D.C. tiki bar Hogo may have closed last year, but plenty of other spots are keeping umbrella drinks alive. In fact, tiki is taking over menus in all sorts of unexpected spots this summer. So if you can’t afford that tropical vacation, here are some places where you can at least get a decent mai tai.
Barmini 855 E St. NW
José Andrés’ cocktail bar is hosting its second annual Tiki Week now through July 11. The tiki-inspired cocktails include drinks like the Polynesian Vacation with citrus vodka, aloe liqueur, pineapple, lime, ginger, and yellow chartreuse as well as a treasure chest with three types of mai tais.
Del Campo 900 7th St. NW
On July 10 from 7 to 10 p.m., the South American steakhouse will host its annual Del Campo at Dusk Tiki Party on the building’s rooftop. Chef Victor Albisu and restaurateur Jeff Black (Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, BlackSalt) will serve suckling pig, oysters, and other tiki-inspired bites. Tickets, which include food, are available online for $37. Tiki cocktails, beer, and wine will be available from a cash bar. Tropical attire welcome.
Ocopa 1324 H St. NE
The Peruvian restaurant recently opened a 30-seat back patio with a 10-seat bar serving tiki-themed cocktails and pisco drinks. Barman Giancarlo Cruz is preparing mai tais, Singapore slings, and lava bowls. Even liquid nitrogen is incorporated into some of the drinks. Pair your tiki tipple with something from the ceviche bar on the outdoor patio, which will be open year-round.
Mockingbird Hill 1843 7th St. NW
Derek Brown’s sherry bar launched a “Sherry Goes Tiki” menu and tiki happy hour earlier this week that will be available weekdays until September. Look out for an oloroso sherry mai tai and a Fog Cutter, which incorporates sherry with rum, brandy, gin, and citrus juices. The bar plans to go all out with flaming volcano bowls.
Jack Rose Dining Saloon 2007 18th St. NW
On Fridays and Saturdays, head to Jack Rose’s upstairs tiki bar, which just launched for the season. Drinks include cans of summer beers ($6), plus tiki cocktails (all $13) like the Palm Pine with jalapeno-infused Jameson Black Barrel whiskey, pineapple, banana, and ginger beer. The restaurant will bring back its Tiki Thursdays happy hour on July 23.
Barmini photo (top) by Karl Kuhn. Photo of tiki glass courtesy Jack Rose.