Where You Should Be Drinking: Hill Prince on H
We were grabbing drinks with our friend Dan, who was in town for a convention.We usually have a a little list of places to hit when he’s in town, but he’s been in DC quite a bit recently; so, we’ve already hit quite a few of them, some new ones and some favorites. But there’s one quite new bar we’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about but hadn’t gotten to yet: Hill Prince, on H Street. Hill Prince is a small bar in a typical DC row house that has retained more of the feel of a residence than many converted row houses do. It’s named after the 1950 winner of the Preakness Stakes, and the decor has something of a horsey theme.
The place was comfortably quiet when we arrived, about 7pm on a weeknight. We grabbed stools at the small bar and took a look at the menu. They keep it tight, and focused on the classics, with six old standards and a few seasonal creations.
What We Ordered
French 75: dry gin, barrel-aged genever, prosecco, lemon
Beaming Beauty: rum, cointreau, lime, dark rum float
Fancy Racket: Bourbon, homemade peach shrub, basil, lemon
Prince Palatine: mezcal, Sugar Island coconut rum, pineapple, turmeric
What We Thought
Since standards are their thing, we wanted to make sure we ordered one. We went with the French 75, curious about the addition of genever to the drink’s usual dry gin. While the genever didn’t come through quite as strongly as we thought (perhaps because of the barrel aging), the drink was well-made and nicely balanced. French 75s can often be too sweet and light for us, but they restrained the sugar and boosted the gin just right to give it some depth but keep it refreshing.
Given their focus on the standards, we were quite impressed by all three of their summer season originals. The dark rum float on the Beaming Beauty not only made for a good presentation, but also brought a nice bittersweet touch of molasses to what’s otherwise quite similar to a Daiquiri. With its turmeric coloring, Prince Palatine was also visually interesting, with a nice sweet, smokey, and savory mix. The Fancy Racket was our favorite of all, complex, softly sweet and sour.
We’re looking forward to what the next seasonal menu will be bring.
Beaming Beauty Cocktail Recipe
this is our guess at what they did.
- 2 oz silver rum
- 3/4 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz orange liqueur
- 1/2 oz or so dark rum
- lime wheel, for garnish
- Add silver rum, lime juice, and orange liqueur to a cocktail shaker.
- Fill with ice to above the level of the liquid.
- Shake for about 20 seconds.
- Pour into a rocks glass.
- Add more ice if necessary.
- Gently float a small amount of dark rum on top.