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Strolling into Funxion, the self-described “first FIT Restaurant and Bar in America,” is sort of invigorating. At first. Beyond the funky furniture and retro tunes, the place prides itself on offering healthy food and drink options—and that includes the boozy cocktails. You’ve probably heard about the health benefits of moderate drinking. Well, this joint takes it to a whole other level.
According to its website, the venue offers “only clean filtered spirits with the minimum of impurities” and “leaves out the sugar-loaded cordials and high frutose syrup-based concentrates and replaces them with 100% juice mixers, fresh fruits, veggies and superfoods.”
Frankly, after sampling a few of the drinks, I found myself longing for some impurities. Tasty, satisfying impurities.
First, I ordered the aptly named “Clear Confusion,” a $10 mixture of Elemental organic vodka, fresh carrot juice, fresh orange juice and house-made ginger syrup. The reason for this moniker became apparent, as I was clearly confused as to how anyone could muscle their way through this awful libation, or how any of the bartenders are able to sleep at night after serving it to the public.
When I asked about the fresh juices and in-house syrup blends, each denoted on the menu with an “fx,” the bartender used words like “biodynamic,” “certified organic,” and “dietician approved.” She also pointed out that each drink has low or zero calorie mixers. What she failed to mention was that it had low to zero flavor, as well.
I only tasted carrots—not a hint of sweetness from the orange juice. And if there really was ginger or vodka in there, it was completely masked by jus de carotte.
I had to set aside my “clear confusion” and opted to give the place a second chance, thinking that maybe I just don’t like rabbit food, anymore. I perused the menu once again and ordered another $10 cocktail, the “Cardinal Sin,” which certainly sounded less good for you. It was a blend of Oronoco rum, beet and berry mix, coconut soda water, fresh lime juice, and mint leaves. This one, though not as awful of an assault on the palette as the aforementioned carrot monstrosity, played with my gag reflex, as well. The color brought to mind an image I had seen the night before while watching the Discovery channel’s “Shark Week,” but the drink itself was gritty and one-note. I detected no underlying flavor from the coconut, nor any hint of lime. It simply tasted like gravelly beets.
I guess there is a reason this is the “World’s First Fit Bar.”
Funxion, 1309 F Street NW, (202) 386-9466
Trixie Tamerlane is the author of From The Other Side: Pourings from the Mind of a Bartender
Photo by Trixie Tamerlane