I officially have a new favorite bar. And that is not something I say lightly. Sugarcane's (1919 Washington Ave.) had only been open for five days when I had the pleasure of visiting it for the first time. It's in the location of the late Corkscrew wine bar, but this place could not be further from that concept. From the outside, it appears to be just another new Washington bar, but stepping inside is like taking a breath of fresh air. And I think that is exactly the point.
Though I am not much of a day drinker, I do love a good happy hour, so I found myself stepping into Sugarcane's around 5 p.m., when the sun was still shining bright. Whereas the Corkscrew always felt dark, heavy and somewhat gloomy, Sugarcane's is open, airy, and modern. Bryan Johnson, Sugarcane's ultra-knowledgeable general manager, told me that each day the bartenders squeeze up a wide variety of fresh juices, such as cucumber, watermelon, pineapple, cranberry, orange, lemon and lime. They make their own sweet and sour from actual fruit. All the liquors are organic, as well.
The motto is written on the wall: "Live healthy. Drink better." It's a statement that they take very seriously, and I, for one, absolutely adore. I enjoy getting slightly tipsy when the mood strikes me, but that should not mean that I have to give up my organic, healthy food habits and poison my body with a plethora of toxins. Alcohol in moderation has a positive effect on one's heart. Adding a bunch of sugar and chemicals - not so much. Not only is everything fresh and organic, but they also try to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible. For instance, you will not find a TV in this bar. You have to actually expend your own energy to be entertained. I love this concept.
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The best part? The drinks are fabulously good. Bryan tried out a new cocktail made with Dulce Vida tequila, watermelon and cucumber juice that tasted like summer. It's not on the menu yet, but I'm hoping they change that. What is on the menu is a big mixture of new takes on old classics like margaritas and Manhattans, as well as newcomers like the Fountain of Acai, made with organic rum, organic agave nectar, lime juice, blueberries and thyme. Everything is as good as you hoped it would be. Stop by soon and get your day drinking on during happy hour when all ECOcktails (their term) are $2 off, beers are $1 off, and daily wine specials go for only $5 a glass.