktail, crushed ice just gets there a lot faster.”
Drinks at the Fix Bar are $12 each and the choices are expected to rotate frequently. Expect options to include things like a Honey Whiskey with bourbon, lemon and honey and a Bramble with gin, lemon and blackberry. There's also the Sheppard Cocktail, which blends apple brandy together with crème de menthe. Canned rosé and local beer are also available for purchase at $8 each.
The Fix Bar has room (including some tables) for 60 people and is walk-ins only. Sipping a crushed ice cocktail al fresco is more casual experience than Morris' inside experience, where guests are asked to observe a “no standing” policy while enjoying all manner of drinks. Patio guests are free to mingle, order from a satellite bar cart, and even bring their dogs.
“We can get a little more rambunctious outside,” he says.
The Fix Bar at Morris is located at 1020 7th St. NW. Hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays 6 p.m. to 12a.m., Fridays and Saturdays 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Sundays from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. The bar is Closed Mondays.