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Gibson Apt 1 (Image: Courtesy The Gibson)

Take a group of your cocktail-obsessed friends to these 3 exclusive spots

Have friends who are way into cocktails? The kind of people who infuse their own booze, are on top of the latest garnish trends like mini clothespins and citrus peels cut into shapes and obsess about procuring gorgeously clear ice for their rocks glasses? Or maybe that person is you. Either way, simply meeting for a drink just won’t cut it. But how about an enclosed speakeasy for eight with a dedicated bartender? A spirits tasting at one of the country’s most talked-about bars? Or an evening spent relaxing in a private salon with the feel of a hipster’s living room where you can sip customized creations? Now that’s more like it. Book one of these three memorable experiences and let the libations flow.

The Snug at Service Bar

The name of this table tucked away behind a door at the back of the U Street industry bar says it all. Inside, bench seating and throw pillows beckons up to eight imbibers to order drinks from a bartender accessible through a private, speakeasy-style window. Sip cocktails from the Hyper Seasonal menu like the Green Leaf ($11), with Tanqueray Gin, kale, lemon, salt and pepper, or the Griselda Blanco, with mezcal, Tequila, coconut, lime, cardamom and grapefruit bitters. The Cocktailery menu ($30/person) includes several drinks, while springing for the Tomfoolery menu ($75/person) will give you flutes of Champagne, punch served in a copper swan punch bowl, lots of cocktails and a spirits course. Love Bourbon? Bartenders will bring out cool bottles to try and serve up some drinks that use it. If you have any other special requests, they are more than happy to create a tasting menu for your group with at least a week’s notice. And the full food menu is available back there too--don’t miss the fried chicken with rosemary fleur de sel French fries. There is a $150 minimum to book The Snug; email chad@servicebardc.com to check availability and reserve it.

The Apartments at The Gibson

Upstairs at the swanky, low lit craft cocktail den on 14th Street, two retro-designed apartments are perfect for groups celebrating birthdays or engagements, bachelor and bachelorette parties and other spirited shindigs. (Apartment 1 can accommodate up to twelve guests, while Apartment 2 works for up to sixteen.) Order classic drinks from the menu like a Bamboo ($16), with Hidalgo La Gita Manzanilla Sherry, Dolin Dry Vermouth and The Bitter Truth Orange Bitters, or an Aviation ($14), with Plymouth Gin, maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and Crème de Violette, or customize or add cocktails from their seasonal menu. while noshing on bacon-wrapped dates with crème fraiche or Chinese BBQ wings. Apartment 1 and Apartment 2 require a $400 and $600 food and beverage minimum, respectively, and each comes with a dedicated server; 10% tax, 20% gratuity and a 5% event fee are additional. For more information and reservations, email event manager MJ at gibsondc.events@gmail.com.

The Spirits Library at Columbia Room

Sure, booking stools inside the sumptuous Tasting Room at this Blagden Alley bar (which was just named a top four finalist for Best American Cocktail Bar for this summer’s Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards) is always a fabulous way to spend an evening. But a table in the Spirits Library is just as exclusive and special, with a facing leather chairs and wall shelves housing old books and rare bottles. Four to six people can do a guided flight of unique spirits with paired snacks. Decide you want to switch to a cocktail? Try the Elysian Fields Spritz ($16), with cassis, juniper, grapefruit oil, lime, dry vermouth, Campari and Champagne, or the Seine-side Holiday ($16), with absinthe, aged cachaça, lime, orgeat, cane sugar, aromatic and orange bitters. The Spirits Flight requires a $100 prepaid reservation per person, and can be booked on https://columbiaroom.tocktix.com/.

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